18 July 2008

Batman Continues

And Robin, always remember to wear your safety belt!

Sorry, but I grew up during the Adam West era of live-action Batman, so the goofy safety tips will always seem appropriate... particularly when observing the Lamborghini scene in The Dark Knight. I took both remoras along today. We all thought it was good, but not nearly as good as the critics gushing over it. I can see why some critics have compared the film to The Godfather, but then I'm in that (apparently minuscule) minority who consider The Godfather a vastly overrated mess.

All of the Homeland Security hints aside, the biggest problem with The Dark Knight is that — with the exception of Alfred (Michael Caine) — the returning characters from Batman Begins seemed substantially less certain of their own senses of humor, and certainly of their own intellects. That began to wear very thin indeed about an hour and a half in (I think even gushing fanboys/girls will spot that moment). Admittedly, Maggie Gyllenhaal was a tremendous upgrade over Katie Holmes, both in character and in wardrobe, the latter of which was much more appropriate to an ADA's salary than in Batman Begins. And admittedly, Heath Ledger turned in a snarlingly vicious performance as The Joker — just as rug-chewing as Jack Nicholson's was, if in a slightly different manner. Ultimately, though, the character lines just did not remain consistent. And that's the screenwriters' fault, not the actors'. Combine that with a semiidiot plot... and this film did not succeed to the degree asserted by many critics, who would probably have noticed more of the flaws had Ledger been alive to participate in the marketing.

So, I didn't feel ripped off by the matinee cost, even with two remoras. But it's not a film I'm going to purchase on DVD, let alone suffer through again in a theater. Even if there was a 45-second-long projection error that they did not back up and fill in.