The Dark Knight sets box office record, latest Batman goes for $155M opening weekend
I’ve been a Batman fan for as long as I can remember. You might even catch me rolling out on the weekends in my black and bright yellow Batman Tee. Though I was skeptical with the casting of Michael Keaton in Batman (1989), I was very satisfied with Tim Burton’s take on the caped crusader. I even liked Joel Shumacher’s first turn as director in Batman Forever. But he totally destroyed the franchise with 1997’s Batman and Robin.
So when Christopher Nolan came on to helm Batman Begins in 2005, I wasn’t nearly as excited as I should have been. My wife and I didn’t even see it on the big screen. But eventually we watched Begins on DVD and I thought Christian Bale -who I only knew from Shaft- had a nice debut as Batman.
But who could have predicted Nolan, Bale, and the late Heath Ledger would produce such a memorable comic book movie as this? I went in with pretty high expectations due to all the critical praise that’s been heaped on The Dark Knight and Ledgers performance.
Ledger’s spin on the Joker has produced talk of a posthumous Oscar nomination. While Jack Nicholas’ 1989 Joker gave us memorable one liners and funny moments, Ledger’s Joker is nothing to laugh about. His look, his speech, everything about the character is twisted and weird. He casts a large shadow over Bale throughout the movie, though Bale’s Batman is solid and NOW my favorite of the most recent four.
My high expectations for the movie were more than exceeded. There’s action from the jump, two Batman villans, and very solid performances from Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, and Aaron Eckhart who plays Gotham D.A. Harvey Dent. I would take or leave Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Rachel Dawes.
- Heath Ledger’s sadistic joker
- Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne
- Christopher Nolan’s Gotham City
- 2 1/2 hour runtime
DO NOT TAKE CHILDREN TO SEE THIS MOVIE. The Dark Knight is one of the darkest PG-13 movie ever made – thanks in large part to Ledger’s joker. It is very violent and though most kids would not be scared, many of the images are quite disturbing. The only thing keeping the movie from being rated R (in my opinion) is that there’s not a drop of blood, and none of the many people who die are clearly killed on screen.
After a $155M opening weekend, it’s only a matter of time until we learn the opening date of the next installment.