The Darkest Knight

Oh. Hell. Yeah.
I went and saw a 9:00 a.m. showing Saturday morning, not because of any fanboy “gotta be first” mindset about it but because it happened to be available, I’m an early riser, and, well, D isn’t. And since she had no interest, it was a nice happenstance.
First off, I must be honest. I went in slightly jaded. There’s been this huge incessant buzz, “Oh, Ledger should get an Oscar for this!”, and I was reading this with a sense of “WTF, it’s fucking Joker, man? That’s not Oscar material….”
Oh, how wrong I was.
Ledger’s Joker makes Nicholson look like a fucking chump, and that’s saying a lot for what was probably one of the best “villain” performances in the whole heap of Batman flicks out there. Nicholson’s Joker exemplified “crazy”, but Ledger’s Joker actually went the next step past that to “insane”.
I don’t want to say too much, for fear of spoiling it for people, except to say …

  • Joker’s “magic trick” near the beginning of the movie? Awesome. Totally makes you get a feel, right away, for how much darker this Joker is going to be than any previous iteration of Batman’s ultimate nemesis.
  • Aaron Eckhart does a great job making you believe in Harvey Dent. He carries the character in such a way that you could feel in your gut the pain of knowing the fall that Dent was destined to take by the end of the movie.
  • At 2h30m, it had the potential (as I was walking in) to be “too long”. I thought to myself, “they edited it long to put as much Ledger material in there as they could, the bastards! They couldn’t find the heart to edit out ‘bad’ material”…. again, oh how wrong I was. It was over before I realized it, and there was very little that I looked at and wondered “why did that survive the editing process?”
    Overall, this is, hands-down, the best Batman flick of the franchise, and quite possibly one of the best comic translations ever. (It’s a toss-up between this and Iron Man for me right now, I see reasons both of them could lay claim to the title).
    Go see this. Now. Wherever you are whatever you’re doing. Call in sick, leave early, play hookie, whatever it takes. You won’t be sorry. Unless you get fired. Then maybe you will, but don’t blame that on me.