Honestly, I think this review will be pretty superficial, I really have to see it a second time to give my full review. But until then (tomorrow, I think) this will be a first impression review. To be quite frank, the film was a near masterpiece. Why it isn't a complete masterpiece and why I didn't give it a full ten will be explained further in my review. Essentially though, the acting was superb, that could be given a perfect and the story was grand but some of the effects and the choreographer were a bit lagging. Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart rocked Joker and Harvey Dent/Two-Face. Their performances outshine even Christian Bale's second-take on Batman but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. The villains just heightened the character that is Batman.
The Good of The Dark Knight
As I stated before, the acting is probably the best part of The Dark Knight experience. First I'll go over Christian Bale and his performance as Batman. He did great in his return. Usually with sequels the main character are plagued with their familiarity. Bale, however, is not. Instead of a similar performance to what he did in Batman begins, he gives a fantastic expansion to the character. Batman is goes through a huge emotional character arc in this film. Gotham City doesn't know what to think of Batman, is he friend or is he foe? Bruce Wayne himself doesn't even know if he wants to continue as Batman and in fact is using Harvey Dent as a means to get out of the superhero business which creates much conflict within Wayne/Batman and creates a dynamic character.
Heath Ledger was the Joker. Heath Ledger is the Joker. I don't believe anyone can top what he did because he honestly was everything the Joker is. Unless the fiction character could be taken from the comic books then there is no way anyone can top his performance. That is how good he did with the role. Everything to his walk to his breath patterns to his psychotic methods never showed a hint of Heath Ledger because he was completely cloaked and extinguished by the Joker. I don't have much more to say except his performance was an 11/10. He did beyond the work needed to bring the character to life.
Aaron Eckhart also gave a brilliant performance. I haven't seen him in anything else so I can't base his performance on anything else. I couldn't tell if he truly was Harvey Dent or Aaron Eckhart but he did do a great job, especially when he was Two-Face. Usually in films where there is a love triangle I would root for the protagonist and his love interest but in this I was rooting for Harvey and Rachel. They had great chemistry and Harvey Dent was a likeable character before he did the whole villian thing.
Gary Oldman as Lt. James Gordon was great. He did for the character what was exactly needed. I'm glad he did not play the comic relief in some parts of this film because I didn't think it worked for him in the last one. He still was the tentative character he was in the previous film but he definitely was more confident in the role. Oldman really does put the SUPPOURT in suppourting actor. He never outshines any of the others but merely performaces with them, enhancing the protagonists and their struggles. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman also did well with their suppourting roles.
I did not like Maggie Gyllenhaal as much as I liked Katie Holmes as Rachel Dowes. I'm not saying she did bad, she did very well, I just liked the way Holmes played it out better. I did feel her struggle between Harvey Dent and Bruce Wayne but a few of the moments she had I though could have been better performed if Holmes was still around.
The story was great but I think I'll get more into that in the next review as well as other aspects of the film.
The Bad of The Dark Knight
Not much bad, except a few effects and the fight choreography. I thought the sticky bombs looked pretty fake and the scene with Bruce Wayne and Lucious Fox was clearly green screened. The fight choreography also looked very fake at times, especially when Batman battled with more than one foe.
Like I said before, I liked Katie Holmes as Rachel Dowes better. I would have loved to see her in that pivotal scene near the end, I would have felt a lot more if she was still in the role, I think. Plus this new gal looks way to old to be playing the character.
Conclusion of The Dark Knight
A fantastic work of art. It's more than just a comic book adaptation but its own franchise within itself. The acting was superb, the story was even better but it did lack with some choreography issues and fake special effects.
Story: Sheer brilliance, perfect. (10/10)
Acting: Even better. Heath Ledge is the Joker. Christina Bale really is Batman. And Aaron Eckhart does very well as Harvey Dent. (10/10)
Action: Good but the choreography was clearly staged. (8.5/10)
Special FX: A few of them were a tad fake. (9/10)
Pacing: Kind of slow in the beginning. The Acts were very lengthy but it picked up at the end of Act II and into Act III. (9/10)
Recommended: Yes, for teens and above. Comic book enthusiasts and regular movie goers.