Thursday, 14 August 2008
The Dark Knight
We saw the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight, last night, and it still seems to be filling the cinemas. It is an extraordinarily dark film, with a vision of Gotham that is in the grip of gangsterism and the evil Joker (played with sinister aplomb by the late Heath Ledger). Christian Bale is the millionaire Wayne who doubles up as Batman, with an entourage including Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. The convoluted plot involves a Chinese accountant absconding with all the city's mob money; a DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) determined to clean things up with the help of a flawed Lieutenant Gordon (Gary Oldman); and the wonderful Maggie Gyllenhal as Rachel Dawes, who divides her love between Wayne and Harvey. There are some shocking scenes of violence, which have prompted campaigns for it to be upgraded from 12A to 15 (it is PG13 in the US), though it is of a comic book quality. But while the special effects were magnificent and the acting is superior, the whole enterprise feels overlong and ultimately unsatisfactory; inevitably there is no happy ending, but one doesn't feel one cares greatly about any of the characters after 150 unrelenting minutes.