I saw the latest installment in the Batman franchise, The Dark Knight, on Friday. My only concern going into the movie was that it might be overhyped. No worries. I sat stunned and motionless for 2 1/2 hours. This is by far the best movie experience I've had in - well, forever. As the ending credits rolled, I looked over at my buddy J 1-Time and said, "Holy ____!" I'll let you can fill in the blank...
We all knew from Batman Begins that the casting department knows what they're doing. Christian Bale was a great Batman/Bruce Wayne, Michael Caine was a great Alfred and Gary Oldman was a great Gordon. The world wasn't prepared for The Joker.
Sure Heath Ledger's performance got a lot of attention due to his unfortunate overdose and resulting death, but was the attention, the hype, the buzz all justified? ABSOLUTELY! Don't get me wrong. I love Jack Nicholson as much as the next fella. His portrayal of The Joker in Tim Burton's Batman was superb. However, it was exactly what you would expect when someone says, "... and now, ladies and gentlemen, in the role of The Joker - Jack Nicholson!" Heath Ledger took a classic villian and made it his own. From now on, when people think of The Joker, they won't think of Cesar Romero or Jack Nicholson, they'll think of Heath Ledger.
In my opinion, Heath Ledger reached a Johnny Depp level of acting with this role. Depp will always be remembered as Captain Jack Sparrow. Ledger will always be remembered as The Joker. He was so good that if I didn't know who was playing the role of The Joker, I couldn't have guessed it. The voice, the demonic laugh, the attitude, the swagger, the evil, the humor... all unmatched.
I know this is sounding like a Heath Ledger love-fest and for that, I apologize. I just can't get over how great he was in that role!
The movie itself was fantastic. It wasn't at all comic book-ish (not that there's anything at all wrong with that). It was a crime drama with classic comic book characters in the starring roles. Imagine Heat with Batman and The Joker in the Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino roles. I know that's a really lousy comparison, but work with me, OK?
Two thumbs way way way up for me. I will most definitely see this movie again. And again. And again. And...