I’m assuming that most everyone has already seen this, so I’m throwing in spoilers. You’ve been warned.
Hmmm… Not really bad, but I guess I hope that that really wasn’t all we get of Two-Face. I really liked the direction that was going and was hopeful that we were getting more of an introduction to the character rather than all we were going to get.
I was shocked that Rachel died. Again, not really bad, just shocking.
And beyond that, I really can’t think of much else to say that was bad except this: It’s not Batman Begins. Don’t get me wrong; I loved Dark Knight, but Begins had a life to it that wasn’t as strong in the second film.
Christian Bale is the best Batman by far. And when I say best, it’s not one of those “Sean Connery is a better Bond than Pierce Brosnan” kind of comparisons. Christian Bale could easily erase the very memory of every Batman before him. And his supporting cast is just as incredible. Morgan Freeman is a special treat as always.
Heath Ledger is fantastic. I honestly don’t really think he’s deserving of the Best Actor award so many are clamoring for (hear me out), but he is truly creepy. He added so many little things to the character that just brought the Joker to life in a truly frightening way: mouth and eye movements, changing the story about his scars, the wild movements…. I was glad that the Joker lived through the film, but also sad because I seriously hope they don’t try to put someone else in those shoes. It would be similar to replacing Richard Harris as Dumbledore… Oh wait. They did.
Beyond the characters, the theme and ideas of the movie were truly dark and extremely interesting. It was almost disturbing that anyone, even a Hollywood script writer, would be twisted enough to put those choices before an audience again and again and again. Add the Joker as the backdrop, and it pushes the film from creepy to outright fearfully dark. But the key to the film was that it worked and worked well. A lot of dark films are dark for the sake of being dark. Dark Knight, however, was dark because it needed to be dark to truly highlight the bright points, and there was a near-perfect balance between the two.
I honestly started this one with a neutral rating, and I’m trying to find any reason at all not to give it a perfect 4 out of 4 stars. If it has any negative at all, it must be that, for me at least, it did not live up to the magic of the first film. But it also stands alone with a grace and mastery that Spiderman 2, X-Men 2, and countless other sequels could never match. I guess that settles it: 4 out of 4.