Saturday, July 19, 2008

Some Thoughts on "The Dark Knight"

There isn't much to say about this one that hasn't already been said. And it's after 2 AM and I have to be up at 8, so I'll be brief. Starting with the obvious, Heath Ledger's performance is the stuff of instant legend, period. We're dealing with icon level work here.

That being said, The Dark Knight is the Godfather of superhero movies, a dark, bold, soulful work that explores issues of character and morality in refreshingly complex and ambiguous ways, surpassing its predecessor in every way.

The score by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard expands on their Batman Begins material, and adds a hair-raising, droning motif for the Joker that sounds like a cross between radio static and a swarm of flies, that may quite possibly be the scariest sound since John William's iconic two-note theme from Jaws, and the two themes serve much the same purpose. Wherever the theme shows up, the Joker and his influence isn't far behind.

There's much more to be said, but it's late and I'm tired and my official review isn't due until Tuesday. My full thoughts will be published in the Dispatch on Thursday. In the meantime let me take this time to announce that I will be away from the computer for the next two days while I go on vacation with some friends of mine to visit a mutual friend out of state, and I won't be back until sometime Monday evening. At which point I will return with my thoughts on You, the Living, Tell No One, and Mamma Mia. I haven't made up my mind whether I'm taking my computer with me or not, so don't expect any new posts until then.

Have a great weekend!

2 comments:

Daniel G. said...

I definitely agree with your thoughts on the score. It was fantastic.

Matthew Lucas said...

Indeed. I don't understand all the fanboy hate being thrown at it on the soundtrack message boards...OR the orgasmic fanboy exclamations that it is the greatest score ever.

It has a few derivative moments (did anyone else catch the note-for-note statements of material from "The Last Samurai?",) but overall I thought it was very effective and the Joker's theme is the sound of pure evil. Spine-chilling stuff.