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The Dark Knight is a bit crap

November 16, 2008

Last night the girlfriend and I finally watched The Dark Knight. What a load of cack. Really. I’m increasingly unforgiving of bad films, particularly ones that run to two and a half hours and have a budget equivalent to the Zimbabwean economy.

In the spirit of Heat Magazine, I shall state what’s good about it and what’s bad about it.

The good:
The batmobile looked quite good.
Heath Ledger is ok as the joker.
Gary Oldman is quite good in it.

The bad:
The story is just crap. I’ve got no objections to big, dumb action films, but they should actually be dumb, with a simple storyline and easily identifiable characters. Whereas The Dark Knight is a needlessly complicated farrago with a million different scenes and plot twists. And is quite boring. Why does Two-Face even have to be in the film? Isn’t the Joker villain enough? Why does Gordon fake his own death? Why does Batman feel the need to take the blame for Two-Face’s murders when frankly, no-one is going to notice them in the first place? In order to accomodate the lengthy plot and extensive dramatis personae, characters are thinly defined and suddenly behave in irrational ways. At many points during the film I found myself shrugging with confusion and indifference at sudden plot twists. In particular the fact that lovely Harvey Dent gets half his face blown off and on a whim decides to become a villain and terrorise loads of people who clearly carry no blame for his condition. I can appreciate that he was probably upset and angry, but it just looked weird and crap, like a Blue Peter Presenter suddenly taking Gordon Brown hostage.

Batman: A thinly defined character at best, Christian Bale alternates between a wooden Bruce Wayne and a Batman whose voice is ridiculously gravelly, like Tom Waits smoking 60 Woodbines a day.

The whole film seemed really mean-spirited. The casual violence and sadism made me slightly uncomfortable. I know the whole film was supposed to address the fact that we live in increasingly irrational and violent times, but it just seemed like an excuse to dream up unpleasant ways for people to die. It was particularly rubbish because the whole film is very dark and cruel, but the finale is a crudely assembled cry of “Look, actually people aren’t that bad. We’ve all got to stick together” that looks like it was stapled onto the end as an afterthought.

I also disliked the fairly pretentious attempt to address the “War on Terror”. The Joker is the archetypal Jihadi terrorist, distinguished from old-school crooks because he doesn’t want money but an ideological shift. And Batman is the ponderous President unsure of how to handle this new threat without lowering himself to the level of a terrorist. The film also tries to address the morality of surveillance, torture and imprisonment, but in such a superficial, glib way that it’s excrutiating. Very poor.

Finally, a few words about Heath Ledger. People wanted him nominated for an Oscar for the role. Which is a bit like the people who watch X-factor and vote for the middle-aged bellower simply because his wife died – it’s a sympathy vote too far. Not that Heath Ledger is bad; his is the best performance of the film, but that’s a bit like saying that Bruce Willis is the best actor in Die Hard IV – it doesn’t mean he deserves a bloody Oscar.

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20 comments

  1. Hey,
    I liked the film, one of the best I’ve ever seen. In some points I agree with you (violence, sadism). But people want to see this!
    To Heath: It’s a mania everybody says “oh he’s the joker give him an Oscar” of course he played his role good! But so goog to become an Oscar? I don’t know?
    Best example for the mania the poll on
    http://pollunity.com
    79% say he should become the Oscar!


  2. hey everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. what did your girlfriend think about the film?


  3. She also thought it was crap.


  4. But is it still the best superhero film you’ve ever seen?


  5. I sorta feel the need to defend the film somewhat I can’t disagree with you on it being boring, or complicated, or overblown, ’cause they’re opinions and we’d just get nowhere debating these things.

    The film wouldn’t work as well without Harvey Dent, he’s the emotional core of the film. It’s his downfall that’s one of the centrepieces of the film. Two-Face needed to be in the film ’cause that’s the end of Harvey Dent’s story. Harvey ends where Two-Face begins. It’d be like having an entire origin film about Clark Kent and not making him Superman. The Joker is just there destroying things, he doesn’t offer an emotional connection to the audience.

    I think Batman makes the point that if people find out that Dent/Two-Face murdered those people then the city would lose hope and fall back into corruption and crime. He takes the blame so the people of Gotham have a moral compass and a champion in the memory of Harvey Dent. Oh, and Two-Face kills the people who he blames for the kidnapping of Dent and Rachel; the corrupt cops, crime bosses, and Gordon who let corrupt cops in (despite Dent warning him that they couldn’t be trusted). But he doesn’t believe in justice anymore, just chance (it was chance that Batman got to him before the cops got to Rachel), hence the flipping the coin to decide their fate. He sees chance as true justice.

    I think with Batman it’s a development from the first film so you’re missing a part of his character development there. And the voice I was okay with, but I know most people aren’t.

    I think what the film does best is raises issues of War on Terror etc. but gives enough to think about that it can’t be said for certain if it’s definite in its leanings. There’s stuff to argue both ways. Take your example; Joker is a Jihadi terrorist. I would argue that Jihadi terrorists wish to replace western style government and culture with their own Islamic style. Do you agree? The Joker just wants to tear these things down entirely, not impose another system of order. Thus he’s different to a Muslim terrorist and the film is less about the War on Terror. Also Batman is President? I dunno. Again I can see where you think that but I feel that once again there’s more in the film than that. Batman says he’s not the good guy, he’s not the hero. He’s not there to do what is right or acceptable but what needs to be done. This distances himself greatly from what a President should be; limited by the law, a leader of a country, elected, a representative of the will of the masses. None of these things Batman is.

    On Ledger getting an Oscar, maybe he will, maybe he won’t. The Oscars aren’t really worth much as a mark of standard anyway (How many great, hard hitting films have you seen lose you feelgood films). If I hadn’t been told it was Heath Ledger before I saw the film I don’t think I would’ve been able to tell. I’d say that deserves a nomination at least, but that’s just me.


  6. That’s a lot longer than I thought it would be, sorry.


  7. Dude, I’m with you. Lameareeno. Which seems like it’s blasphemy to say or something.


  8. You’re just so stupid, you have no clear points about the film, all you say is crap, bla bla bla, I’ve nothing else to do, bla bla, get a life bitch, hijo de puta.


  9. Thank God somebody understands what I have been feeling this entire time. That the movie was a pile of stinkin Crap! I’m soo sick of sitting in class or wherever and hearing about how great of a film Dark Knight was; and how Heath Ledger deserves a bloody Oscar. All this is, is hype. And my ears are about to bleed because I’m still hearing about it.

    Thank God someone understands the movie exactly as it was. Shit on a stick. It was boring. I was ready to leave after an hour and it still kept going. I yawned through most of it. And it was just soo twisted and convulted with all the content they put in. Batman was just pathetic, with his gruff voice and his inability to catch the Joker everytime. And the Joker was just a pathetic exucuse to keep the plot going and going. I really am exhausted of this terrible movie and wish people wouldn’t be soo stupid and would give it up already. It was a Bad movie. Need I say more

    P.S. Just give Heath Ledger the Oscar already!!!


  10. Just want to thank the writer of this review, you’re exactly dead on with how I felt about it. My opinion is that The Dark Knight, like a lot of films recently, had fantastic and flawless visual effects but an absolutely shit narrative. 2Face’s appearance in the film was pointless, he is a brilliant character and to give him 10 minutes of real film time was a travesty and insulting to me as a viewer. It would have been far more clever for him to leave hospital and dissapear for a reappearance in the next film or even the fourth, not kill him off so easily.

    This opinion runs throughtout recent action films for me, Transformers was exactly the same, who the hell thought it would be good to neglect Megatron throughout the film and then bring him back for a 15 minute rampage at the end? He is far too important for this, as is 2Face in TDK.

    Rant over :D


  11. I think your analysis of The Dark Knight is spot on. Your like, reading my mind man. But yeah, the movie is insanely blown out of proportion. It’s a three star film at a very generous stretch. To the people that still ramble on about this as being the best action movie ever, get real.


  12. lets see its got the most boring story ever, a hero you dont give a crap about(hes a millionaire with no social life so he puts on a cape and a voice and runs across rooftops,you dont even care who wins or loses
    i guess i’l wait till spiderman 4

    ohh and ledger does not deserve an oscar he wasnt bad but people are only giving it 2 him because he died

    your anaylasis is spot on most overhyped piece of rubbish this year


  13. lkdf;saj Fuck all.
    You are all shit, pure shit.
    That movie is epic.
    Fuck off.
    Im so sick of people hating things out of nowhere just for attention because heaps of people like it, go cut your wrists somewhere else.
    Great movie, as for Spiderman 4, are you serious?! Did you not SEE spiderman 3? Spiderman 3 was beyond garbage.
    Batman is way better then Spiderman, Spiderman is an emo little bitch..to the core…


  14. YOU FUCKING CUNT, HI HATER, THIS IS THE SINGLE GREATEST FILM OF ALL TIME,TELL ME ONE FILM THAT GROSSED AS MUCH AS IT DID WITH THE RATING IT GOT YOUR CLEARLY AN IDIOT WITH NOTHING INTERESTING TO WRITE ABOUT SO YOU THOURGHT YOU WOULD DO THIS FOR SOME CONTRAVERSY, DEATH TO YOUR FIRST BORN


    • You complete and utter freak – and for the record you can’t base how great a film is because of how much it grossed. The only reason this film made so much is because there was so much hype, heath ledger died and they made some cool adverts for it. “Death to your first born?” get a life you absolute mongoloid.


  15. Alex you need to chill the fuck out, as if you’d wish death to babies because someone insulted a movie, you disgusting excuse for a human being – go get a life you moron.

    This film was shit.

    Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

    Now THAT is the best film of all time. Deal with it.


  16. Alright guys. I agree with everything you said. some of the plot twists made no sense whatsoever, and Batman should quit smoking or he will end up like Darth Vader. HOWEVER there were some AWESOME parts to this movie. The Scarecrow made a cameo, love the Scarecrow. Rachel Daws died and lets face it, she is a self-imposing bitch who can’t look past her own ideals who is supposed to be a conscience to Bruce but comes off as a stuck up idealist who believes that if your not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. I stood up and cheered in the theater when she blew up.
    Heath Ledger actually made me like the Joker. Never liked him before because I thought he was too cartoon like to be taken seriously. I think he deserves an Oscar because he made the Joker INFINITELY cooler and now in my top 10 list where as before he rated on my top 5 least favourite. It takes a lot to change my mind.
    Oh yeah. Two Face sucked. He just flew off the handle but thats alright. That part I get. He gave everything for the city to end up a monster. However… he was nothing like Two Face in the actual story line. Batman didn’t need to take the wrap for all of Two Faces crimes. NO ONE WOULD EVER KNOW HE DID IT!!! He could have just blamed it on the Joker or something. Who are the police going to believe? The Batman or a psycho who has killed more cops than he has teeth???


  17. The film was better than Spy Kids 3, but not as good as The Land Before Time. Deal with it, you h8ers.
    There’s no point in even giving the ozcar to Leger, hes dead and has no more use for a bauable.


  18. People who say “its the best film I’ve seen” etc, obviously haven’t watched many films. I believe that Nolan made TDK so he could finance Inception


  19. Ah this is music to my ears! a fantastic and SPOT ON review of this ridiculously awful hyped up hollywood shite!! I’ve had countless arguments with my friends because they all worship this film, I plan to sit down and watch it again so I can write a review similar to this on my blog, so I can voice all my opinions about this crap and back them up nicely. Beautiful review nice one!



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