Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Dark Knight (2008) - Heath Ledger

Watched this yesterday and I'm still thinking about it - or Heath, more likely - just can't forget him!

Plot Summary - Action-packed thriller in which wealthy businessman Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) turns into Gotham City's main vigilante, his identity kept secret by bat suit as he battles criminals, speeds around in specialty vehicles (I don't recall seeing a Batmobile in this, but dug his lightning fast "Batpod" motorcycle he rides on), and drops off buildings as he morphs into his flying bat suit. Batman is out to get demented psychopath/serial killer "the Joker" (Heath Ledger) who covers his scarred face, mouth slit into a smile like the main character of the silent "The Man Who Laughs", with clown makeup, coming across as the most hideous clown ever seen on film. The Joker is out to get "the Batman", as he relates to TV cameras that "Batman must take off his mask and turn himself in, or people will die". Each day the Joker reveals another target who will be the next days killing, as Batman's identity continues to remain hidden. Evil Joker seems to have a fondness for knives and explosives, with lots of dark stuff to come. Other characters help in the pursuit including a D.A. (Aaron Eckhart) and his girlfriend (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who form a sort of love triangle with Bruce Wayne.

Review - Well, I have never seen a Batman film before (other than the Batman TV series which I used to watch sometimes when I was a kid) as I haven't normally seen many action films based around comic books, but because I love Heath Ledger *SO much* I have been looking forward to seeing this. When the film first started I was thinking, I don't know about this - it doesn't seem very good. But once it got going I really started enjoying it - Heath as the Joker is just so mesmerizing, even though he's only seen in segments here and there throughout the film, his presence always seems to be there - he completely dominates the film, a real force to be reckoned with! I found the film very exciting, it's quite dark and a bit frightening too - the last hour is pretty much edge of your seat sort of stuff, my blood's still rushing since I just finished watching this about fifteen minutes ago. The film is very fast-paced, the special effects are pretty stunning, the set design sometimes gives you a sort of claustrophobic feeling with all the huge, low-ceilinged rooms going all the way across the screen. There are many night scenes amidst city streets and tall skyscrapers - all those falls and drops off of buildings makes my palms sweat - nerve-wracking stuff! The well done orchestral score enhanced the atmosphere, adding to the dark overtone of the film. I thought this was one of Heath's best roles - he's just great, absolutely riveting. I would love to see him nominated for an Oscar for this (after seeing him again I feel a bit sad too, I am feeling a bit teary-eyed again over his loss - I miss him!). A thriller should be exciting and leave you "all shook up", so - mission accomplished. This film is really good. Rating - 10/10 stars

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