The Dark Knight



Christopher Nolan and Maggie Gyllenhaal just aren’t enough of an indie connection to cover this on Worldfilm, so I’ll just say this here: godawful. Two hours and twenty minutes, a gazillion dollars, a sterling cast, and an eight story IMAX screen weren’t enough for this movie to tickle a single thrill out of me. Instead, endless turgid tripe about vigilante morals, heaps of vicious violence, Gotham City politics that play a little bit like The Wire, only stupid, and muddled action sequences that are — and I say this without hyperbole — duller than the scenes in which Bruce Wayne is having dinner.

What else? Christian Bale doesn’t go anywhere near Rescue Dawn levels of intensity, poor Maggie is wasted, Aaron Eckhart pays for his sins in Thank You for Smoking with a nasty case of Visible Man, Morgan Freeman turns into a FISA-protected wiretapper, and Michael Caine will always be Michael Caine. Heath Ledger’s Joker, a sadistic freak with curious facial ticks, is the most compelling person on screen, but tragedy or not, he can’t beat Jack Nicholson dancing in the pale moonlight to a Prince track.

Tim Burton knew how to have fun with Batman rather than turning it into plodding, puffed-up kitsch mistaking itself for profound psycho noir that the source material won’t support. As Hellboy 2 amply illustrates, there’s nothing wrong with fun — but there’s none to be had here. Previously: Batman Begins.

Prince, Jack, Keaton, Burton:



The Dark Knight. Christopher Nolan, 2008. *

125 Comments

  1. What a pretentious and utterly horrid little man you are.

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  2. Are you seriously a proffesional critic????

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  3. Just curious. Do you reside in New York? Seriously, though, you are certainly entitled to your opinions, whether millions disagree with you or not (and they do). What makes you a giant prick, though, is that you’ve given away a major plot point without any regard for someone who’d like to give this movie a chance. I’d like you to take a walk into oncoming traffic.

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  4. Wow. You are an incredible idiot. You clearly have no understanding of what Batman is. Go watch and idolize spiderman like all of the other little snot-nosed kids out there. I am so happy that it is only people with opinions matching yours that are giving this movie bad reviews. I knew there’d be a few Batman Forever or Tim Burton fans that would dog this movie. They are the morons and by the looks of things, they are a very small percentage of people. Why do you guys think this movie is bad because it didn’t have corny lines and unrealistic stories/characters? Nolan’s Batman is the only worth watching and remembering. Burton’s were second best.

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  5. Just becuas you hate the movie, doesn’t mean you need to give away every plot point to people who haven’t seen it yet without at least warning people that you are going to do so.

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  6. Boo!

    but don’t worry, The Caped Crusader will protect you, citizen of Gotham, whether you respect him or not.

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  7. You say that the source material won’t back up The Dark Knight, yet you praise Tim Burton’s Batman movies that were horribly inaccurate to the source material and who himself admitted to never picking up a comic book in his life.
    You sir, are an idiot.

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  8. Three paragraphs and a major character death spoiler makes this the worst movie review I have ever read in my life.

    I am amazed you have a job. Regardless of your opinion, it’s a brutal review.

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  9. Is this for real? If so it’s a Really bad review and just plain stupid.

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  10. So it wasn’t indie enough? Didn’t have enough irony? Or hats? Go live in Brooklyn.

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  11. What a horrible review. Spoiler alert? Maybe? Try researching your review before posting this. Go back and watch Tim Burton’s Batman again. It’s an awful movie. Too many people look back on it with nostalgia and try to make it something more than what it was. I hate critics who think that just because it’s a comic book it inherently supposed to be fun. This just shows your ignorance.

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  12. You mouthbreathing mountain dweller. Why would you give away a plot point like that. Go blow on an empty bottle of moonshine and have a child with your sister.

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  13. i guess any douche bag can write reviews in the age of the internet.

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  14. YES! That’s EXACTLY what this movie needed! I completely agree! A campy take on dark psychological characters and, MOST OF ALL, a Prince soundtrack! Why should a Batman movie be a psycho noir tale when Batman’s character is, uhh, a detective who finds psychos and criminals… hrmm. I think this reviewer’s been sucking on too many Bat nipples to understand this film’s intentions because the source material is pretty much what this film seems to cover. Batman, even in the comics, is rarely “fun” these days. It’s serious. It’s a superhero comic. but it’s serious. I guess the reviewer would rather see idiocy in his movies.

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  15. Thanks for the spoiler….ass.

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  16. Dear Jürgen Fauth,

    Uniike many of the rabid fanboys that have attacked you, I don’t care that you hated this movie. Your opinion is your own, but for God’s sake, why’d you have to go and post a huge spoiler like that in your review? Thanks for ruining the movie for me, you jackass.

    Love,

    Phil Latio

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  17. I am seriously pissed that you posted spoilers in your “review”. I have to say this might be the single worst review I have ever read. Poorly structured and executed. If you are getting paid to write this review, your boss seriously needs to be considering firing you.

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  18. If the only opinion you have is based on old movies from this franchise, and the only reason you dislike it is because it’s not just like the ones in the past, you should probably just watch the old ones and let the true Batman fans love this retooling.

    Already seen it and it’s brilliant. BTW, thanks for the spoiler for everyone else, asshole.

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  19. Thanks, asshole. Way to give a way a crucial plot point and ruin the movie for the people who haven’t seen it (like me). Seriously, I want this bozo fired. How can you be a professional critic and blatantly put spoilers in your review without warning. I seriously hope you contract a wicked case of herpes, you douche.

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  20. fag

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  21. Spoiler-warning, for the love of Christ.

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  22. wow. you are a douche bag.

    nice way to splatter your website with spoilers.

    fine. you are one of the assholes who loves to trash the movie every other critic worth his salt likes.

    But, to throw a bunch of spoilers out there and call it a review?

    Pathetic.

    My 5 year old niece is a better film critic than you are, chief.

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  23. Thanks for the spoilers, jerk.

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  24. Wow, you’re cool. You gave a bad review to a movie that everyone loves. Ya happy now?

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  25. I’ll betcha that he thinks that the bestest batman movie ever starred Burt Ward as Robin.

    Dork.

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  26. Hmm…you simply suck at life …not cause you hated the movie but cause you spoiled it! you fucking jackass.
    learn how to write a review…or simply quit, because you suck at it big time.
    WOW you liked tim burton batman with the gay ass prince music..yeah just cause of that your review dosn’t really count.
    later jackass

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  27. YOU ARE A MORON ..YOU JUST GAVE AWAY A PLOT POINT WHAT KIND OF CRITIC ARE YOU..IS THIS YOUR WAY OF SABOTAGING THE MOVIE BECAUSE YOU DINT LIKE IT?VERY UNPROFESSIONAL YOU SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOW TO REVIEW MOVIES AGAIN

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  28. I saw the first hellboy and it was the worst movie i’ve ever seen or could imagine. Why, simply because the movie is based off of a comicbook, does it have to be ‘campy’ and have corny lines? Have you not seen batman begins where Nolan goes to great lengths to try and make it seem like the story is plausible? Oh, I bet you loved spidey-3. Hellboy? What a joke.

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  29. You really do need to go back and wipe off that spoiler, man. No big deal, you won’t be losing any of your journalistic integrity. Just change that spoiler to something else. Now.

    And just for the record, I never need to see Jack Nicholson as The Joker dancing to “Partyman” ever again.

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  30. Jeez…not likin’ the movie is one thing but…
    This pretentious twit is like one of those ADD bratty children one makes the mistake of inviting to your kid’s birthday party and because HE doesn’t like chocolate, has to spit on the birthday cake so nobody else can enjoy it either.
    What a ****head….

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  31. Nice work, albeit a bit harsh for the sake of it. In some regards, I couldn’t agree more. If Nolan really wanted to take a risk and make something gritty and frightening, he’d cut all the bombastic nonsense and delve deeper into the psychological core. That’s his strength and how came to make a name for himself some years ago with Memento and his remake of Insomnia. Instead, it’s stuck in limbo; it’s neither here nor there.

    The Wire comment couldn’t be more true, except I’d apply to the entire film. The Wire has all the aspects of The Dark Knight, it just executes them with far greater precision. It’s a thoroughly challenging series about urban decay and everything that contributes to it. Dark Knight has great ambition but not much else. I won’t fault Nolan for trying I just wish he had the guts to make something truly compelling.

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  32. Evidently some people haven’t read the comics, you thoughtless idiot.

    I don’t care if you don’t like the film, that’s your choice, it’s not the issue now. Don’t you bloody DARE spoil it for others! Giving away a major plot point, how stupid do you have to be?!

    I sound blunt here, but so did you, so I know you’ll understand me. Get another hobby, because you’re rubbish at reviewing.

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  33. “profound psycho noir that the source material won’t support.”

    Have you ever even READ a batman comic?

    Keep your head in Little Women and Suffrage texts you pansy.

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  34. That was a pretty weak retort Jurgen. Dawes was created for the movie and never really existed outside of it.

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  35. He fixed the spoiler, everybody! Sort of, anyway.

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  36. Maybe the movie doesn’t cure cancer?

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  37. Jürgen, your rebuttle just confirms that you are a stain on life and a complete retard. What has turned you into the completely bitter and pompous piece of shit that you are? Did people make fun of that fag name of yours while you were growing up?

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  38. I’ll be honest, this review seemed more personal than anything else. Like there was a steep agenda. When one considers the kind of garbage that Hollywood puts out, how could this movie — which I’ve seen incidentally — be “godawful”.

    “Two hours and twenty minutes, a gazillion dollars, a sterling cast, and an eight story IMAX screen”..
    this is why I think this review is personal. What do any of those things have to do with your criticisms of the film? Those things are incidental.

    “..weren’t enough for this movie to tickle a single thrill out of me.”
    Not even *one* thrill?? Really?? Wow.

    When talking about the action scene you preempt it by saying “and I say this without hyperbole”. Does that mean that everything else in your review consists of exaggerations? Because that’s what it sounds like. It sounds like you wanted to hate this movie and you took this opportunity as a reviewer to let everyone know how much you resent the attention this film is garnering.

    “Tim Burton knew how to have fun with Batman rather than turning it into plodding, puffed-up kitsch mistaking itself for profound psycho noir that the source material won’t support.”
    I actually think the source material — The Killing Joke, The Dark Knight Returns, The Long Halloween — absolutely support this film and reveal Burton’s version as whimsical kitsch.

    Anyway, I think this review was personal. It doesn’t even sound like a movie review.

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  39. “rather than turning it into plodding, puffed-up kitsch mistaking itself for profound psycho noir that the source material won’t support.”

    1. What made previous bat-films so terrible? They were slapstick and gimmicky which i guess is what movie critics in New York want, and i guess its why everyone hates new york based critics right now.

    2. Do you even know the “source material” if you did you obviously wouldnt have said that because batman is..wait for it…a DARRRRK STORRRYYYYYY its not some bullshit about a rich guy with a nippled up batsuit who kicks some ice guy’s ass. The fact you actually believe the bs you come up with is shocking, seriously shocking.

    If you knew anything about(.com ; from which you should immediately be fired btw) source material it would show in your review, a pathetic three paragraph ordeal that barely even explains WHY you think its a bad movie.

    Heath’s joker a sadistic freak? guess what dummy, thats what the joker is not some ceasar romero flamer bullshit you seem to think he should be, this joker is truer to the character than any other joker we will ever see.

    Next time you decide to put your fingers on that keyboard of yours try and THINK a little before you go writing about stuff you know nothing about, you’re going to get lit the fuck up online for this travesty, but then again you’re just another douchebag NY critic who thinks too highly of himself to actually enjoy a good movie.

    Enjoy your shitty indies, we’ll go enjoy TDK.

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  40. wow, this guy uses BIG words when he talks. Douche

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  41. Seriously,

    I don’t appreciate the spoiler. That was just mean. You’ve ruined the movie for so many people. Why would you do that?

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  42. Eff you cockfucker. Hint at death, don’t give it away. Dick.

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  43. Just so we are clear, Tim Burton’s Batman was great fun and Jack Nicholson’s Joker was fantasitc. But that is the Batman Series comics. The Dark Knight Comics were much darker in tone, and the The Joker in that series was more sadistic. This is were the motivation comes from for this Film which is already garnering Oscar nominations. Heath Ledger’s performace will receive at least an Oscar nomination, Jack for all his great work didn’t even do that. So I don’t know what you were seeing, but this really is what Batman really is. Dark! I mean his parents were killed, where’s the fun in that?

    My advice to you……..they have great benefits at UPS!

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  44. Only someone who never read The Dark Knight Returns, Year One, The Killing Joke, Arkham Asylum or The Long Haloween can cay Batman doesn´t support profound psycho noir. Funny thing about the Burton fanatic critics is Burton likes Batman Begins and thinks Nolan is taking the character to the next level.

    Then again, if I had a nickel for every critic who writes about stuff they don´t know squat about, I´d be richer than Bill Gates.

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  45. I agree with this review. You are all just fanboys, praising a movie before you’ve even seen it based on hype and marketing. Nothing but tools.

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  46. shannon76 pretty much sums up why this review is absolute horseshit and clearly a personal attack. Not one reason in the review is a valid reason for a movie to be bad.

    Dont get ripped by the riptide.

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  47. You obviously don’t know anything about the source material. Batman is supposed to be dark, Heath Joker is the closest to the source material you idiot. Sounds like this was personal and oh, the Joker’s not supposed to be dancing to Prince music…. EVER!

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  48. luckily i didn’t read the review because of the spoiler everyone is mentioning, but for your own sake, go kill yourself. You fucking suck at writing reviews, especially if you’re going to spoil the film, unannounced.

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  49. Easy guys, you all need to put this review into PERSPECTIVE…

    Chew on this: This pretentious dipshit gave Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith 5 FUCKING STARS!!!!!!!

    It’s just a review, and this man clearly has no taste.

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  50. Dear Mr Fauth,

    Whether or not you liked the film, i think you should address the hate you are getting on the comment boards regarding what is a poor poor review. Not only is it in very bad taste for you to give away the spoiler you do, but your review/writing/argument is as shallow as you pertain the film’s source material to be. I think you have greatly misunderstood both the film and the aforementioned source material. The same source material that Tim Burton got very wrong (that doesn’t mean his film is bad, it isn’t, it’s fantastic).But if you must base your opinion on the Batman cannon then please do your homework and make well judged and researched points instead of self opinionated misguided statements which read somewhat like delusions of grandeur. Its oh so easy to hate something popular isn’t it? Review your work, i think this is a piece you will look back on with embarrassment in the future. Your credibility is dented by it. As for film itself, its what contemporary populist film making is crying out for. It isn’t indie and neither should it be.

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  51. I thought he meant that her talent as an actress was wasted. Either way, this review has “Indie film snob” written ALL over it.

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  52. You just aren’t enough of an intellect to critique this anywhere, so I’ll just say this here: godawful.

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  53. Sir, you say the following in your review:

    “Tim Burton knew how to have fun with Batman rather than turning it into plodding, puffed-up kitsch mistaking itself for profound psycho noir that the source material won’t support.”

    Please cite where pshycho noir is not supported in the source material of “The Long Halloween”, “Dark Victory”, “Arkham Asylum”, “The Killing Joke”, “Batman Year One” and “The Man Who Laughs”. And to a lesser extent with the political allegories on 9/11, “Kingdom Come”.

    These works combined are the foundation of the characters of Two-Face/Harvey Dent and The Joker. If you read these you can see that most of what is present in the film is readily available. In fact, most of the things absent are minor and more associated with Hollywood: the Rachel Dawes character and that love triangle being the main culprit. The only thing I’ve read that is a more adult notion that is not addressed in these works is the notion on Harvey Dent being an oppertunity for Bruce Wayne to cease being Batman, who in these works never contemplates that oppertunity.

    Everything else can pretty much be readily seen. This statement of yours would have been true in 1969, but would have been somewhat inaccurate by 1979, drastically changed by 1989, and completely out of date by 1999.

    Batman has changed, and was already not the character Burton portrayed in his first film by that time. Dislike this movie as you will, but prove at least that you’ve read the source material before making claims to know what it contains.

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  54. You aren’t a top critic. It’s obvious, you know it, we know it, Rottentomatoes.com knows it. I’m assuiming (i know, making as ass out of you and me) that since this seems to be your profession, the eventual goal would be to become a top critic.
    It has to be tough to know people don’t agree with you, but it seems as though people not only don’t agree with you, but they have a serious spiteful disdain for you. If you’re a critic, you’re supposed to provide insightful analysis of cinema, not just film. Not what the movie does for you, but how the movie did with respect to its genre, target audience, (which you should know if you’re a critic) casting, plot, climax and such while also being able to appeal to you.
    Just saying, do you find it odd that you’re the only person in the movie critic world that would give this movie “1-star”? Maybe you don’t, no skin off anyone’s back, but be honest man, maybe you don’t because you aren’t a really good critic, ya know? Food for thought. Good luck in the future.

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  55. Even if you had reviewed Titanic and broke the fact that the boat sinks, it’s still a total BS thing to do. Regardless of how adapted the movie is we WOULDN’T HAVE known exactly what parts of the comic books were used for the movie. AND NOT EVERYONE HAS READ THE COMIC BOOKS!!!!! It’s pretty common knowledge there is going to be a third now so what if some of the things that happen in the comic books wouldn’t happen until then? You’ve officially spoiled the movie and you should be fired and outed from your “profession”. The only reason I quoted profession is because you are obviously not a professional, rather some douche who has access to the Internet.

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  56. I don’t get it guys. The review’s far too harsh but there’re people that don’t like Chinatown, Godfather, The Third Man, Rear Window, etc. Even the most revered classics will not agree with everyone, let alone a Batman flick that everyone seems to like because it takes itself so seriously. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a fine reason to like it. Just understand some people won’t be able to take it as seriously as Nolan wishes them to and those people won’t like it. Get over it.

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  57. One, thanks for the spoiler…you really know how to write a review without ruining the movie for everyone; shows talent. Secondly, have you ever read the “source material”? I’m sorry, but Nolan got Batman right like no other director has, and it stays true to the comics. I’m sorry, but TV Batman from the 60’s and the 4 dreadful Burton/Shumacher films have very little to do with the source material other than there’s a Batman and there’s the rogues gallery.. I have no problem with negative opinions, I do have problems with ignorant negative opinions.

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  58. Dear Jurgens,

    “Rachel Dawes is a character created specifically for the 2005 live-action film “Batman Begins” by writers David Goyer and Christopher Nolan.”

    I never read the comics, but she apparently was never in any of them, and even if she were and was killed off, film-makers often take change major plot points of whatever they are adapting. Furthermore, many people don’t read comics and still enjoy films and the element of surprise. You’re an asshole for spoiling it.

    Love,

    Phil Latio

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  59. Hmm, looking around for some opinions in regards as to see this or not. However, whether the film is any good or not, that was a seriously shit and transparent review.

    I don’t know though, I always thought the subsequent minions of the witty Pauline Kael school of criticism (look at me I can swim upstream too!) was contrived ego on paper anyway. Disingenuous and never attempting anything other than to palm the reader off with information about the writer. It just reeks of pretention.

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  60. AD:

    That’s the part he changed and then acted like he never wrote the spoiler at all. The latter action has me realizing he’s not a real reviewer, just some blogger.

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  61. Hi Holly,

    No one is saying he wrong in his opinion, well most of us aren’t. We are saying that his overly bullish statements are being made on falsities, most of which are very well articulated by Brandon Butler’s post above. It’s not so much that he didn’t like it, rather that he is stating that the source material doesn’t back up Nolan’s approach, which is in fact very incorrect and inaccurate. Obviously we are all open to our own opinion, but his basis for his is not so much personal choice but rather a miss reading of the Batman cannon as a whole.

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  62. Quite a few of the responses on this page lack any coherency, but their points are still valid – while I’m still a big fan of Burton’s films and the direction he took, to say that the source material (and, BATMAN) can’t support a psychologically complex film, like this, is ludicrous – even as there was also quite a bit of thematic depth in Burton’s films. I know quite a few posters on here have probably repeated this verbatim, but even so –

    Have you ever read a Batman comic? Ever? Honestly, you do deserve to get flamed for that, as much as is possible, because what it reads like, to me, is that you’ve worked yourself off of a public perception of comics, and Batman in particular.

    This is a fatal flaw, especially for this kind of review – I mean, there have been so many graphic novels possibly with more depth than this film dedicated to the character –

    Year One
    The Long Halloween
    Dark Victory
    The Dark Knight Returns
    Prey
    Arkham Asylum
    The Killing Joke
    The Man Who Laughs
    Broken City

    I could go on and on, honestly. Jeezus, I hate pretentious indie film critics. Twat.

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  63. Just a couple of points before I take y’all’s advice and (literally) take a hike:

    – I’ve read a bunch of those books you talk about, and I agree that some of them are quite good. The movie, however, isn’t.

    – The spoiler was a mistake, and I for that I apologize. I assumed what I revealed was part of Two-Face’s origin story. I fixed it without saying so because if I did, it would still be a spoiler, right?

    – I honestly do hope you guys enjoy the movie as much as you think you will. I didn’t, and it’s my job to say so.

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  64. ‘Incidentally, I can’t explain why 90% of the negative reviewers are from New Yorkers. Odd.’

    Because the film was shot in Chicago :)

    At least he was brave enough to post a reply to us. However again he refuses to address that the reasons for his crtic of the film are horribly missjudged. His review is an awful piece of work

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  65. Batman is this movie. I like how people think that the original Batman movies were good because it took the idea of Batman from the campy TV show. Go all the way back to Bob Kanes Batman and you’ll see more violence then the Batman book now. I think you need to realize that Batman is a dark character. If you want a dancing and prancing Joker then Tim Burtons Batman is great but this Joker is how the Joker is… a ruthless pshyco that takes killing as a joke (read the “Killing Joke”). This is the ultimate Batman movie. We get a 2 Face that actually plays a role in the movie and not like the other Batman movies where Tommy Lee Jones was the Joker in his performance. The perfect 2Face is portrayed on the cartoon where he still has that calm demeaner but his other half is a laughing idot (TLJ) but a ferious mad mob boss. The movie plays out different or does it? This movie does what it’s supposed to do, showcase Batmans main archvillian but also grow Batman as a person. You can only hope that after a great crime thriller like this one you can comeback with a villian like Bane hired by the Penguin to break Batman because Batman keeps busting up another big time mobsters deals. Penguin would force out Batman so that Bane can fight/kill him. What this does is move more into the comic/cartoon aspect. That’s another discussion but all I can say is… THIS MOVIE ROCKS!

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  66. ‘mistaking itself for profound psycho noir that the source material won’t support’.

    Amusing.
    You could not be more wrong sir.
    I think it is safe to assume you do not read Batman comics. ;)

    Go read- The Killing Joke, Broken City, Arkham Asylum..
    Then consider your claim.

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  67. Interesting. This is more of a pout than a review. Also to give spoilers like this in a review is really unprofessional. Whomever hired him should reconsider this guy’s credentials.

    This is more of a childish rant at not having his Burton’s Batman, which though good, was vaguely like the comic but we forgave Burton in the first film, but totally shook our heads on the second.

    He obviously hasn’t read Batman or the history and also would rather have Burton’s Bat. This isn’t objective but vindictive.

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  68. You fucking imbecile

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  69. “- I’ve read a bunch of those books you talk about, and I agree that some of them are quite good. The movie, however, isn’t”

    Except one of your major criticisms lies in the fact that you think the source material can’t hold up something of psychological depth, when it’s obvious that that’s both untrue as well as the source material has bolstered a number of books that are far deeper than either of Nolan’s films – so, this criticism is moot.

    Agree or no?

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  70. I forgot to add “The Cult” to that list as well – that’s a great graphic novel with beautiful art by Bernie Wrightson.

    Just trying to help, man. Rehabilitation is here. It’s okay.

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  71. Wow, have you ever actually picked up a Batman graphic novel? The Dark knight is as close to the source material as it gets.

    Tim Burton’s movies, while entertaining, were simply a more palatable version of the 60’s TV show.

    Most professional critics, average folks and hardcore fanboys alike are gushing over TDK. That’s all that matters.

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  72. Oh, btw, if you’re going to give a film like this only one star, you have no business reviewing films.

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  73. I’ll disagree that Burton’s films were ‘a more palatable version of the tv show.’

    Both of these films came from the same source material, they just took different approaches to it. Additionally, Burton’s film was inspired almost exclusively by the thirteen issue run before Robin showed up in ’39.

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  74. What indeed a sad little man you must be. This movie
    was breath taking. Riddle me this Jurgen, how in the hell did you get a job as a movie critic?

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  75. This movie review is bad and you should feel bad. It gives spoilers, it makes assumptions about source material that you clearly haven’t read, and it uses emotionally loaded words to piss off readers.

    I’m an English teacher. My students write reviews. better than this. You should take my class some time.

    Must be difficult to be in the minority.

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  76. jesus christ, you suck. you should not be allowed to critique movies that are beyond your level of thinking

    worst. review. ever

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  77. Your review fails on every level, and even if taste is subjective, yours just proves some people aren’t meant to be critics.

    Epic failure.

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  78. Jurgen, unlike these other clowns, I love your review. You are clearly above agreeing with the majority (what do they know?) and prove your intellectual superiority. And screw everyone who wants to be surprised at a movie; your job is to critique film, regard for others be damned.

    Oh wait…actually, I think you’re a giant cockface just like everyone else. Three cheers for Jurgen, a lonely loser turned pretentious, self-congratulatory pseudo intellectual. You’re a fuck and you know it and you think writing reviews like this somehow makes you better than us. It doesn’t. You’re a cockface.

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  79. Jurgen, unlike these other clowns, I love your review. You are clearly above agreeing with the majority (what do they know?) and prove your intellectual superiority. And screw everyone who wants to be surprised at a movie; your job is to critique film, regard for others be damned.

    Oh wait…actually, I think you’re a giant cockface just like everyone else. Three cheers for Jurgen, a lonely loser turned pretentious, self-congratulatory pseudo intellectual. You’re a douche and you know it and you think writing reviews like this somehow makes you better than us. It doesn’t. You’re a cockface.

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  80. I suggest you actually read a Batman comic. Saying it isn’t close to the source material is stupid. A sadistic joker was taken from many of the best graphic novels like “The Killing Joke” or “The Dark Knight Returns”. Those and many other Batman comics were an inspiration to this film.

    I dont think you honestly made one valid point during your review. It was all personal attacks against the movie. Maybe, your just an idiot?

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  81. Jeebus, there’s a lot of children who take their superhero movies very seriously.

    But everyone’s ignoring the real sin of the review, which is implying that Thank You For Smoking wasn’t an excellent film.

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  82. Wow, if I knew I didn’t need so much IQ to be a film critic, I probably would have dropped out of school and saved my parents off so much cash.

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  83. thats a pretty poor review!…I have seen the film and I think it has set a benchmark for all comic/ superhero movies. It was Dark, gritty and somewhat disturbing..acting was superb and Christopher Nolan is a freaking genius!..this film can seriously be an English source/ text to be used for essay writing as the underlying themes of hope and chance are blended beautifully into the film…This sad reviewer wants an ending where Batman saves the day…well my 7 year old friend unfortunately its not an ending fit for a child like yourself…its an ending fit for a film that sets a legacy for other films of its kind!…brilliant, brilliant, brilliant film that proves superhero movies can be notcied by the Academy!!!…

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  84. Everyone’s ignoring the real sin of the review, which is implying that Thank You For Smoking wasn’t an excellent film.

    Oh, but I meant to imply no such thing about Thank You for Smoking – I should’ve made it clearer I was referring to Aaron Eckhart’s character’s sins in that fine movie.

    As for Batman —  thanks for the generous feedback, everybody. I do appreciate you guys taking the time to post here. Some of you pointed out that my review is rather short and curt, and I’ll grant you that. I’d even use the word “dismissive.” Plenty of ink is spilled elsewhere about the perceived “genius” of this “masterpiece,” comparing it to the “Sistine Chapel” and whatnot. I gave you my conclusion, and, it’s true, argumentative shortcuts. For the full treatment, may I refer you to the excellent reviews of Stephanie Zacharek, David Edelstein, and David Denby? Armond White makes some good points, although he takes his hipster hatred much too far once again (and I thoroughly disagree with him about There Will Be Blood). In case you missed them in my dense little reviewlet, here are the key points again:

    – Christian Bale is disappointing, as is most of the cast, with the possible exception of Heath Ledger, who turns in an interesting but ultimately unsatisfactory performance — because a character can only be as interesting as the story he his given.

    – The action sequences are poorly directed. Editing is choppy, lighting is murky, and spatial relations are next to impossible to understand. There’s lots of noise and explosions, and at one point a truck flips over, but we’re never quite sure where and how or why. Thus, the excitement is drained out of it. Edelstein:

    Oh, the verbiage probably wouldn’t matter if those truck crashes were any fun, but the tumult is spectacularly incoherent. Nolan appears to have no clue how to stage or shoot action. He got away with the chopped-up fights in Batman Begins because his hero was a barely glimpsed ninja, coming at villains from all angles in stroboscopic flashes. There are more variables here, which means more opportunities to say “What the f— just happened?” I defy you to make spatial sense of the early scene in which Batman battles faux Batmen, gangsters, and the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy in a cameo that comes to nothing). If you can, move on to Level 2, diagramming the “Bat-tank versus Joker-truck versus cop car” chase. Then, finally, take the Ultimate Challenge: following the climax with Batman, the Joker, more faux Batmen, decoy hostages dressed as clowns, a SWAT team, and Morgan Freeman’s Lucius with some kind of sonar monitoring gizmo that tracks all the parties on video screens. Actually, Freeman looks like he knows what’s going on. Maybe the sequence plays well in sonar.

    - Poor drama. There’s much high-falutin’ talk here and fake stabs at profundity, but they don’t add up to a plate of beans. I see this movie compared to GoodFellas and The Godfather, and it pains me. The characters aren’t nearly as deep, the conflicts nowhere near as well defined, and the story arc goes nowhere.

    Edelstein:

    On paper, the morality play is intriguing, but a lot of the dialogue should have stayed on paper (I can imagine a study guide: “The Joker tells Batman he can’t fight chaos because he has too many ‘rules.’ Do those rules ultimately help or hinder Batman in his quest for justice?”).

    Denby:

    The narrative isn’t shaped coherently to bring out contrasts and build toward a satisfying climax. “The Dark Knight” is constant climax; it’s always in a frenzy, and it goes on forever. Nothing is prepared for, and people show up and disappear without explanation; characters are eliminated with a casual nod. There are episodes that are expensively meaningless (a Hong Kong vignette, for instance), while crucial scenes are truncated at their most interesting point.

    Zacharek:

    Nolan — who co-wrote the script with his brother, Jonathan, working from a story he conceived with David S. Goyer — gives us enough multilayered subplots to at least fool us into thinking this is a work of intellectual and moral complexity. But as a piece of visual storytelling, from shot to shot, “The Dark Knight” is a mess. Characters disappear from one locale and show up inexplicably in another, thanks to the magic of editing. At one point, we learn two characters have been abducted, but Nolan doesn’t bother to show us who did it or how. (Later, he explains the “who did it” with dialogue — the lazy way.) At the end, a major character is left hanging, literally, as we are figuratively. If this is genius, give me hackery. … There’s no dramatic arc in “The Dark Knight” — only a series of speed bumps. The moments in the movie that should be the most dramatic are glanced over so quickly that we barely have time to register what has happened.

    - The crack about the source material seems to have riled some of you up pretty good. It wasn’t meant as a put-down of your favorite Batman graphic novels, which generally don’t have any illusions about what they are — genre pieces about a guy in a superhero mask. Yes, there is a legitimate superhero noir subgenre, and much of this material is terrific. Nolan’s attempt at lifiting the story beyond the generic though, into the realm of Goodfellas, The French Connection, and The Godfather, is bound to fail: imagine Michael Corleone on that ludicrous fat-wheeled Bat-pod and explain to me again how that could possibly work.

    Zacharek:

    But “The Dark Knight” looks as if it were made from a messy blackboard diagram with lots of circles, heavily underlined phrases (“Duality! Good vs. evil — in the same person! Kinship between hero and villain!”) and crisscrossing arrows that ultimately point to nothing. With “Batman Begins,” Nolan assured his audience that he understood that the characters originally created by Bob Kane — and further developed by the likes of Frank Miller — were rich, fascinating ones, and they are: It shouldn’t be hard to write good stories around them. But what the Nolans have come up with here is just more pretentious poot, dumped onto the screen in a style that pretends to be fresh and energetic but is really only semicoherent.

    Batman can make for a great crime adventure story, but it’s not Shakespeare, and it can never be urban realism. The Dark Knight tries to give this material weight far beyond what it can sustain — because no matter what, it’s still about a billionaire playboy who wears a mask with little bat ears and a cape — and as a result of its pretentsions, The Dark Knight fails both as character study and as action film. I’m hoping that perhaps after Friday, when you’ve actually had a chance to see the movie and the Hollywood hype machine has geared down a notch or two, you might come back and reevaluate some of your comments.

    Finally, the wikipedia definition for Kitsch, a word I chose quite deliberately:

    Kitsch /kɪtʃ/ is a term of German or Yiddish origin that has been used to categorize art that is considered an inferior, tasteless copy of an existing style. The term is also used more loosely in referring to any art that is pretentious to the point of being in bad taste, and also commercially produced items that are considered trite or crass.

    Because the word was brought into use as a response to a large amount of art in the 19th century where the aesthetic of art work was associated with a sense of exaggerated sentimentality or melodrama, kitsch is most closely associated with art that is sentimental; however, it can be used to refer to any type of art that is deficient for similar reasons—whether it tries to appear sentimental, glamorous, theatrical, or creative, kitsch is said to be a gesture imitative of the superficial appearances of art. It is often said that kitsch relies on merely repeating convention and formula, lacking the sense of creativity and originality displayed in genuine art.

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  85. artsy fartsy crybaby cant enjoy a movie because it isnt lost in translation or some other garbage like that.

    boo hoo

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  86. I would have respected you more as a reviewer if you gave your own opinions instead of cutting and pasting other people’s work. That’s just absurdly lazy for a professional. On the one hand you say, if you want better informed opinions, refer to these people. Then you take whole sections from their work, as if to say, “See? here’s what I mean. What this person said. That’s what I meant to say.” That’s extraordinarily weak and cowardly to hide behind the words of others. This troubles me if the best our creative writing mentors have to offer is the reasoning of others. Why don’t you just say I’m not very good at what I do and I’d prefer to link you to people who do it better than I do? Instead of defining Kitsch for yourself, you even cut and paste the wikipedia entry (??). And we wonder why there are no great creative writers anymore.

    Disappointing.

    I will concede your points about the shooting of the action sequences. Point for you.

    In regards to Christian Bale. The inner conflict of a man wrestling between his best and worst instincts is an old but always compelling bit of drama that makes his character uniquely interesting. That conflict which plays out inside him is what is attractive to watch in Bale’s performance. Pretending to be the Patrick Bateman douchebag so that he can hide his desire to protect human beings. It’s what makes Ernesto Guevera an interesting case study.

    “I see this movie compared to GoodFellas and The Godfather, and it pains me.”
    Please don’t tell me, Jurgen, that you walked into the cineplex hoping to see a Merchant-Ivory production. The point is to have low expectations for a comic book film and be surprised when there are bits of detail and texture applied. I’m mystified as to how an adult male would walk into a comic book movie expecting to see GoodFellas or The Godfather?!

    “genre pieces about a guy in a superhero mask.”, “it’s still about a billionaire playboy who wears a mask with little bat ears and a cape”

    You do yourself a disservice by letting your bias against comics cloud your criticisms.

    “Nolan’s attempt at lifiting the story beyond the generic though, into the realm of Goodfellas, The French Connection, and The Godfather, is bound to fail: imagine Michael Corleone on that ludicrous fat-wheeled Bat-pod and explain to me again how that could possibly work.”

    The movie is part of its own unique graphic novel turned film genre. Not merely comic book, but graphic novel. While it may dance in more serious and weighty territory, it will never aspire to be The Godfather or The Wire. The fact that you think it should be on the same footing as those, is another blind spot you have.

    Let me bring this down to your level. No one complains about stories where a man walks on water or heals lepers with his touch. No one laughs at a story about a man in a boat after the Trojan War who encounters a rogue’s gallery of monsters, sirens, and gods and godesses on his way back home. In the storytelling tradition across all world cultures — hindu, African stories, native Americans — we have tales of men who have the qualities of animals and possess god-like skills and talents. Generation after generation recount these stories in the hopes of passing on their culture and lessons about life. In today’s culture the graphic novel serves a similar function. Teenagers — yes, teenagers and mostly young men — have few connections to work their way through conflicts, so they identify and empower themselves through the characters in comic books. When they have no one to talk to, no one to identify with, no one to call a hero, they look to these god-like characters for clues forward (yes, into adulthood). Right or wrong, it’s better than taking cues from rap or heavy metal, no?

    I don’t think you can expect to find the kind of art you and I are looking for in a Hollywood blockbuster. Nor should you. Therefore it really can’t be considered kitsch. It’s mainstream entertainment for the masses, which means, as a movie critic for indie films, you were really out of your depth on this one. Your bias against the genre clouded your judgment and your lack of understanding of American pop culture was exposed. Learn for the future. Try and do better.

    Best.

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  87. Thanks for the comments, crooked_teeth. A couple of misunderstandings:

    – Quoting others to support an argument is perfectly legitimate. Remember English 101? Yes, I didn’t write a lengthy review, and perhaps that was lazy in your eyes, but I don’t believe a review’s word count needs to be directly proportional to the movie’s budget. You can find plenty of in-depth critiques of mine for movies that interest me more.

    – Your points about comic books and myths are well taken, but again, this is a misunderstanding. I actually value comics a lot as an art form, and I’m a huge Alan Moore fan. I like Clowes, Spiegelmann, Jason, Ware, Jodorowsky, Moebius, I’ve got a first-edition McFarlane Spider-Man #1, and I read The Dark Knight Returns, Arkham Asylum and Killing Joke when they first came. (You’re welcome search this site for much more.) I have no bias against genre pieces, either. You misread my comment about The Godfather — I didn’t have those expectations coming in, but I heard this comparison bandied about much afterward, and there are reviews out there pushing just those points.

    Let me clear: I love a good genre flick, out of Hollywood or elsewhere. To me, the best genre films — Star Wars, the original Indiana Jones, The Matrix, 2001, Double Indemnity, Crouching Tiger, and yes, Goodfellas and The Godfather, and way too many others to mention — manage to reinvent their respective genres while firmly staying within their confines. Blockbusters can be art, and it usually happens when filmmakers embrace the genre they’re working in to the fullest.

    What didn’t work for me about Dark Knight was the constant attempt at “transcending” the genre, making it into something more than what it is (or maybe I should say something *else*, to avoid the implied hierarchy) — thus the charge of pretentiousness and kitsch. Tim Burton’s Batman, whatever its flaws, worked within the parameters of Bob Kane’s character and world. The Dark Knight is aiming for something else entirely — gritty urban realism, I assume — and in my eyes, fails spectacularly.

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  88. ‘Batman can make for a great crime adventure story, but it’s not Shakespeare, and it can never be urban realism. The Dark Knight tries to give this material weight far beyond what it can sustain’

    Again you are in the wrong.

    You have a pre conceived perception of who Batman is and what he can and cannot represent.

    You obviously have never read any Batman graphic novels.

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  89. “Quoting others to support an argument is perfectly legitimate. Remember English 101?”
    Are you a film critic or not? I’m confused. I’ve never once read a critic defend himself by citing other critics’ positions. And if we’re talking English 101, you would have been better served supporting your arguments with the words of critics who gave the film a positive review.

    I didn’t attack you for not writing a lengthy review.
    Pithy is fine if you back it all up.

    “…movies that interest me more.”
    Why did you even bother reviewing this movie? About.com had a Hollywood reviewer provide a second review. I’m confused why the independent/world film reviewer had to give an opinion since it clearly doesn’t interest you.

    “…but I heard this comparison bandied about much afterward, and there are reviews out there pushing just those points.”
    A little advice if I may: Don’t concern yourself with what other film critics are kibitzing about. Evaluate it solely on its merits. Don’t bring other extraneous issues into your review. Save that for the dinner party. 75% of the critics out there truly don’t know what they’re talking about, they’re just earning a living.

    If we’re talking genres, then what genre do you think this film belongs to? The Dark Knight doesn’t fit neatly into the crime/gangster genre or the film noir genre. Therefore, comparisons to Goodfellas and Godfather fall flat.

    In my opinion, it belongs to a comic book genre with Superman, Batman ’89, Spiderman 2, X-Men, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man. That is TDK’s competition. So the question to you is, how does TDK compare to those films? Favorably? Unfavorably? Up to you, but that should have been your focus if you’re talking about genre. In my opinion, having seen TDK, the movie is elevated beyond the comic book genre. It reinvents it into a slightly more adult world that could best be described as holding true to the graphic novel spirit of adult comics. Batman ’89 works within the comic book genre and generally does well, even though it’s storyline doesn’t hold true for comic book purists.

    (Incidentally, I just have to say The Wire was a spectacular and truly memorable show.)

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  90. I thought the Dark Knight was pretty slick.

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  91. YOU SUCK!

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  92. Andrew O’Hehir:

    I’m probably preaching to the born-again when addressing readers of this column, but I wanted to chime in briefly on the inevitable topic of the week, that being Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.” It’s the most anticipated movie of the summer and all that, it cost a bajillion bucks to make and it plans to make 2 bajillion back. It’s got some mighty impressive special effects and it’s got an actor who’s now dead, eating that fake-o, pixillated scenery for lunch. And no matter how many people proclaim its awesomeness, it’s also an incoherent, bloated bore from a director capable of doing much more interesting work.

    My colleague Stephanie Zacharek is taking all kinds of abuse in the letters section for saying that, and, hey, she’s a big girl. There are plenty of times I disagree with Stephanie’s take on movies; I disagree with some things in this review too. But she’s one of the first critics to look past the techno-wizardry and sophomoric darkness and see how labored and awkward this movie is. It’s a pileup of incidents and episodes that never congeal into a story, a succession of striking murky-but-clean images that never create a convincing temporal and spatial universe. On the one hand, it’s too pretentious to be a successful comic-book flick, but it’s not pretentious enough, if you want to put it that way, for any genuine moral griminess to come through. Personally, I’d love to see a Batman film set in the universe of, I don’t know, “The French Connection” or “Mystic River.” Nobody in Hollywood would make such a movie these days, and I recognize that it certainly isn’t what Nolan tries to deliver.

    It’s a cliché to say that “Dark Knight” is a teenage boy’s idea of a serious film, but of course that’s the source of its immense appeal. (One could call the source material, Frank Miller’s revisionist Batman comics, a teenage boy’s idea of literature.) I’d go a step or two further: It’s either a teenage boy’s poorly executed idea, or the teenage boy in question has a “Memento”-scale case of ADD, and maybe all the fogeyish, clueless protestations about how video games are ruining the youth of today are actually true.

    Much of the audience for “Dark Knight” will be actual teenage boys, and they’re entitled to like what they like and repent at leisure. (I can clearly remember telling friends that “Diamonds Are Forever” was the best film ever made.) But the arrested-development adult critics who just want to ride along, sort of like that guy in “Dazed and Confused” who’s too old to hang out with high-school kids but does it anyway — now that’s kind of depressing.

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  93. Dude – you have no idea what you’re talking about. how are you a critic? Go watch Wall-E with your kids and leave the real movie reviews to adults. This is a masterpiece of a film.

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  94. I’ll say a word in Jurgen’s defense. Christopher Nolan doesn’t get emotional content. I’ve seen it in Memento, The Prestige, and in TDK. At the end of Memento I didn’t care what happened to the protagonist. In The Prestige I identified with Bale’s magician; I found him to be a cool street magician’s street magician and had an interest in seeing him get the final laugh over Jackman’s character. But when you think back on the underlying human elements of the Borden character you realize he makes no sense in the real world: that a man would sacrifice part of himself and potentially his daughter all in the name of his craft and protecting a secret. The Prestige is a cool gimmick that I really enjoyed, but Nolan conveniently ignores the human emotions of it; either because it has none or they make no sense and would look stupid if thought about with too much depth.

    Which brings us to The Dark Knight. When I think of some of the great unappreciated hero’s over the past couple of years I think of Matt Damon’s Bourne and Dicaprio’s Billy Costigan from The Departed. I felt an inherent sympathy and emotion for these characters. The stories allowed them to be frail, vulnerable, flawed, and human characters who were forced to be tough in a cruel world that wanted their head.

    In TDK — as much as I was enthralled by the movie for the 152 minutes I was watching — by the end of it I felt nothing for Bruce Wayne or The Batman. It isn’t because there’s no sympathy to be found in the character from the graphic novels, it’s because Nolan was more invested in the atmospherics (which were cool and gloomy) than the need to examine a character: showing the effects of pressure on human behavior over time.

    There are opportunities to show Batman’s behavior in small, minor ways that don’t stall the velocity of the story. Even Michael Corleone — as cold blooded and dead-on-the inside as he was becoming in Godfather II — had pockets to display his private rage (Kate and the abortion), his deep flaws (being a jerk to Robert Duvall’s Tom), and his profound sadness at who and what he was turning into (the revelation of who planned the hit at the Corleone compound). A monster. His own worst nightmare. In TDK a director in touch with the common thread of emotion and humanity would have touched on those themes. Whether it’s a superhero movie or not. Even Spiderman explores these issues to an extent. What makes Peter Parker human. Does Bruce Wayne no longer express any emotion? Doesn’t he ever get bitter and self-destructive in his private life? Think of Dicaprio’s Costigan or Damon’s Bourne and the toll their battles was taking on them personally. As much as I’ve enjoyed the graphic novels over the years, a main reason I liked the Batman character was the sense that this life was beating him up in tangible ways.

    What does it say that one of the main characters died and there wasn’t even the mention of a funeral? I’m glad there wasn’t a five minute sequence showing characters at a funeral, but we are human beings after all. A mention of where the service was being held at was the least Nolan could have done.

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  96. HahAAHAHAaha hahA ahahAHAHAH Ahah haha aha HA ha ahaahaHAHAHahAAHAHAaha hahA ahahAHAHAH Ahah haha aha HA ha haHAHAHAhah A HA AHAhAHA HAAHAHAHahhahah AHAHAHAhaahHAHa haHAHAHhHA HAHHAHaH AahAHAH AHAHAhaHAH AhAHHaHA HAhA HAHHAHAhaH ahAHahAHAhAH AH HAHAhaH ahHA H Ah AHahAH hHAHAH HAHA Ha HA HAHHA HahAH HahAH HahhahAHHAhAH h aH HahAHHAhAH HaHAHHAHHAHAHahhah ahah HA HHAHA H H h ah ahahhahah aha ha haHAHHa hHAHAhH AHAh HA AhAH HahHha ah ahah ahH AHAHHahhahah ahHAH Ha h AHAHA hAHHAHAH Ha h AH H ahAha hah H AH ah haha h H H ah ha h ah HA H AH AH AHHahAAHAHAaha hahA ahahAHAHAH Ahah haha aha HA ha ahaahaHAHAHahAAHAHAaha hahA ahahAHAHAH Ahah haha aha HA ha haHAHAHAhah A HA AHAhAHA HAAHAHAHahhahah AHAHAHAhaahHAHa haHAHAHhHA HAHHAHaH AahAHAH AHAHAhaHAH AhAHHaHA HAhA HAHHAHAhaH ahAHahAHAhAH AH HAHAhaH ahHA H Ah AHahAH hHAHAH HAHA Ha HA HAHHA HahAH HahAH HahhahAHHAhAH h aH HahAHHAhAH HaHAHHAHHAHAHahhah ahah HA HHAHA H H h ah ahahhahah aha ha haHAHHa hHAHAhH AHAh HA AhAH HahHha ah ahah ahH AHAHHahhahah ahHAH Ha h AHAHA hAHHAHAH Ha h AH H ahAha hah H AH ah haha h H H ah ha h ah HA H AH AH AHHahAAHAHAaha hahA ahahAHAHAH Ahah haha aha HA ha ahaahaHAHAHahAAHAHAaha hahA ahahAHAHAH Ahah haha aha HA ha haHAHAHAhah A HA AHAhAHA HAAHAHAHahhahah AHAHAHAhaahHAHa haHAHAHhHA HAHHAHaH AahAHAH AHAHAhaHAH AhAHHaHA HAhA HAHHAHAhaH ahAHahAHAhAH AH HAHAhaH ahHA H Ah AHahAH hHAHAH HAHA Ha HA HAHHA HahAH HahAH HahhahAHHAhAH h aH HahAHHAhAH HaHAHHAHHAHAHahhah ahah HA HHAHA H H h ah ahahhahah aha ha haHAHHa hHAHAhH AHAh HA AhAH HahHha ah ahah ahH AHAHHahhahah ahHAH Ha h AHAHA hAHHAHAH Ha h AH H ahAha hah H AH ah haha h H H ah ha h ah HA H AH AH AHHahAAHAHAaha hahA ahahAHAHAH Ahah haha aha HA ha ahaahaHAHAHahAAHAHAaha hahA ahahAHAHAH Ahah haha aha HA ha haHAHAHAhah A HA AHAhAHA HAAHAHAHahhahah AHAHAHAhaahHAHa haHAHAHhHA HAHHAHaH AahAHAH AHAHAhaHAH AhAHHaHA HAhA HAHHAHAhaH ahAHahAHAhAH AH HAHAhaH ahHA H Ah AHahAH hHAHAH HAHA Ha HA HAHHA HahAH HahAH HahhahAHHAhAH h aH HahAHHAhAH HaHAHHAHHAHAHahhah ahah HA HHAHA H H h ah ahahhahah aha ha haHAHHa hHAHAhH AHAh HA AhAH HahHha ah ahah ahH AHAHHahhahah ahHAH Ha h AHAHA hAHHAHAH Ha h AH H ahAha hah H AH ah haha h H H ah ha h ah HA H AH AH AH

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  97. Your too fat to like to batman.

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  98. Jurgen: As a fellow critic, I disagree with you but will stand here to the end to defend your take on this film. I won’t bother reading the entirety of them (a glance over some 10 was more than enough), but suffice to say, the majority of the posters to yet leave their marks here are obnoxious, annoying, trifling losers with nothing better to do than berate that which is different from them (in essence, the singular defining trait of all that which is weak and stupid in this world).

    One specific comment, though, in response to all the accusations of “spoilers” (be warned: spoiler ahead): If you morons didn’t have such a collective tight asshole, you might realize that “Maggie Gyllenhaal is wasted” means the performance, not the character played by. Duh.

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  99. Dave Kehr:

    Is the Dark Knight just George Bush with a better outfit, demanding that he be allowed all of the available ‘tools’ to combat terrorism, even if they include torture and eavesdropping?

    The thought certainly crossed my mind. The Dark Knight is heavy with post-9/11 allusions (starting with the poster, an image of a burning office tower that isn’t actually in the movie.) Armond White is wondering about some of the same implications in his review — everybody who likes this movie seems to be happy to point out the “complex morals” and “deep questions” raised by the movie, but I haven’t seen anybody else spell out quite what it actually means yet. (If it means anything, that is; like Keith Uhlich, I’m fairly sure that the film’s moral stance doesn’t actually add up.)

    Bonus question: How do the politics of The Dark Knight compare to Superman Returns, which I once related to Michael Winterbottom’s The Road to Guantanamo, provoking a similar fanboy shit storm? What does it say about us, and those movies, that Superman was considered a failure while this new movie is shaping up to be a mega hit?

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  100. More from Keith Uhlich’s fine analysis:

    In The Dark Knight, Nolan and cinematographer Wally Pfister extend the incoherence to the movie entire. Despite being filmed on location in Chicago (along with a brief sojourn to Hong Kong), there’s little feel for the city’s dynamics, just random car-commercial shots of speeding vehicles, with inserts occasionally cluing us in as to who’s supposed to be where. More problematic is the tendency for characters to randomly show up as narrative twists-‘n’-turns dictate, such as when mob boss Salvatore Maroni (Eric Roberts) just happens to be waiting outside Harvey Dent’s hospital room so he can act as Jim Gordon’s on-the-spot snitch (the way Roberts plays the scene, he’s like a stone-faced, humanoid information kiosk waiting to be prompted with directional queries).

    Since all these characters can be everywhere at once (except when disfigurement or death is called for), it severely undercuts the tension, and thus calls more attention to The Dark Knight’s rickety allegorical skeleton.

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  101. Thanx for giving away the plot for everyone who hasn’t seen the movie yet, buddy. Stick to proper professional criticisms. It was a great movie by the way. He was definitely better than Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the joker.

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  102. Keith Ulrich too, is being flamed passionately by nerds who don’t appreciate a whisper of contradiction against their new love.

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  103. I don’t know about the Superman v Batman issue – but I can tell you that *I* considered Superman Returns to be a failure because it was flat out boring and The Dark Knight a success because there was plenty of tension & excitement.

    I haven’t read Keith’s review yet (I’m sure it is insightful) but I don’t think political allegory is Nolan’s bag here – this is just a Good v Evil police procedural – The French Connection or Heat with some batsuits thrown in.

    I plan to see it again in a few weeks – I’ll see if my enthusiasm (after all, I did get to see it w/ the stars in IMAX and I’m not immune to appreciation-by-osmosis) holds up.

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  104. Michael Tully:

    I still find it hard to believe my eyes as I read review after review of gushing praise for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Or maybe I watched a different movie than everyone else? Could that be it? No, the movie I watched was called The Dark Knight too, and it also happened to be two-and-a-half hours long (I know because I checked the time on numerous occasions). But here’s the thing. The movie I watched wasn’t any different than the rest of the broad-stroke muck that permeates our nation’s multiplexes. It was just as long-winded, shapeless, formulaic, and deadening as the most generic big-budget buffoonery out there. You can call me a snob if you want to, go right ahead. I’m simply calling the movie out for what it is: a glossy, pseudo-’deep’ work of mass consumer-friendly torture porn.

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  105. wondering if poor jurgen has any further original insights of his own or if he’s going to continue cutting and pasting other people’s words and thoughts to speak for him. :)

    at this point, Jurgen, you’re only true fault is your inability to properly articulate in written form your chief objections to the film; which, i sense, is why you still feel that defensive need to have others write as your surrogate.

    in terms of criticizing the mainstream critics who loved the movie, i’d say: a. why were there so many critics comparing the style to Mann’s “Heat”? Because of one bank-robbery scene? (why not compare it to “point break” then?) because of overhead views of the gotham(chicago) skyscrapers? whatevs.

    also…critics seemed to love the dark, dangerous, sadistic, evil, greatest villain of all-time schtick. but, truthfully, i didn’t find him scary or terrifying. i thought he was a good deal of fun. i liked the performance. but it wasn’t scary. want tasty cerebral, sick, twisted villains? off the top of my head: Indigo in “For a Few Dollars More” (the man uses a clock chime to time his sadistic mano-y-mano shootouts and smokes a joint after killing to cool off), Coffin Joe (Brasilian horror villain with a decided philosophical agenda; the precursor to Hannibal Lecter some 30-40 years prior), John Lithgow from “Ricochet” (horrible movie, but his performance is the definition of sadistic, hateful, angry, and unpredictable from a trained thespian; if that’s what you’re into). also an honorable mention to phillip seymore hoffman as the baddie in MI:3 (terrible film and a wasted villain performance by Hoffman as the stone cold face of perverted cruelty).

    (and for all of the bluster from critics who disliked TDK, i still have yet to find one who’d admit a preference for Nicholson’s Joker over Ledger’s)

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  106. Jurgen, leave it alone all ready, bud. Seriously. You’re like the insecure boyfriend with a litany of, Am I good enough? Am I big enough? Am I bigger than your ex? Where do I rank? No, seriously, were you faking it?

    As an art film critic you are really out of place critiquing this film. I’ve read some of your material now and I find countless examples where you reveal how out of depth you are. Writers need to write what they know. And they need to know their limitations.

    On another note, I’m concerned that you’re considered a critic when there are clearly some deficiencies in your writing and analytic ability. As well as your understanding of pop culture and graphic novels. Worse yet, you actually let the fanboys GET TO YOU. You absolutely did! With your constant need to source the handful of bloggers who weren’t enthralled with TDK. There are certainly valid problems with the movie, but your fixation with maligning it, coupled with your absurd comparisons with Star Wars, is silly for a grown adult. Your TDK vs. StarWars article conceded nothing to TDK, was entirely one-sided, and belied a seething frustration with FANBOYS getting the better of you.

    “did Dent die?”
    please tell me you were actually present in the movie theater when you “watched” it.

    “Her funeral is enough to make Jar-Jar Binks weep.”
    Here is an example of a line from a writer who doesn’t have a feel for pop culture. Know your limitations. And what does that line even mean? Jar-Jar Binks DID weep. And your point is? Was there some great effort required to make Jar-Jar Binks cry? Was there anything to indicate that Jar-Jar was the sort who was reserved in his displays of emotion??

    “Christopher Nolan is now treated as the second coming of Alfred Hitchcock.”
    Could you please tell me a reputable film critic who has actually equated Nolan as the new Hitchcock? (You’re luck there isn’t a Plagiarism Police, because you’re obviously breathing heavy over Stephanie Zacharek’s Salon article where she makes the same mistake). You’re a free-thinking, somewhat intelligent human being: do you yourself see any authentic similarities between Hitchcock and Nolan as directors? Only a dilettante film critic would make such a comparison with any conviction.

    “Both films stretch their genre definitions; only one of them actually kicks any ass.”
    This is an opinion that doesn’t really hold up on close inspection. Watching you write ‘kicks any ass’, I’m thinking, you really need to stick to your day job and leave the mainstream, Hollywood, popcorn flicks for the masses to everyone else. Anyone else. You’re like the foreigner or immigrant who repeats the dirty joke of the natives, but doesn’t know his new culture well enough to really sell it.

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  107. Thanks for your lengthy post about how I should stop discussing the movie, funny thing.

    As for my Sith piece, are those four quibbles you found the only arguments you have? There’s ample discussion about Dent’s fate all over the Internet, along with rumors that Two-Face will return for the next installment. Jar-Jar’s weeping was the punchline for an argument — the point is the preceding sentence, which I trust you read. “christopher nolan hitchock” returns half a million results in Google, and the bit about the ass-kicking is, I suppose, my thesis statement.

    If you’d like to argue about the movie some more, I’m game, but I’m getting tired of the personal insults and won’t allow another comment that’s riddled with ad hominems. Thanks.

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  108. Jurgen,
    Finally! a review that goes against the overwhelming chrous of sycophantic praise for this very, very bad movie. Jurgen has revealed that the emperor in this case is buck naked. I especially delighted in the phrase, “puffed-up kitsch mistaking itself for profound psycho noir”. Bam, you hit the nail right on the head.
    It is absolutely scary how many people actually like being subjected to 2 hours and 20 minutes of pretentious, formulaic, pompous, smug crap. I hope Maggie Gyllenhaal got paid big, big bucks for that pathetic role and wooden lines she was given to deliver. She’ll need it to forget this low point in her career.
    The joker character and his emobodiment by Heath Ledger’s performance lend some dimension and interest; but, even so, I would still not recommend to anyone that I liked, to wade through almost 2 and half hours of tortuous drek that is this film just to see his quite entertaining act.

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  109. Worst review ever

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  110. “Tim Burton knew how to have fun with Batman rather than turning it into plodding, puffed-up kitsch mistaking itself for profound psycho noir that the source material won’t support.”

    oh, *zing*. Just because the fanboys take it seriously, doesn’t mean it’s serious.

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  111. Mostly I agree with this review which doesn’t deserve the opprobrium it’s getting. The moral dilemmas are dull or forced (why should batman’s rep need to be sacrificed to maintain the illusion of a hero who’s irrelevant by the film’s end, because the selfless and heroic actions of hundreds of ordinary citizens utterly trump his own?

    And it WAS too long. And despite the good acting by most of the cast (and the great turn by Ledger) Christian Bale is dull as ditchwater. He can be great, as in American Psycho) but is just ordinary and unsympathetic here. An ok movie. The next needs a different director

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  112. First of all, sorry for the grammar. I’m an spanish blogger and critic and here is happening the same. The fanboys attack every people that sees TDK as a very very weak movie with a lot of noise. I’m proud of reading these smart critic, and I thought that Armond White’s review was the first I’ve read that explains something of that the movie means and talk about movies, about the shots, and all this stuff.

    Thanks Jurgen for this great review, wich has considerations to what pop culture means, and if the movie is really somethin’. It has no power in his language. And I talk of language thinking ’bout Welles, Scorsese, DePalma. I don’t like Mann because I’m european, that means that I’ve seen the Melville’s cinema first. And this is just for american people.

    Well, this reviewers (Mr. White, you, Keith) consider the moral issues of the movies. I’m sure that Rosenbaum would hate it.

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  113. I saw TDK on Sunday with much anticipation and was as disappointed as I’ve ever been in a film that had been so widely and keenly praised. I completely agree with your brief review; and you’re far from alone – David Denby canned it in The New Yorker and he was right on the money, too. It truly is a tedious, wearying experience.

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  114. you wrote:
    “heaps of vicious violence, Gotham City politics that play a little bit like The Wire, only stupid”

    Question: how were you able to write that line if you only recently saw all five seasons of The Wire…?? How would you know that TDK was more or less stupid than The Wire?

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  115. I don’t see the spoilers in the review. Other complaints of this short review fall apart as well. This movie in no way deserves the comparisons to Chinatown, The Godfather, or any other crime movie. It is not a crime movie. It is another adaptation of comic book stories. The problem is the comic books were better. They were at least consistent and coherent. This movie was good. Not great. Good. It could be classified as a flawed masterpiece if it weren’t for all of the failures to deliver. It is more of a failed masterpiece. It attempted to tell a good story but couldn’t always pull it off. Much of the movie was cluttered with too many asides and disappointing payoffs. I wonder if this movie would be as widely accepted if the actor who provided the best performance was still alive. It seems that his tragedy has skewed the perspective on a decent—though definitely not instant-classic—film.

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  116. even i was terrified to say it.. that i was let down.. hugely let down… and yes, the emperor is naked indeed…i hated it.. hated it.. hated it.. and i must say im finally relieved to learn im not alone in this… as far as i was concerned, i could have spent the entire time watching the joker..

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  117. Jürgen, thanks for having the balls to say what a piece of shit movie this is. The emperor is definitely wearing his birthday suit. Truth hurts I guess. But if we listen to TDK, maybe we don’t need the truth! Down with your negative comments then! Stop this website! Call in the electronic sonar!

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  118. Hoo Boy – here’s another unhappy camper – and I say camper because I felt like a weekend was going by in that IMAX instead of – what did you all say? Only 2 hours 20 minutes?! I looked forward to the occasional Actual IMAX scenes which were so amazing to look at – then – bam -back to partial Imax size and the damn story with the repetitive themes…dynamics….z-z-z-z-z
    Oh – not too many are commenting on this – is Batman channeling Bea Arthur or Kathleen Turner when he speaks?
    Now – was that supposed to be humorous? Because the movie needed a tiny touch of levity since it is a wall-to-wall downer from start to finish…

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  119. Just suffered through the excrutiating Dark Knight and so relieved to hear others had a similar response. Heath was the beginning and end of anything vaguely interesting about this tedious piece of cinematic torture. Seeing all the raves and heaps of masterpiece praise made me wonder about my own sanity, but only for a moment. Oddly, not a single person I know liked this movie. How is it that there is such a schism between critics and real people on this one? …unless all the people I know that saw this thing may be too in the dark to get it.

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  120. “Nolan’s attempt at lifiting the story… into the realm of Goodfellas, The French Connection, and The Godfather, is bound to fail.” Your subjective opinion; certainly it didn’t fail commercially, and critically the movie was provocative, and timely. I find the movie even better on repeated viewings, and perhaps this indicates this will be a classic that far outlasts some minority of critical intellectual quibbles. I judge the movie not close to kitsch, and I don’t think Nolan was trying for the Godfather, or Goodfellas, they were telling his story. That it has been mis-compared to those movies tells you how highly people hold Nolan’s accomplishment. There’s no comparison, but TDK stands on it’s own as a brilliant piece of film making.
    On a personal note the Joker was shooting, if it was me I’d have run his crazy ass over. In the movie it’s Batman’s non-compromising morals. But you can’t kill the joker. Out of respect for H. Ledger they’ll wait twenty years, then revive him on film again.

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  1. Susan Hated Literature » Blog Archive » links for 2008-07-18 - [...] The Dark Knight | jürgen fauth’s muckworld (tags: The.Dark.Knight Batman Christopher.Nolan not.read) [...]
  2. Jordan Hoffman Dot Com » Jurgen vs. The Fanboys - [...] to see mouth-breathing genre film fans try and match wits with Dr. Jurgen Fauth, a man who dared to …

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