Batman: The Dark Knight

release year: 2008
genre: dark action
viewing setting: theater, 8/9/08

synopsis: Batman's latest problem is the Joker, who has no problem killing anyone and everyone, for no real reason.

impressions: This was pretty good but had one fundamental flaw, which I'll get to shortly. Basically what we've got here is the Joker, who comes out of nowhere to unite all the criminal bosses so they can reclaim a large sum of money. In the process, a lot of people get killed, and those who survive are scarred forever. This is not only a superhero action movie, but also a complicated character study that tackles the issue of how "bad" a "good" guy can/must/should become in order to prevail over the evils of society. There are plenty of fights, gadgets, car/cycle chases, and insane Joker moments. Now to my singular problem: when you have a proven killer at your mercy - one who has already killed hundreds, and will kill hundreds more at the first chance he gets - you are to blame if you let him live to kill again. Basically, the law-abiding "good" guys in this movie were responsible for the Joker's subsequent death toll. So much bloodshed could have been avoided if someone had just shot the Joker in the head during the multiple chances they had. I wouldn't call this my personal death-penalty view, but rather a matter of simple math: one life of a murdering lunatic versus the lives of hundreds of innocents.

something this movie has that no other movie has: A guy with once-sliced-open cheeks.

acting: Heath Ledger dominates with his intense, believable portrayal of an insane criminal. Aaron Eckhart is also very good as the D.A. out to eliminate as many criminals as possible. Gary Oldman gives a powerful performance as the police commissioner. Christian Bale is the quiet, reserved Bruce Wayne as well as the gravel-voiced Batman. Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine shine in supporting roles as Batman's accomplices/confidantes. Maggie Gyllenhall is the assistant D.A. and a love interest of both Wayne and Dent. Eric Roberts is one of the criminal bosses.

final word: Good, dark, grim Batman movie.

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