I saw The Dark Knight last night. I had hoped to see it opening night…or preferably at one of the midnight showings, but I figured the theaters would be packed and I like to avoid that at all costs. But damn… what an awesome show. Not being a diehard Batman fan myself, I actually went to see Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker. Don’t get me wrong, Batman Begins is one of my favorite movies, so I was beyond hyped to see the sequel; however, with all the hype about Ledger’s role in this movie and how it could have possibly contributed to his death, seeing him in this film was imperative for me. I just hope they’re right when they say he’ll win an Oscar for best supporting actor. Ledger completely disappears in the movie; not once did I ever stop and think “this is Heath Ledger playing The Joker.” No, it was just The Joker, as his own person. Absolutely amazing…and yes, very creepy and mildly disturbing. His character is haunting… and Ledger absolutely nailed it…everything from the way he smacked his lips to the way his tongue always reached to the bottom right of his mouth every time he spoke. Christian Bale said in an interview that this truly is Heath Ledger’s movie, and I believe that now after seeing it. It’s remarkable how well he did this, and I don’t think anyone else could have done it. It’ll be interesting to see how they work this situation in future sequels. Without giving away the ending, it’s safe to say that The Joker could or could not reappear in future films…but if he does, how will they do that? I don’t think anyone could ever replace Ledger, and I don’t even think they should try. But, how essential is The Joker to the sequels? Like I said, I’m a Batman novice. Someone tell me.
I was hesitant about Aaron Eckhart in this film. I’m not a huge Aaron Eckhart to begin with, but I ended up being incredibly pleased with his performance. The entire time, I was waiting for him to jump to the other side and switch things up a bit, and despite the ending, I still kind of look at him as a sort of hero. Maggie Gyllenhaal was outstanding as well. I’ve never really been a Katie Holmes fan (she will always be Joey Potter from DC to me), so even though I hate it when the actors are switched but the character remains the same throughout films, I was glad to see Gyllenhaal step in as the new Rachel.
As for Christian Bale, I think he’s a phenomenal Batman. I’m very fuzzy on Michael Keaton and George Clooney’s performances though, so I plan to rent all the previous Batman movies and do an official ranking in the near future. The only thing that bugs me about this Batman is that stupid voice he uses in costume. I know, I know…you have to separate Bruce Wayne from Batman, but the voice got to be too much after awhile. But, let it be said that Christian Bale is a very pretty man, and Batman is certainly a badass. I will definitely see the movie again, but hopefully I’ll find a cheap theater in Athens where I won’t have to pay $10.25 (though the leather seats made for a nice touch).
Anyway, they must have done something right, because I believe the movie raked in over $155 million this past weekend…and $18.5 just in midnight screenings, which is more than Batman Begins made in any one day. I think so much of this has to be because of Heath Ledger, but what have you…sales are sales. And I think Heath Ledger would be happy to know that he’s made such an impact on this film industry, just because of this role. He really was a great actor, and it’s a shame he can’t be here to enjoy the well-deserved credit for this movie.
Okay, enough with the tribute to Heath Ledger. I wasn’t even an avid fan of all his films, but for some reason, I can’t let this Heath Ledger thing go.