"The Dark Knight." - DVD Review.

By Bob Zerull

5 Stars:

How often do you get to say a comic book flick is a perfect movie? I don't know what my problem was, but from the second I saw the picture of Heath Ledger as the Joker, I needed to see this movie. I waited and waited and sure enough, the day that it came out I had a family wedding to go to, so I had to wait one more day. How could a movie possibly live up to hype like this? I have no idea, but it did.



The great thing about this new round of Batman movies is the amazing cast, writers and director. Christopher Nolan hasn't really missed as a director; from "Memento" to "The Prestige," everything has been golden. He also has written most of the movies he's directed with his brother Jonathan Nolan. The cast is equally as talented and includes: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts, Anthony Michael Hall, & Cillian Murphy.

"The Dark Knight" kicks off with a bank robbery by a bunch of men in clown masks. As each clown finishes his task, the clown responsible for the next task kills the clown who just finished their task, ultimately with the Joker standing alone. It reminds me of the beginning of the movie "Heat." It was a great way to introduce the Joker character and kick off the movie.

The Scarecrow reappears in "The Dark Knight" but he's reduced to the role of the leader of a street drug gang. It was cool to see Cillian Murphy reappear as the Scarecrow, even if it was for just five minutes. It was an important five minutes though. In that five minutes, a gang of Batman impersonators show up to take down the Scarecrow. These batmen were pathetic fat guys inspired by the real Batman. Eventually the real Batman shows up to save the day and establishes his war on crime and his symbol as Gotham's true hero.

Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne/Batman wants to get out. He knows he's too important to the city of Gotham, but he sees an out with the new District Attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). Harvey Dent is a superstar in the making. Bruce Wayne throws his support behind Harvey, even though Harvey is dating his childhood crush Rachel Dawes (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal replacing Katie Holmes from "Batman Begins" - she's a huge upgrade). Rachel promised Bruce if he could ever give up Batman she'd be there waiting.



Harvey Dent is able to clean the streets of the gangs, but a new criminal has emerged who appears to have no motive for what he's doing other than to wreak havoc and cause chaos. Heath Ledger's Joker is one of the creepiest, most terrifying bad guys in the history of movies. I don't want to start acting as if his acting is amazing only because he's dead. Whenever somebody dies we tend to exaggerate that person's strengths and pretend like they didn't have weaknesses. That said, Heath Ledger's the Joker is simply an amazing performance. If I hadn't known that Heath Ledger was the Joker, I couldn't have told you who was playing him. He makes Jack Nicholson's Joker in the original "Batman" movie look as silly as Jack Nicholson made Cesar Romero's Joker from the TV series look. I would like to think he'd get an Oscar nomination and win if he was alive.

I loved the original "Batman" movie, flaws and all, but "The Dark Knight" makes me hate it. You can't really compare "The Dark Knight" to other comic book movies, because it really is on another level. It is more like "Heat" or "The Departed," movies like that. This is a crime drama that happens to contain a man that dresses up in a bat suit. For the few people who haven't seen this movie, including our wonderful editor Jason Tanamor, I won't divulge the rest of the story or any spoilers.

"The Dark Knight" is an appropriate title. This movie is dark, it's sick and it's twisted. Some of the things that the Nolan brothers come up with make you wonder what's wrong in their head. While this movie is PG-13, I could easily understand an R rating. It is a long movie, but you never feel like the movie is dragging. The entire time I felt like I was watching something special. See this movie. If you end up not liking this movie because I've hyped it up so much, I apologize.



BYLINE:

Bob Zerull is a frequent movie and concert goer who talks about his ventures to arenas and theaters more than any person should be allowed to do. Now, he puts them down on paper. Email him your thoughts at: bzerull19@gmail.com.

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