Within my circle of peers and just about anyone I have spoken with, as far as I can tell I am the only one who seems to be critical of the summer blockbuster. I do not think that it is by any means a horrible film, simply that aside from Heath Ledger’s performance, it is not worthy of the acclaim it received. I have been a fan of Christopher Nolan from his start with ‘Following’ but I honestly feel that he sold out with ‘The Dark Knight’. To begin, Nolan’s films have always been characterized by their superb dialogue, which I think he abandoned in TDK in favor of more action. In my opinion, the lack of action in ‘Batman Begins’ is what makes it such a great film. In doing so, Nolan was able to expand the dialogue in such a way that the audience was truly able to get a grip on Bruce Wayne’s personality and see him as a person rather than a superhero. In a time where shallow, commercial superhero films dominate the box-office, ‘Begins’ rose above and delivered as a film worthy of the ticket price. Additionally, I do not feel that Nolan allowed Christian Bale to act enough, primarily because of the amount of time that was devoted to action. Bale was behind the mask fighting so much that his opportunities to showcase his acting ability, which I believe to be excellent, were extremely few. This, in a sense, detracted from and lowered the human element that Nolan worked so hard to establish in ‘Begins.’
Although there were other things, these were the two that primarily bothered me about the film. Let me know what you guys think.
Definitely overrated, DK on IMDB is not good for cinema, may be because it got more popular votes than auteurs votes.
IMDB’s list misses so many great movies and is far from perfect.
But anyway entertainment wise it is a fun movie to watch and Heath Ledger was commendable.
I kind of wish I never saw The Dark Knight so I wouldn’t have an opinion on these things. It’s so great to be all, “I don’t know, I didn’t see any of the Lord of the Rings movies,” or “The Matrix series did not seem like something that would appeal to me.” People are always, “WHAT?!? You didn’t see those?” and after you repeat, “No.” you get to stop talking about it. It’s great.
Anyway, yes, The Dark Knight is overrated. Every blockbuster ever is probably overrated.
Who wants to see their superhero as a normal person? I enjoyed the film very much. But actually, I do see your point, and I had not thought about this before your post. I agree that Christian Bale is a fine actor and we saw way too little of it in TDK. As far as Christopher Nolan selling out, well, It’s still a pretty gosh darned entertaining movie. Overrated? How could it not be with all the hype.
While on some level one could make the argument that, for instance Iron Man, is a better movie, and The Dark Knight plot/story wise doesn’t necessarily hold up as a great movie. It often gets bogged down in the dialogue as characters say exactly what they feel or explicitly spell out the themes of the film. In a number of ways it stands out. First, because, it is a summer blockbuster that at the same time is definitely the work of an auteur. Christopher Nolan really brings a distinctive voice to the superhero movie, that, outside of maybe The Hulk (which really doesn’t work), hasn’t been seen before in the context. Also it has an all encompassing operatic sense to it that, while not as good as say “The Godfather part II” or “The Empire Strikes Back”, is an epic urban tragedy. What’s odd though is that it often seems like it would be a better movie without Batman (although I have no idea how that would work). Ultimately what I think is so powerful about it, despite its many flaws, is that the misé-en-scene speaks to our times like no other mainstream movie in recent memory. The audience connects most powerfully with that sense of the world crumbling around them. In that nearly universal shared experience this summer everyone came together and experienced a collective catharsis through the film. So will it mean nearly as much in twenty years as something like “Wall-E” certainly will? probably not. It was though, undoubtedly, the defining movie of the year.
Also, it goes without saying, that Heath Ledger’s Joker was amazing. Not only did he totally disappear into the character, but he was somehow able to make himself more than a character, but a physical embodiment of chaos, a force of nature rather than a person.
I agree that it was overrated for non-cinematic reasons. It is a decent movie, and Heath Ledger did well in it, as some people have compared his character to something Gary Oldman might have done a few years back. But it got hyped beyond all recognition when Ledger died. The Twilight Zone lost three actors, and it wasn’t considered the best film of the year, so I’m wondering what is so great about The Dark Knight. It tries to say something about covering up messes for the greater good, and does something each new superhero movie’s been doing for the last decade, which is to have the people of the city be the real exemplerary heroes. It’s not very original, as it can be compared to how the Penguin attempted to make batman the villain in Batman Returns. Is it because it takes itself so seriously? Critics tend to not like that, but maybe it’s hard for Americans to bash something that’s so tightly bundled in it’s own bank. Because it’s a popular comic book? It’s become the Godfather of today, god help us, and like Truffaut said about The Godfather, it’s basically overshadowing everything that’s possibly a better film.
Apparently you’re not the only one, Brett. I’m wondering if I may be the only one who believes that it deserves the acclaim it received. Within the superhero genre, The Dark Knight stands out for its moral complexity, its reflection of our disturbed world and its depiction of The Joker as “agent of chaos” rather than buffoonish Cesar Romero/ Jack Nicholson versions. Regarding Bruce Wayne’s personality, TDK shows him slipping into the moral/ legal ambiguity of the myth he has decided to embody. In this, The Joker is his mirror (“you complete me!”) and shadow. We have passed the point of regarding Bruce Wayne as he was and now must confront what he is and what he is becoming. Nolan brilliantly employed action set-pieces that added to character development and explored the moral/ legal grey zone to great effect. So I don’t think that the human element was missing. It was simply explored in a myth about myth & mask, obsession & psychosis. Where Batman Begins showed the emergence of a superhero, TDK showed the world of complexity that emerges when one becomes immersed in a personal myth. In doing so, it offered much more food for contemplation than BB. The plot involves several layers of sacrifice, both personal and social, while considering the value and cost of such sacrifice.
Yes. I honestly don’t see how it is any different or better than the other movies in the Batman franchise.
Yes, it is slightly above average, but not memorable, classic, or award worthy. I think it is due to the dearth of even decent Hollywood films that has persisted for the last 5 years.
On weekends, for quite a while, I’ve noted that I’ve been compromising with friends about what to see at the theater, based on our collective agreement of which film is likely to suck the least, instead of which will probably be great.
I’m so happy that a “typical Hollywood blockbuster”, that should be a simple cgi-orgy of explosions – challenging the explosion per minute ratio of Spiderman 3 or Transformers – actually turned out to be a thoughtful AND entertaining film. The exploration of order vs chaos and good vs evil transcends the usual “Batman is a vigilante” theme. If Ingmar Bergman explores these themes, we applaud him, but if Chris Nolan squeezes this in between outstanding action sequences, then he has blurred the line between “film” and “movies”, which spurs this backlash from both sides.
The arrogance of this movie to be way better than it should be, that is what justifies all the praise. May every Hollywood project aspire to be this good.
f I had a time machine, it would be mandatory that i made a journey to the past and never saw the film that night that i go to the cinema. There were some parts so ridiculous like when a film tells you that “Everything you saw tonight, was a dream”, for example, the moment when Gary Oldman is not dead, the part when all passengers from both boats survive) and the Joker as a big shotm it doesn’t impress me. At all.
But, who knows. Maybe it’s just because it’s too damn long for a superhero movie. Seriously.
“Yes. I honestly don’t see how it is any different or better than the other movies in the Batman franchise.”
Seriously? Dark Knight was at least watchable when compared to Batman & Robin or Batman Forever. After seeing Nolan’s take on the franchise, it made me even question Burton’s involvement with the character.
Also, how many times is this topic going to come up? This is the third time i’ve seen a new post about Dark Knight being overrated.
I’m not so sure it’s completely overrated so much as it’s just a good summer flick and nothing more. It’s about 25 minutes too long. Most of the dialogue is just horrendous. Heath Ledger is almost too good. In the sense that the rest of the actors and the film as a whole just can’t keep up. The opening bank robbery really bothered me with all the cartoonish dialogue (would have much more powerful without any dialogue at all) and the Jokers ridiculous escape. Also, why does everyone at some point start SCREAMING THIER DIALOGUE REALLY LOUD AND ANGRILY. Halfway through I couldn’t help but think why didn’t they just hire Michael Mann to make a vigilante film about terrorism.
this thread needs to be locked up for many reasons, me naming a few:
this is like the one hundredth thread of this thread
also the Dark Knight wasn’t overrated. We all know that its not going to win Best Picture or anything like that….so people need to calm down.
And again like i’ve said in this forum many times before that people are not making themselves look any smarter or cooler by saying critically acclaimed and highly successful movies suck
MOVIES ARE MEANT TO ENTERTAIN AND IF THE DARK KNIGHT DID NOT ENTERTAIN YOU IN THE SLIGHTEST BIT…I THINK YOU ARE BRAINDEAD
also, TONY STARK’s argument is the one that should shut all those TDK nay-sayers down
THE DARK KNIGHT is the greatest achievement in the history of human endeavor. Brain surgery, heart transplants, jazz, Shakespeare, all PALE in comparison with the greatness of this incomparable masterwork. THE DARK KNIGHT cures cancer. It restores eyesight to the blind. To not understand this simple basic fact is to be one of the damned. Report to your local train station for relocation to DARK KNIGHT APPRECIATION CAMPS for indoctrination into the rank and file of DARK KNIGHT FANS.
Don’t be late.
Tom – fucking awesome.
:) My day was just made. Another 1up for Tom.
Strangely, I don’t. Of course, I’m in a circle of friends at school who hate the film so that may be part of it. I very much understand what everyone means, though.
Clever, but notice I didn’t say that TDK was the greatest film ever made. Hence I don’t understand why it would cure cancer, or restore eyesight to the blind. In your second to last sentence you compare it to Internment Camps??? I’m sorry but you are too much of a psuedo-intellectual/ indie/ “i don’t like this movie because everyone else likes it” then you need to go home put your favorite portishead record on and contemplate the latest Chuck Klosterman dissertation on contemporary society.
No I don’t think it’s overrated, and if you know anything about how films are made you wouldn’t be making that statement.
I suppose because it became so popular, that it was inevitable a backlash would follow.
The craft, story, and care that went into making that movie trascends mere genre to become something else: art.
From the use of the IMAX format to Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the joker, what’s not to like? there’s something for everyone in that movie.
Know what’s an overrated movie? Juno. Little Miss Sunshine, or any one of those disguised indies that follow the pattern of “little movie that could”.
Behold your opinion, it’s in the minority but TDK is a pretty good film.
Why don’t you just say that you don’t give a shit about these characters, or seeing how well they can be portrayed on screen, and move on?
There was no joy in the film. And frankly, when I go to see a movie about a guy in a bat costume fighting crime (however dark the filmmakers want it to be) I expect there to be a little joy-in-the-making and love of the premise. THE DARK KNIGHT was long, miserable, pretentious and, in the theatre I viewed it in, VERY loud. I really prefer Tim Burton’s BATMAN—great American filmmaking.
No one seems to be remarking on the fact that Aaron Eckhart STOLE THE SHOW in TDK. Batman Begins was Bruce Wayne’s movie, and after Heath Ledger died Nolan made TDK Harvey Dent’s movie. The Batman character was already completely realized in Batman Begins so they didn’t need to let Bale act. All he had to do was be Batman. The reason it didn’t impress anybody is because he had already impressed everybody in the last one. If Heath Ledger hadn’t have died the movie would have been completely Joker-centric and it probably wouldn’t have been so “acclaimed”. The movie made money because people wanted to sit around and mourn Ledger. Eckhart stepped up to the plate and did some serious acting. I have NEVER seen the Two-Face character be treated as well as it was in TDK, and I’ve read a lot of comics. After Tommy Lee Jones butchered it back in 97, I’m surprised they even attempted it. Aaron Eckhart alone made TDK great, memorable and entertaining. Everything a movie should be.
actually, eckhart looked like he was enjoying himself. he was good. fair point. but still…
Thanks for crying on the forum, Number 6.
I thought IRON MAN brought a degree of style, sensitivity and restraint to the genre in a way that made DARK KNIGHT look all the more pathetic.
Anyone notice that IRON MAN may in fact be the first superhero movie in at least ten years that had a color palette beyond slab gray and sludge brown? Okay, SPIDERMAN featured some very dated CGI greens and reds…
As the only person who saw ZATHURA, I can vouch that Jon Favreau is perhaps the only contemporary director capable of making mainstream blockbusters for grown-ups.
As for performances, Robert Downey Jr. and Jeff Bridges effortlessly ran rings around Christian Bale and (heresy!) Heath Ledger. And, by comparison, Maggie Gyllenhal’s (or however the hell you spell it) pie faced, moonie moonie performance made Gwyneth Paltrow look like Katherine Hepburn.
I’d start an IRON MAN thread, but I don’t actually care all that much.
I’m sorry Michael Vincent Dow but seriously, that post just discredited you from this forum for life.
Also Kevin Saylers, you are freaking ridiculous. Grow the fuck up dude, and if you have anything worthwhile to say, say it, but if you don’t, then don’t. Sucking cock on the forums of a website can only mean one thing in your true life.
Not overrated. Granted, I like the Iron Man vibe of lightness and fun (and a great performance by Downey Jr.), but I also like what the Dark Knight did in making it more dark and serious. (The joy is in seeing it done well) It’s an accurate reflection of where comics have been, especially within the last 20yrs or so…having both styles out there are what’s needed, otherwise you’ll have idiots trying to make SHAZAM! into a movie. Oh wait….
Also, one word: Unbreakable