After much hype and heightened expectations, I went to go see the Dark Knight last night. Let me first say that this was an awesome, awesome, spectacular movie. But saying that it was awesome isn't enough, so I'm going to give MY reasons for loving this movie.
1. (and probably the most important, at least to me) It was filmed in Chicago.
I've never felt swells of pride as bright as I felt yesterday seeing all those scenes I see every day. I realized just how much of my majestic city I take for granted. Of course, the movie turned into a Know Your City trivia game complete with repeated nudgings and "that's THAT building!" and "there's the river, I've walked there!" and "oh my God, Navy Pier!". And of course, I had to suppress my squeals when I saw the part that they'd filmed right down the street from my job (hint: I'm talking about the beginning with the bank scene). I literally almost jumped out of my seat when I saw that. I see tourists all the time and it never truly occurred to me that my city, my hometown, the place I live and work is actually a beautiful place that people come from all over the world to see until now.
Sorry for my shameless city spiel lol. Back to the movie.
2. Heath Ledger.
Oh. My. God. This man was amazing in this movie. He was absolutely, delightfully crazy in a strange, philosophical way. And no, my idea of his acting skill has nothing to do with his recent and sad passing. My opinion rests solely on his performance in that movie, and it was just exceptional. The hype surrounding his role in this movie did him no justice. None.
3. Action without too much blood.
I hate blood, gore, guts and torture, so I was happy to see that I only cringed a few times during the whole movie. The special effects were...big! At some points they were too much, and I left the movie with a big headache that got worse before it got better (ugh). There were one or two scenes that were so action packed you didn't know what you were looking at anymore. At least, I didn't know what I was looking at. Maybe I'm just slow :P
4. Phenomenal casting.
I know I already mentioned Heath Ledger, but some credit MUST be given to the rest of the cast: Christian Bale as, of course, Batman, Aaron Eckhard as Harvey Dent, Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes, Gary Oldman as the lieutenant James Gordon, Michael Caine as a very adept butler named Alfred, and Morgan Freeman as a CEO named Lucius. Because I haven't seen the rest of the Batman movies, I can only credit this cast on their obvious onscreen chemistry but I can't compare any of their performances to previous movies. As such, I'll just say that I thought each actor/actress played their roles extremely well and gave depth to the characters.
I have to stop here and admit that there are some outside (one inside) influences that affected my idea of the movie, so I should mention those here:
1. I missed the ending. Can you believe that? 5 minutes away from the end, where was I? Standing outside the theater, calling family members who thought I'd rolled over in a ditch somewhere (gotta love the protective family). By the time I made it back into the movie, the credits were rolling and people were leaving. Grrr.
2. The movie was too long. I almost fell asleep twice. After a long day of working with two hyperactive kids, I do not need to be in a 2 and a half hour movie. I can barely sit through a regular length movie so 3/4s through I was shifting anxiously in my seat and getting restless.
3. What about the hype? Amardo told me that maybe I didn't want to say the movie was good because I didn't want to get caught up in the hype. Which could be true, because I hate hopping on hype bandwagons. Was it really worth the hype? Yes and no. It's definitely worth some hype because it was a better than good movie. But I wouldn't go around saying it's the best, either. Why? Because...
4. I'm not a fan of superhero movies. Plain as that. I like psychological thrillers like Saw, mobster movies like Scarface, and movies that challenge some societal issue like Crash. Out of the superhero movies I've seen, it's the best as far as acting and action go. But I couldn't bring myself to say it's the absolute best movie I've ever seen because, well, it's not.
Do I recommend seeing it?? ABSOLUTELY. It's worth the cost of the ticket. Don't bring the whole family though. Some stupid woman brought her little babies, and one girl was just screaming and laughing and talking and some guy behind us said "Control your offspring!" which of course was just hilarious. I wouldn't take my 10 and 7 year old cousin to see it either because I don't know how well they would take the maniacal and freakishly creepy nature of the Joker. But all you mature adults and teenagers out there, go see the movie. You'll be glad you did.