We saw it at the drive-in on Friday night with Journey to the Center of the Earth which was, unfortunately, weak. That’s all I need to say about that; I hear it’s got great 3D effects, but the movie could have been much better.
As for the new Batman movie: SPOILER ALERT!!!
Heath Ledger is phenomenal! He did exactly what an actor is supposed to do: create a full character. He changed his voice, his body movements, everything. His Joker is complete with his own mannerisms, speech patterns, and dark energy. From his different walks, hand movements, inflictions…. every scene lit up the screen! It’s no wonder people are already talking about an Oscar; he deserves it. I give credit that the film did a good job of walking the fine line with the Joker of showing just what a psychotic freak he is without turning his scenes into gore. The audience knows, through Ledger’s perfect performance, offscreen voices and great cutaways, exactly what he is doing, but it’s not put in front of in a gore fest. Hitchcock would love it, and because they did it right, they took the Joker to dark, intense psychotic level that he really is. Heath Ledger was so fantastic, I found myself excited whenever he came on the screen and nearly literally sitting on the edge of my seat. As you can tell, I can’t say enough good things about his performance and it’s bitterly sad that he’s gone.
I also really liked Harvey Dent and his storyline, including the different take on how he became Two Face. It worked very well, and Aaron Eckhart did a wonderful job of playing Harvey Dent through the character’s entire story arch. His chemistry is great with Maggie Gyllenhaal, and the two of them create a couple that really works. It’s important to the story that it does because the relationship between them is such a strong catalyst for his character. Maggie doesn’t play a Rachel that’s fantastically, physically beautiful, but such an attractive woman who has the great characteristics of strength, intelligence, warmth, and integrity that you can see why these two men are so drawn to her.
Can you hear the “but….”?
The movie has two of them. First:
Christian Bale was an utter bore. As much as I can go on and on about Heath Ledger being brilliant, Bale goes the opposite end of the scale. He dragged the movie down! He showed the same emotion — which means he showed none — about being in love with Rachel, wanting to catch the Joker, talking with Alfred about being Batman…. EVERYTHING! It all had the same droning voice, the same expressionless expression…. Bruce Wayne/Batman is an intense character. He and the Joker are the same that way. They are the ying and yang with each other, at once alike and so very, very different. But as much as Heath Ledger did with the Joker, Bale did nothing with Batman.
The second thing wrong with this film: did none of them read Batman? The suit is stupid — he looks like the battle action Batman figure that came out, complete with hanglider. Ugh! Then there’s the character mistakes such as:
Batman abhors guns — hello, parents murdered with a gun, remember? He hates them so much that (I’m geek enough to know this, how sad) that when Dick Grayson became a cop, Bruce wouldn’t let him wear his sidearm into the house or the cave, and bellowed in rage at him for taking a job where he had to carry one, even if he never used it. This is NOT someone who puts machine guns on his motorcycle! Another thing: how stupid do they think the movie audience is? The car is supposedly so messed up, it can’t run because it’s been blown up and crashed up. Yet the same systems work perfectly fine on the cycle when it tears out. AND how is it that the cycle can do that flip over action so Batman doesn’t crash, but in less than a minute later, he doesn’t know how to flip the cycle and crashes? Plus, how is it he’s all the time and money to build penthouses, new Bat equipment like the car-cycle hybrid, etc. etc., but doesn’t get his house fixed? And, what is he doing in a warehouse?! Damage to the manor does not destroy the entire cave system; it’s a CAVE.
AND he does not give out his secret identity. Lucius Fox has no idea that he’s Batman. And Bruce never uses Wayne Enterprises money or the R&D department for a good reason: so no one can trace that back to Bruce being Batman. He has a private R&D guy and uses his private funds. By making this change, they open a can of worms that they never answer: how is it Fox and this accountant figure it out, but no other accountant or R&D guy or IT people see those funds and equipment disappearing? Stupid change; if you’re going to make changes to the Batman canon, then you have to make good ones, like the change to Harvey Dent’s storyline. Not ridiculous ones like the Batman ones in this film.
Last: the movie should have ended 45 minutes to an hour earlier. They had the perfect ending, and then dragged it down with a whole other, mini-movie and a very weak, lame over the top garbage ending. Gag! Not to mention, they kill off a fantastic character that they could have done a whole other movie with! They had so much material, it should have been its own movie rather than squish it into the ending of this one and drag it down. They could have ended with Joker’s point of his real triumph, and left on that note, giving Eckhart his own film to really delve into Two Face’s revenge. And Bale’s whole speech about let them hate me blah blah blah…..
It’s still a very good movie, thanks to Ledger and other cast members. But it could have been a great, excellent movie if Bale and overwriting hadn’t messed it up.