Thursday, July 17, 2008
Sequels. You either love them or hate them. Director Christopher Nolan said recently in an interview that there are very, very few good sequels that are made. He named The Godfather II and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back as the two good ones he had in mind. After watching the Dark Knight, I think he can now put this sequel to Batman Begins on top of his list of very good sequels.
I attended the Star World VIP Access exclusive preview screening of The Dark Knight last evening at Lido. The Dark Knight tells the story of Batman a few years after the events in Batman Begins. Gotham City's evil goons are slowly being wiped out by Batman, this time with the help of Lieutenant James Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, who is the dude that is dating Bruce Wayne's (aka Batman) childhood sweetheart Rachel Dawes. Oh yes, there's a love triangle in this film which unfortunately leads to a tragic end for two of them. Since this is a no spoiler review -hey, the film will only be officially out in Singapore today - I will not reveal who. Ha! But it's obvious isn't it?
Anyway, the film opens with a bank robbery scene and we get the first glimpse of the Joker who later on would demand that Batman reveal his true identity to the world or else more and more people in Gotham City will die. Batman together with Lt Gordon and Harvey Dent teamed up to try to stop Joker's campaign of destruction.
There are several things worth noting in The Dark Knight. The Scarecrow whom we last saw in Batman Begins, also appears in this sequel, albeit just a short while. Rachel Dawes who is one of the few people who knows Batman's secret is played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Katie Holmes played the same character in Batman Begins. There's also a new Batsuit designed to give Batman more "ummmph" and we also get to see the Batpod which is Batman's "escape pod" when his Batmobile was destroyed in the later part of the movie. Ooops. Did I give that away?
The Dark Knight is a great movie. It is better than Batman Begins and it has to be the best Batman movie ever made. Much of this has got to do with Chris Nolan who directs and also pens the script. He really has created a movie that will make all the Batman fanboys very happy and the casual movie goer captivated with his intense storyline and action scenes. But I think the true gems of The Dark Knight are its stars, Heath Ledger, Christian Bale and Aaron Eckhart who plays the Joker, Batman and Harvey (Two Face) Dent respectively.
Much publicity has been given to Heath Legder, no thanks to the fact he died recently because of a drug overdose. I admit that I was never a fan of Heath Ledger but he is very impressive in his role as the Joker - by far the best portrayal of the maniacal Batman archenemy I have ever seen. Should he be given an Oscar for this? I don't know. Maybe a nomination looks pretty sure but knowing the Academy's distaste for this kinda films, I doubt they will give him an Oscar. But to say that he steals the show in The Dark Knight is not quite right.
I thought Christian Bale and Aaron Eckhart both gave equally strong performances. Hey this is a Batman film after all, and no one plays the role of Batman better than Bale. But back to Heath Ledger. It's a real pity that he is no longer around because I would definitely like to watch more of his Joker in future Batman films. You know after I watched The Dark Knight and I came out of the cinema, I was thinking wouldn't it be better if Christoper Nolan kill off the Joker in the film? Because after seeing Heath Ledger's Joker I cannot see anyone else playing the role in future Batman sequels, that is in itself a testimony to the outstanding work put in by Heath Ledger. And I'm very sure even he will agree to it.
(Thanks Chen Weiyun/Star World)
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Posted by I.Z. Reloaded at 2:05 PM
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