The Dark Knight ★★★★½

Going into this re-watch The Dark Knight was my number one film of all time. It has lost its number one spot, and it's 5 star rating to Inception for the time being. I still love it and think it's one of the best films ever made, but it's certainly not perfect like 5 stars would imply.

Now let me explain. If I rate a film 5 stars that doesn't mean I necessarily think it's perfect. I honestly don't think any film is. A 5 star rating for me means I love it, and feel it's as close to perfect as you can get. A 4 1/2 from me means I still love and think it's great, but I find it a bit too flawed to say it's as close to perfect as you can get. Now to elaborate further on this particular film. As a comic book film/blockbuster I still feel it's a 5 star film. It's the best comic book film ever made in my opinion, and the way a blockbuster should be done. It has all the elements I look for and want in a blockbuster. Hell it's even damn good as a crime drama in my opinion. As an overall film though I think it's flawed enough to dock it a half star.

Now I'll discuss the flaws I found bothersome enough to knock it from its top spot. The biggest one is a flaw found in many films especially those of the blockbuster variety. It's a little something called movie time. In movie time things happen much too quickly to be plausible. It's an inherent issue to this type of film though, and one that in the whole scheme of things doesn't bother me all that much. Some examples would be how quickly Batman/Bruce Wayne moves around the city, and how The Joker is able to create so much chaos and do so many things in such a short amount of time. In the case of the latter logic makes you ask the questions, we're would he get the resources and how would he accomplish his tasks so easily? Those are legitimate issues that are a direct result of movie time, and are simply inherent to this type of film. If the filmmakers took the time to fully explain those details we'd have a 4 hour film, and that simply can't happen if you're making a film this grand in scale. The other major issue I had, and I know others have pointed out involves Harvey Dent and the hospital. As much as I love the film I can't make sense of how he wasn't the first person evacuated. The easy answer is he refused, but considering his position logic says they would have gotten him out of there. Even still I only saw that as a minor annoyance, and very minor considering how great everything else is. Those are the only issues I had and the reason it loses the half star. Next I'll talk about why I love this film.

Right from the start I was hooked. The bank robbery sequence was awesome, and it introduced The Joker beautifully. I knew from that moment he was going to rule this movie and steal every scene he appeared in. Overwhelmingly positive responses to the character and a posthumous Oscar for Heath Ledger prove my point on that topic. A great villain can vastly improve the quality of a film, and Ledger's masterful performance does just that. You can find a lot of solid performances in cinema, but it's rare when a performance is so good the actor or actress becomes that character. Ledger pulls it off, and joins names like Daniel Day Lewis, (There Will Be Blood) Charlize Theron, (Monster) Javier Bardem, (No Country For Old Men) and Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade) in truly becoming the character they were playing. Ledger cemented himself as one of the most iconic villains in cinematic history with to this role. It's ashame he wouldn't live to enjoy it. R.I.P. Heath Ledger. The rest of the cast was phenomenal as well. Everyone fit their role well from Bale as Batman to Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/Two Face. Even Maggie Gyllenhaal was a welcome replacement for the abysmal Katie Holmes as Rachel. Make no mistake about it though this is The Joker's film.

The story despite the few flaws I mentioned at the beginning of this review is fantastic. It's complete chaos caused by the The Joker's antics which leads to the great conflict that this and many all time greats have. The CGI/special effects are top notch, and made the film feel like it was on steroids compared to Batman Begins. Everything is a step up and cranked to the max. It was breathtaking on the big screen, but I will admit it loses just a little of that on the small screen. If you have a great setup I doubt it'll be an issue. It continued the dark tone established in Batman Begins to an amazingly positive reaction. It's one of the few films I've seen at the cinema were people clapped and cheered at the end. It's an epic film in every way, and Hans Zimmer's wonderful score pounds that home brilliantly.

So overall what we have is a film I think is a masterpiece in its genre and damn close overall. It achieves both of the things I require at least one of for me to like it. It's interesting and boy is it entertaining. I'm lucky to get one of those with most films, this one gives me an overdose of both and I love it for that. It may have lost its place on top, but it will always be in the title picture as far as I'm concerned.

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