The Dark Knight was awesome, but you knew that already. Some thoughts (spoiler alert):
- The filmmakers mined the best Batman books for the treatments and the events during the movie. Just like Batman Begins
(which borrowed very liberally from Frank Miller's Batman: Year One
and Jeph Loeb's Batman: The Long Halloween
), this one was inspired by Allan Moore's The Killing Joke
(for Joker's pathos) and the Harvey Dent sub-story from The Long Halloween. News program debates about the Batman was reminiscent of the similar arguments in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns
- Loved the focus on Harvey Dent, who had always been Batman's conscience in the mythos (prior to becoming Two-Face). Come to think of it, in the Batman universe, the most well-told origin stories have been those of Batman, Two-Face, and Catwoman. Allan Moore tried telling Joker's origin in The Killing Joke
, but it wasn't particularly memorable, because a lot of things happened in that story that provided starker imagery.
- The movie was a little too long. Two-Face, for example, showed up in the last act, and a resolution had to be pigeonholed over the remaining screen time. Why not just save it for the next movie?
- Everyone knew that Maggie Gylenhaal is a much better actress than Katie Holmes, but by God, the difference was so stark. You actually care about Rachel Dawes in this movie.
- Everyone's praising Heath Ledger's performance, but I thought it was just alright. I dunno, I think the creepiness came with the film's treatment of the character.
- I wonder what's next for the franchise. The easiest villain to write into the movies would be Catwoman, as the presence of Selena Kyle would make perfect sense after Rachel Dawes' death. What I'd really like to see though, would be Robin. Robin's origin hasn't really been told all that well, not even in the comics; there hasn't been much of an explanation why Batman would allow a teenager to join him in potentially fatal activities. There have been, however, interesting treatments of the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson* and Batman and Robin**.
* - In the Amazing Adventure of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon wrote:
It was obvious that Batman was not intended, consciously or unconsciously, to play Robin's corrupter; he was meant to stand in for his father, and by extension for the absent, indifferent, vanishing fathers of comic book-reading boys of America
** - In The Dark Knight Returns
, Frank Miller's Batman got in trouble during combat before being bailed out by the new Robin, which led him into a train of thought about Grayson. Dick, he thought, was always his little monkey wrench. Robin was a natural, human extension of the Batman's array of weapons.
Labels: comic books, movies