Batman is back! what more do you need to know?
I’m going to give you a spoiler-free review EXCEPT that I’m assuming you’re familiar with the characters; if you don’t already know the origin of Two-Face, STOP READING right now, go see this overall pretty darn excellent movie and come back afterwards.
I can wait.
Okay, now that that’s taken care of…
I don’t need to burble about Heath Ledger’s brilliant take on the Joker, read any review of this movie and you’ll have it. Yes, he was great. Yes, it’s a shame he’s dead.
<cynical>Luckily there are a lot of other Batman villains so the franchise won’t die out.</cynical>
Okay. Now I get to have fun.
Firstly, let me say that this was DAMN GOOD. I love the whole Jeph Loeb/Frank Miller dark-verging-on-obsessional-not-to-say-psychotic Batman that we’ve been seeing in the last couple of decades. The two things I like about Batman, as opposed to most other superheroes, is that he is not only a human without superpowers (albeit filthy rich) but also is a psychological basket case, which makes him MUCH more interesting than most ‘heroes’.
But…Christian Bale. He’s a good actor. He was really good in Batman Begins, where Batman was young and just starting out. But he’s not right for the role any more (and there is no way that this is the last movie, they’re going to keep this up as long as they can, especially after the gross and reviews this one got…). He’s too young and too skinny, not a big burly guy as Batman is drawn; he just doesn’t look or act right for the role. Doesn’t work for me, my fav Bat-Guy so far is <drum-roll please> Michael Keaton.
Yup, it’s the old one from the 80s…and still my favorite Batman movie. Michael Keaton really managed to balance the brooding/obsessed thing with the socialite/dilettante thing, and he LOOKED the part. Christian Bale? nah.
And I also have to mention how wonderful it is to see Aaron Eckhart (close to a serious honey) in a movie that is BOTH good AND big-budget, unlike others he’s been in. Kudos to him for his performance as Harvey Dent, and to the makeup guys for giving us the really gross and horrifying Two-Face instead of the one that just looks a little burned. Nice.
And speaking of Serous Honeys, BOTH Michael Caine and Morgen Freeman are here as well. Maggie Gyllenhall is excellent as the Girl Who Must Choose. And the special effects, needless to say, are kickass.
So go see it on the big screen, it’s great. Christian Bale aside.