Yeah, this is all about the Batman. Or should I call him ‘The Dark Knight’? You be the judge. As with all my film reviews, I’ll try to fit this into three words:
Could they have packed any more into that? It was fab, I enjoyed it, but my first thought was that perhaps they could have kept some of it for the next one. But looking back, I don't think they could. We needed the Joker to set up the whole Two Face thread, but we also needed to know how and why. If any of it had been cut, I doubt we could have got the same from it. At least this way we have a stab at understanding why the Joker did what he did.
Speaking of which, I believe that the Joker was inventing Two Face to do things he couldn't because he didn't have the background. He knew that by turning the white knight into an ee-vil supervillain, he could fuck the city up in so many ways, whether he was still there or not. A legacy, then. And talking of legacies, I find it very odd that the Scarecrow himself turned up at the beginning to attempt to do some good. Or did he?
A goodly amount of screen time went on developing the two villains here. And while the new Two Face was villainous and will be back shortly, the big surprise to me was that the late great Heath Ledger was as good as I'd heard. For once we got a proper scary villain and not some Travis Bickle wannabe. I loved his Joker right from his "I can make a pencil disappear" trick. How ace was that? And how well played was the rest of it?
Bruce Wayne got few good scenes, and I'm unimpressed by the lack of kit-shedding moments. However, Batman went postal a few times, and I love a good rumble, so that made up for it a little. He did get an Unshed Man-Tears moment when he knew Rachael was dead and he was kicking himself for that very same fact. (Again: Joker wins, Batman got pwned). And can I mention that I noticed a tiny weeny continuity error when Bruce were ont balcony, sipping champagne? Cos actually, he’d just chucked his entire glass-full over the balcony, so when Harvey appeared to interrupt their little chat, he should have had an empty glass. Except he didn’t - he sipped summat that looked really very champagne-like. Hmm. Anyway, dunt really matter, cos the moment was more important. Just goes to prove that same-sex groups are all fine and dandy, but when you introduce an opposite sex bit of eye-candy, everything gets fucked up.
No, not Justin Hawkins and his band of merry men, but full-on dreary ‘Bladerunner’ type murkiness - in both emotive backdrops and characters. Now I love a bit of shitty-existence future stuff (like ‘Dark City’, etc.) mostly cos I believe the world is heading that way already. So no, I didn’t find it too depressing or bleak - that’s what it’s like, get over it. I thought it was refreshing instead of the usual Hollywood pick-me-up flicks and happy, sunshine saccharine endings. Lovely.
All in all it’s a grand affair that deserves to be seen a few times before any comment is made. The mere fact that here in Hong Kong, it took a few days of concerted effort to even get into the bloody theatre to see it should tell you that it’s about as popular as Kylie’s arse-cheeks. And so it is - well, more so cos Christian Bale got his shirt off a little (which, for me, is much more preferable that Kylie getting her arse out, but I’m just sexually biased like that, sorry), Heath Ledger went full-on proper ee-vil baddie, and Lucious Fox (A.K.A. Morgan Freeman) put a would-be blackmailer in his place without losing his place int newspaper. Class.
On another note, what were proper freaky were sitting int Palace IFC (the cinema in the IFC building, Central, in Hong Kong) and watching Batman leap off the very same building. Just freaks you out. I noticed a few heads int cinema actually crane up to look at the ceiling. I felt like bellowing ‘yeah love, cos he’s still really there!’ across the theatre. But I restrained myself. And another thought, praps only relevant to a Hong Kong audience - Mr Lau, the lying bastard that he is, might have hidden in Hong Kong cos he thought he were safe from the Batman and ‘not even China would extradite one of their own to the US’, but he weren’t even from Hong Kong! The dirty lying mainlander spoke Mandarin the whole time! The guards int building, being the faithful, low-paid Hongkers that they were, of course went on in Cantonese. But Mr Lau? Pththththththt! Even complained about the lack of proper security in Mandarin. No wonder his instant service from the security lads were lacking!
Anyway, I bloody loved it and had a whale of a time watching it. Except Christopher Nolen owes me two long fingernails, after I bit ‘em off in tensiony type moments. And that shallot. I have stuff to do. Believe it or not, I have a life…
Batman ~ Christian Bale ~ the Joker ~ Heath Ledger ~ Hong Kong ~ Christopher Nolan ~ Morgan Freeman