for his birthday, smockdaddy and i got in line behind about twenty people last friday night -- only twenty people because we'd purchased our tickets two days prior to its opening -- about an hour before showtime -- by the way, there were between 120 and 150 people (the poor shmos who'd purchased tickets in person) in the two adjacent lines -- because this mania over dark knight-hype had us worried (and rightly so) about being able to get seats together.
as much as i desperately wanted to blast the hype surrounding heath ledger's performance as the joker, because as we all know, hollywood simply adores coddling its victims posthumously, with a heavy sigh i admit that i cannot. mr. ledger is perhaps only one wrinkle away from genius. if that. the only other actor that i can think of who could possibly pull off sexy and psychotic as well as this would be sir anthony hopkins. enough said.
don't get me wrong, i love me some christian bale, who is faithful to the original greatness he brought to christopher nolan's first batman flick, batman begins. and the adorable maggie gyllenhaal brings a touch of class and umph that we rarely see on film these days, and who is sooo much more beautimous a rachel dawes than little katie holmes could ever dare to be. oh! and gary oldman is still fab as commissioner gordon. but make no mistake. heath ledger carries this movie. carries it and steals it and runs away with it with every ounce of his being. all with incredible restraint. hence the genius. and, if i'm accused of jumping on the ledger bandwaggon, hand me one of those fuzzy pom-pom laden bandgeek hats and a drum and i'll bang it all the way to the oscars for him.
but, am i totally ga-ga over the movie as a whole? no, can't say that i am. the entire two-face plotline could have been cut -- save for seeing mr. ledger in a nurse's uniform which was aboslutely beautiful madness. okay, okay he is the white knight to batman's dark knight, but i would have loved to see more of the joker. and, while i originally thought that poor mr. ledger was dead in real life before they could explore his joker further, i found out that christopher nolan and his co-writers decided not to explore the origins of the joker in order to portray the character as "absolute." hmmm. well, if you say so.
bottom line: it's a great summer flick, worth every penny of a full-price admission ticket.