I like Batman. As evidenced by the fact that I saw The Dark Knight at the midnight release in Athens, and then again Saturday when I went to visit my sister in Atlanta.
I grew up watching Batman: The Animated Series.
I used to have the Wayne Manor play-set.
I wish I still did.
So when I found out Heath Ledger was going to be playing the Joker, I was nervous, but gave him the benefit of the doubt - mostly because of how much enjoyed Batman Begins. Honestly, I've been waiting for this movie since the Joker card was flipped over at the end of BB.
And he/it did not disappoint.
But that's not what I want to talk about.
The Dark Knight is one of those rare movies that has the witty dialogue and the traditional dramatic speeches that make comic book/graphic novel movies hard to swallow sometimes, but sill finds a way to make it work. Really well.
But that's not what I want to talk about, either.
The Dark Knight is not for kids. Or for people who are easily disturbed. While trying not to give too much away, this movie is dark, creepy, and - well, disturbing. It dives into the mind of a depraved, psychotic criminal. It's not a fun around, especially since, like all Batman villains, the Joker is based, in part, on something inside of everybody. It's what you don't see or hear - what you have to fill in for yourself - that really gets to you.
But at the same time, this film is masterful in exploring the mind of the hero as well. Again, while trying not ruin the movie for those who have yet to see it, The Dark Knight is also about people who do the right thing, the price they pay, the guilt they feel, and the temptation to give in to the baser instincts. What happens when chaos is introduced into the system? Can society cope? Can an individual? At the end of the movie, you find yourself filled with both hope and despair.*
*ThinkChristian offers their review here; but be warned, it contains a few spoilers - not enough to completely ruin the movie, but those wishing to experience the full effect should stay away until after seeing it.