The Phoenix Network:
About | Advertise
Moonsigns  |  BandGuide  |  Blogs

Bumpy "Knight"

For what it’s worth, here’s my take on the greatest movie of all time . 


Already fans are declaring “The Dark Knight” the best film of all time. Well, I’m not even sure it was the best film released last week. True, so much hype and near unanimous critical raves can set one up for disappointment. But when I saw the film I was shocked by its murkiness, incoherence and downright tedium. I was a fan of Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins,” but for a film featuring a character called the Joker, this sequel was utterly humorless and self-important.

It starts out with a decent bank heist, but when the fake Batmen show up, and the pack of dogs and the perplexing cameo by Cilian Murphy’s the Scarecrow from the previous movie, I was not only confused but I didn’t care and I thought Christian Bale as Batman looked like he felt the same way. Then the back story about the mob laundering money and some guy from Hong Kong offering them a deal and Bruce Wayne’s company offering that guy a deal -- it was about as riveting as the trade tariff scenario in “Star Wars -- Episode II: Attack of the Clones.”

So much for Batman. It’s the late Heath Ledger’s The Joker that is the real draw. Showy and whimsical (that’s a funny magic trick with the pencil) it injects the film with much-needed vitality, chaos and comedy. After two and a half hours, however, Ledger’s reptilian lip-licking and skewed, sibilant line readings seem a little mannered. Certainly the basic plot pattern of the Joker taking hostages, offering Batman impossible alternatives, and cackling mirthlessly when everything blows up gets a little repetitious. It might not be an allegory for the War on Terror, but it sure tries to be as depressing.

Ledger was a great actor and if he gets an Oscar it will be the one he deserved for "Brokeback Mountain." But I can’t help being nostalgic for Jack Nicholson’s Joker in Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman.” He was funny and scary with great lines like, “This town needs an enema!” This movie needs one, too.

  • Conrad Veidt said:

    Good...Let the Hate Flow through you!!!!!! Famous lines from Emperor Palpatine (Return of the Jedi)  Look dude it may not be the best movie ever but it is certainly the best movie of the week for me or maybe for the summer or possibly the year.  Look my all time favorite movies will be the classics like Casablanca, The Godfather, Lawrence of Arabia and even Dazed and Confused (HA!)  But I will say this I have never been this excited in going to the movies my entire life right until The Dark Knight came out.  I gotta give you props man you got cohones..good luck cause you are gonna need those with all the hate mail that you will get!!!

    July 24, 2008 3:09
  • Jennifer said:

    In my opinion-

    Maybe it didn't feel coherent to you - but it was coherent to thousands of film-goers (worldwide)

    as far as I know.

    It's definitely one of the best films of the year.

    Yes, Heath Ledger did deserve the Oscar

    for Brokeback Mountain. (The film deserved best picture as well - but that is another argument)

    He deserves it for this performance as well - he is brilliant. This is a portrayal of an iconic villian that will be remembered for years to come.


    July 24, 2008 5:53

Leave a Comment

Login | Not a member yet? Click here to Join

Peter Keough tosses away all pretenses of objectivity, good taste and sanity and writes what he damn well pleases under the guise of a film blog.

Thursday, November 20, 2008  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2008 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group