The Dark Knight - friday 2008-07-18 2219 last modified 2008-07-18 2220
Categories: Road, Film
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They try hard to avoid simple answers in The Dark Knight, the latest in the Batman series, thankfully brought back to life after the proof of X-Men and Spider-Man that comic books can work on the big screen when done with proper gravity. They don't quite succeed - there's an appropriate but pat summation at the end - but I came away more than satisfied. One day someone will do a take on the comic book world that swings too far into seriousness and lands in melodrama and camp, but that's not today, and Christopher Nolan scores another hit. I'll keep watching that guy's movies.

The story and, achingly, Heath Ledger paint The Joker with great nuance, avoiding simple explanations for the origins of such a creature as seen so often in flashes, like Magneto in the first minutes of the first X-Men, to the Jack Nicholson Joker who fell in a vat because of the Bat. Origin myths are even lampooned as The Joker offers different accounts, all plausible, about his appearance. In the end, there is nothing about this villain that can be tidied up neatly, other than that he strives to enable a world where things aren't ever neat. That's a complex thing to do in a film where audiences are searching for and frequently receiving neat answers to abhorrent behavior, for a nice wrap up to an impossible situation. There is none of that here. But you'll still leave satisfied.

It's impressive. It's worth seeing in the theater.

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