Well, in short, I really enjoyed it and enjoyed it more than Batman Begins.
Arriving at the Imax was interesting. We were due to collect tickets and there was a queue in front of us and the guy at the ticket desk, with surprising patience just kept reiterating: “No there are no tickets left for today. No, nothing for the next three weeks except midnight showings. Sorry.” with occasionally interspersed, “No madam, we’re not showing anything else, we only have one screen.” Now, I could here this spiel from way back in the queue, so surely the people in front of us could too? Or they could read it from the screens? Or the signs that said “Sold out”? Wierd. It’s as if people just didn’t want to believe it was true. There was even one couple who exclaimed “But we’ve come all the way into London for this!” as if this would somehow sway the man.
When we got to the lobby, we were thrilled to see some people had dressed up, which was cool. There was a real buzz going around.
It turns out I was wrong. I’d read that certain scenes had been shot with Imax cameras and assumed that meant 3d. This was incorrect, it was all 2d, but the actions scenes were shot with cameras that did justice to the absolutely massive screen of the Imax. It was huge! Very immersive experience. Shooting this way and seeing action blockbusters in the Imax is totally the future. Especially as at £12 a ticket, the people there really, really want to see it, so aren’t likely to mess about!
Now to the movie itself. I’ll break it down by not completely logical sub-segments and in no particular order:
Jim Gordon: I’m buying the character more, he’s real. Though it’s been a mere year since he was an LT? And now commish? That was a bit fast.
Lucius Fox: I like him, but I’m still not buying him as CEO of the most powerful company in the world. Though I did like “Let me get this straight: You think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world, is secretly a vigilante who beats criminals to a pulp with his bare hands. And your plan is to blackmail this person? Good luck. ”
Rachel Dawes: Should have been played by Maggie in the first movie too, shame she’s gone, but she really had to die.
Gadgets: Way too much.
Detective work: Glad to see it there, but in terms of overall narative, when did Wayne become a forensics expert? Night school?
Batman: “I have a really gruff voice and I’m at the mercy of gadgets and other people’s actions!”
Wayne: I’m glad there was more Bruce this time around and it worked well.
Dent: Very, very good performance, though we thought they really pushed the whiter than white bit way too far, over-labouring the point. Also, didn’t like the scarred face prosthetics too much. Other than that, really liked the descent, particularly Penny who didn’t know Dent=Twoface. Question: Dead or alive?
Joker: Yes. Totally yes. Not only did I by the performance, I particularly liked the fact that at the beginning he’s a genius psychopath and by the end comes across sometimes shockingly sane and entirely spontaneous. I loved the character and I hope not just because the actor died. Such a shame he won’t be around for sequels.
Scarecrow: Brief, pointless and a phoned in performance from Murphy.
Sonar: Really? Every phone is sonar? Woo, a city full of bat phones. But then destroys it? Eh? Come on!
Ending: Good, glad they made him the Dark Knight instead of Hero in Black. Reminds me of a line in Shaft “I heard you quit the force!” “Do you think that makes me less dangerous, or more dangerous?”
Overall, a massively great film with some flaws, but toally worth seeing. In terms of heart vs head, I felt more drawn through the rollercoaster of Wanted than DK, but DK hangs together narratively much better and is less adolescent power fantasy. I would almost go as far as saying that overall DK has left the confines of the comic book movie, gone beyond it and used broader narrative traditions.