I know I am not going to endear myself to all the movie lovers out there with this one, but. But....MB and I finally saw "Dark Knight" and we were not, to put it mildly, impressed. We mostly thought it was too long and too violent. As MB said, that's 2 and a half hours of our lives we're never going to get back. It was hard not to think that for the price of "Dark Knight" one could make 8 or so independent films that aren't perfect, but still leave you with something. Something!
What did I not like about it? So many things. Too much pointless violence. I know, I know, "cartoon" violence, but the Joker didn't feel cartoony, he felt much too cynical and real, with his knives and crazy makeup.
The film didn't have a coherent narrative arc, it had about 3 sub-narratives, none of which were central and therefore none of which were satisfying.
The fight scenes? I have to agree with the Davids (Edelstein and Denby) that they were so confusing. I couldn't figure out what was going on half the time. And mostly I didn't care. I did like the one stunt with the semi that flipped over.
I know that Heath Ledger will probably get an Oscar, because he should have received one for "Brokeback," but I didn't find his performance that great. It was probably the best thing in the movie, but that's not saying much. I mostly kept thinking about the dark places he had to go to in order to play that kind of role, and how that led to his taking drugs in order to sleep and that led to his death. Pretty sad.
I forgot that I had taken a vow not to see any more violent movies, and now I will enforce that promise. Luckily, MB has taken it too.
Mostly, I'm sad that superhero movies are no longer for kids. All the superhero movies I've seen lately are not really pitched to kids ("Iron Man," "Hancock") in the way "Superman" was when we were kids. I know optimism and a belief in justice aren't really popular these days, but what's wrong with letting kids believe in Superman? That he could reverse time in order to save Lois Lane? It's cheesy, I know. It's beyond cheesy. But I, for one, am sad that we live in such a post-post modern era that the only superheroes we have are not suitable for children. Is it really so hard to make a movie in which the violence consists of a few punches to the jaw instead of a man with half a burned face threatening a child with a gun? I mean really.
Mostly I'm just bummed that the movie seemed so pointless. At the end, I was just glad it was over. And I was really, really tired.
(for the record, MB wants it noted that he also disliked the movie. Greatly.)