As I write this post some fortunate viewers on the East Coast are already watching the midnight showings of The Dark Knight. I’ll be getting a good night’s sleep and catch it tomorrow.
I watched the HBO 15 minute Dark Knight special the other night and all I can say is I’m ready.
Heath Ledger – The Definitive Movie?
Heath’s unfortunate story cannot be overlooked today. A talented young man, hitting his stride, making what may be a defining role. Unfortunately it’s a story told too many times for Hollywood actors and actresses. But is the Batman mythology strong enough to showcase his talent?
If the HBO special, the rumors on the web, and early reviews are any indication, the chances are good.
Batman, taken seriously, is one of the most complex characters to ever take to the four-color press. His origins are brutal, especially for the 1930’s comic book scene. Parents gunned down, he explodes into the comic world as a symbol of darkness and actually carries a gun and shoots villains. Not quite standard fare for the 1930’s and 1940’s tight wearing hero.
Hitting the big screen in Batman and then Batman Returns, we see the first serious blockbuster Hollywood take on this dark hero. Several years ago I read an interview with Batman’s creator, Bob Kane, and he thought that the second movie in the series, Batman Returns, was closest to his vision. I can only imagine what he would say today.
Batman Begins put the character back on track with what I would argue is one of the best comic book character movies of all time. As far as character development and moral lessons, they were not all complex, many were spelled right out – not too subtle, but of course what comic book is.
In the Dark Knight I see some blunt hits to the moral compass, but there are also some very subtle messages that are pertinent. If you look carefully and think about it they will stare you right in the face…
Full review coming soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, go out, enjoy a big screen movie and celebrate a man’s career cut short.