This is Joshua Wehner's archaic Blog

"Dark Knight" sucked

The American media got all hyperventilated when "The Dark Knight" came out there back in July, but there was comparatively less enthusiasm when it was finally released in the Netherlands around September or so. Still, when I saw it was scheduled to go out "for rent" on iTunes over the holidays, I made myself an appointment with the couch. Anyway, I'm about six months behind the curve, writing this now, but there'll be spoilers here.

So, I finally got to see this and… good gawd it was awful.

Okay, maybe that's slightly overstating it, but certainly "overrated" or "overhyped" and "incoherent mess" would be fairly accurate.

I had "suspension of disbelief" issues throughout the entire movie. A DA punches a witness on the stand, in court, and everybody loves 'em? In what universe? Plus, does this mob give out diversity awards?

Everyone has time in spades in this movie. The Joker plants bombs all over the city. I'm willing to believe that he's good, but some of his "tricks" require psychic powers. And Bruce Wayne does everything we see in the movie, plus develops the software and hardware for a city-wide sonar system? (We saw his ninja training in the previous movie, but when did he learn to write code?) And a password-activated self-destruct sequence?

Visually, the movie was a muddled disappointment. The three-party car chase scene, for example, was a boring mess. (Plus, good riddance to that bat-mobile rubbish — if they made me sit through one more scene of Batman putting his seat and tray-table down…) The "truck chase" in Terminator 3 was one of the few good things in that movie — likewise with Matrix Reloaded — but this movie seemed to replace tension with confusion.

Okay, okay… Heath Ledger was good. Really, really, really good. When he was on screen, I was generally having a good time. But, um, only like 90% of the time. Even then, most of the time, what he was doing, plot-wise, was crap.

Like, why do the mob guys have a literal, physical, giant pile of money? Hell, why does the bank they're robbing have piles of money in a literal vault, anyway? (Is there a bank, anywhere in North America that still has piles of money in a literal vault these days? I don't mean "credit crisis" these days, I mean 'digital transfer' these days. What bank, let alone mob, still does this?)

Are we really supposed to believe that someone who kills his entire crew during/after one job is a force to be reckoned with in the criminal underworld? a) He'd need to be constantly out working to recruit new help. b) He'd be gradually killing off all the best "muscle" in the criminal underworld (or the worst, then there goes the reputation…) c) How do you recruit new guys onto a team where all the other guys died? Doesn't that, like, tarinsh your reputation a little?

Ultimately, I failed to find a protagonist — "viewpoint character", whatever — to identify with in this movie. Are we supposed to trust Batman/Bruce Wayne, when he's not on screen for half the movie? How did the Joker get those scars? (And does lying about it make him more or less interesting?)

Who do we believe when Dent and Gordon squabble about the trust-worthiness of various police officers? Later, as we follow Harvey Dent on his descent into vengeance, sorry, but who cares? We didn't see the officers driving the hostages around, so is this really supposed to resonate as a betrayal of trust? Had the movie introduced us to some of the officers as characters, maybe we'd at least have some emotional stake in their deaths, or something.

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