This had to be one of the worst superhero movies I've ever seen. Where was the camp? Where was the fun? I saw Batman Returns
and Batman Forever
this week. THAT's how you do a Batman movie. I don't want some depressing police drama. Best Batman movie ever? Please. Gimme a break! What a piece of crap. It was boring and depressing. I want my money back. What did you people see in this movie?
I am of course joking.
I'm a bit biased right now and can't say that this was one of the best superhero movies ever made, but it's certainly up there among the best and I could
see it in the position of "best superhero movie". It's my favorite Batman movie to date. I think I'll declare it "Best Batman Movie Ever". How's that? It was absolutely wonderful to see a Batman movie done well and that takes it's source material seriously. Before seeing this movie, I figured it would be a good drama that just happens to take place in Gotham City as opposed to just another superhero movie and I came out of the movie with thinking... I was right, and it delievered. In fact, it exceded my expectations in many ways.
Here are my thoughts and observations in point form...
- I noticed that they toned down the stylized gothic look from Batman Begins
. Actually, it looked like they got rid of it completely and played everything straight and down-to-earth.
- Great all-star cast, and they did it all without making this look "star-studded" which is what the Burton/Shumaker movies were.
- Heath Ledger was indeed fantastic as the Joker, although I'm a bit reluctant to credit him for the character. The Joker is a wild, weird kind of guy and I think that that's
what most people are responding to and not so much Ledger. I'm sure a lot of actors could have done an equally fantastic job in the role.
- I can't say enough about the Joker. Well, I can actually since I rarely have a lot to say to begin with. Anyway... It was nice to see how well the character worked. He wasn't a cartoonish bad guy. He was a genuine psychopath who was the embodiement of how crazy the criminal element could get. I think I liked the moments when he was trying to be taken seriously at the beginning more than I did his other antics. Showed what kind of pain must be underneath the schtick.
- I was happy to see a lack of microwave devices or other similar gimmicks.
- The costume was effective enough and I did like how realistic and utilitarian it was. I even liked the scene when Bruce was preparing his move on that building in Hong Kong. However, a lot of the time, it all looked a bit too armor-and-helmet-ish.
- It was fascinating to see a Batman movie without Wayne Manor or the batcave.
- It was equally nice to see Batman go to Hong Kong. That was a nice touch.
- The Two-Face look was absolutely incredible. It expected the usual "burn victim" prosthetics that almost never look good, but got to see something better... Something gruesome that looked true to the comic book images with the mouth and the eye. Great CGI work there.
- The way that guy decided not to out Bruce as Batman was a bit weak, but it wasn't totally bad either. I'm willing to let it go.
- I liked how they didn't play up the "people are fundamentally bad and selfish" bit with the bombs on the ferries. People can come through like they did on those boats, or they can fall apart like Harvey did.
- Loved the ending. Do I need to say why?
- I think that the Joker's story was wrapped up nicely enough that he won't be needed in the next movie. For me, that also puts to rest any speculation about who could or should replace him.
- The mix of Batman with real-world drama was so well done that this movie actually raised
my confidence that characters like Robin or Batgirl could be done and done well if they had to be included.
- Speaking of Batgirl, or should I say Barbara Gordon, I don't think that Comissioner Gordon's daughter who we got a glimpse of is necessarily her. One continuity has Barbara Gordon as his niece turned adopted daughter.
- In closing, there was a moment during the movie where I said to myself... "This is HORRIBLE!" No, the movie wasn't horrible. I was just reacting to Rachel getting blown up and a distressed Harvey getting his face burned. I cant remember the last time I had a strong reaction whaile watching a superhero movie that wasn't a "whoa cool!" adrenaline rush. Maybe during the hospital scene in Superman Returns
, but that's about it. That's another testament to how well made this movie was.
Oh yeah, one more thing. I spent months being upset that Rachel Dawes was recast because I REALLY hate that sort of thing. It was supposed to ruin the movie. I even vowed to take off a grade because of it. Well, I eventually simmered down and now I'm here forgetting to mention it. I still don't like it, but I'm letting it sit on the back burner and giving the movie an 'excellent'.
I can't wait for the next installment.