Movie #197 The Dark Knight
This is Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece. Actually, this is one of Hollywood’s masterpiece. A winner in all regards masculine, I also wholeheartedly believe that this film can be considered almost on par with Coppola’s The Godfather. I don’t say that because I see too many similarities between the two (even though thematically, we can see the obvious one of duty over loved ones/personal happiness), but I say that because The Dark Knight did for our generation what The Godfather did to the late 70’s/early 80’s: set a standard for the crime film. Knight is so broad, so operatic, and sweeping in its coverage of crime in Gotham City. Batman himself is not a superhero, but merely a man dressed in a cape. His fear and desires are what drive this film. The Joker, one of celluloid’s MVP’s of all time, does represent a villain – but rather a colossal force in the mindset of the American people. Though my thoughts are all over the place here, what Nolan has done was take all our fears and put them in the real life scenario of: What if someone was willing to save us? What are the consequences to that? Would we suffer because of it? Heath Ledger and Christian Bale both turn in incredible performances, though its often the former that gets the attention here, and deservedly so. His portrayal of The Joker is so haunting, witty, and chill-inducingly original that you can’t help but feel terrible that the life of such a promising actor ended so suddenly. The Dark Knight pays homage to many classic films like Heat (with an extended opening heist sequence) and even some early Scorcese gangster pics, but Nolan crafts something unique here: the most American crime film made in the last decade.