First off, if any of you parents are wondering whether to take your kids to this movie, you should first question your parenting ability for even thinking about it.  This is a dark, dark movie.  However, if you can find a babysitter, I would definitely go see it, because it’s also one of the best movies of the year.

"Because…I choose to."  Lamest line ever.
"Because…I choose to." Lamest line ever.

As time goes on, I find myself less and less impressed with straight-up action movies.  Don’t get me wrong—they’re still my favorite.  But it’s not enough anymore to have gigantic, ponderous, CGI extravaganzas without compelling characters or themes.  Worst of all are the movies which (as in the above four cases) make me loathe the characters that I had once loved.  Fortunately, The Dark Knight delivers because the action is merely a means to an end; it is a necessary element of the main theme of the movie—total depravity.

It was a dark and stormy movie.
It was a dark and stormy Knight.

Adam’s already written two posts about the subject, and I pretty much agree with him, so read those instead.  I won’t go into it other than to say that I appreciate a blockbuster movie that isn’t afraid to delve into these deep, disturbing subjects, even if its conclusions aren’t perfect.  It’s a testament to the movie’s thematic depth that I’m still talking about it with friends.

Another thing I appreciate is the CGI, or lack thereof.  It looked like almost all of the stunts were real.  Imagine that.  In fact, the coolest action shot in the movie, the one that made half the people in the theater gasp—you know, the one with the semi—didn’t even feature an explosion.  Explosions used to be so cool, but now they’re boring.  Especially after Stealth.

He just wanted to be loved.
He just wanted to be loved.

The Joker was, of course, an unbelievable character; I think only Johnny Depp could do as good a job as Heath Ledger at being a disturbing, neurotic sociopath.  Ledger definitely deserves at least an Oscar nomination for playing one of the most fascinating and hideous villains in cinema history.  He’s the kind of guy who makes you laugh and then feel horrified that you’re laughing because it proves that you’re a sick, sick person.  Did I mention that this isn’t a movie for little kids?

"Mumble mumble mumble herds…"
"Mumble mumble mumble herds…"

I really only have two complaints.  The first is that I don’t know where the Nolan boys will take Batman from here.  How do you top this feat?  The second complaint has to do with the dialogue.  I’m not complaining about the script—that was A-OK.  The problem is that all of the characters (especially Batman) talked in low, growly voices.  When you add in the low, growly soundtrack and low, growly background noises, it makes it kinda tough to hear what’s going on.  At least the characters don’t spend the whole film mumbling under their breath, like in Jurassic Park.  It took me years to understand all the little quips from that movie.  Note to directors:  mumbly people may be realistic, but they make for terrible dialogue.

Rating time!  Here is my system:

  • I would pay money to see it again ($$$$).
  • I would see it again if someone gave me a free ticket ($$$).
  • I wouldn’t see it again even if someone gave me a free ticket ($$).
  • I wouldn’t see it again even if someone paid me to go ($).

The Dark Knight lands $$$¢ (three dollars and change).

Now, I probably ticked off a lot of people here.  Didn’t I just spend the whole review raving about this movie?  Yes, I did.  Shouldn’t I give it the coveted four-dollar-sign rating?  Perhaps.  But the fact of the matter is, it’s a very dark movie, and I’m not always in the mood to watch that sort of thing.  For example, I definitely wouldn’t go if my dog had just died.  Assuming I owned a dog.