Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Armchair Visconti: What i didn't like about The Dark Knight

First, a disclaimer: These only matter if you're concerned about a separate but related discussion about whether TDK should be considered a Good Comic Book Film, or a Good Film. To my mind, Lord of the Rings (pick any one) belongs in the latter. TDK belongs in the former. A snooty distinction, but it's what I do to amuse myself.

All plot, no story. As if Christopher Nolan said to himself, "If i put this many scenes about duality and darkness together, it will add up to a cool movie," rather than "What does an exploration of these themes look like and how would they play out among these characters?" Memo #1 to Mr. Nolan: You are not the next Hitchcock, sorry to say. UPDATE - come to think of it, I'd venture to say Christopher Nolan doesn't really understand characters. Or storytelling. What he does understand is plot mechanics. Consider Momento, or The Prestige. His movies are elaborate and intriciate constructions. They look great, have great casts, but they have no soul.

Clumsy fight scenes. Memo #2 to Mr. Nolan: Go watch the russian bath fight scene in Eastern Promises. Repeat as necessary.

Clumsy action sequences. This I found particularly odd, since the big chase scene in batman begins had at least as many vehicles moving around. Memo #3 to Mr. Nolan: Go watch any / all of the following to see how to stage action setpices:

  • The French Connection
  • Ronin
  • Ben Hur
  • Face/Off
  • Terminator 2, Aliens or any James Cameron movie that has large metal things smashing into each other.

Aaron Eckhart's performance. Pains me as it does to write this, seeing as i saw the guy in London while he was still shooting, but I didn't believe his performance as the do-gooder. So, cool makeup aside, I didn't buy his transformation. Sorry dude, you were better in Thank You for Smoking and, if it makes you feel any better, you were the best thing about Erin Brockovich.

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