SPOILER WARNING!!! This Post spoils movie Dark Knight.
I went to see this movie twice dressed as Joker on opening weekend. My Joker photo shows what I looked like. At that time this felt one of the best movies ever made. Without make-up this doesn’t felt as good. After few times it has dropped below Batman Begins. Best movies show more good things when you watch them again. First time you see main story. Next times you start to see sub plots and pay more attention to minor characters. Main story is not problem of this movie. Being too long and spending too much time outside main story is.
Harvey Dent/Two-Face plot was mostly waste of time. You could have got everything it gave to main story with lesser character. Harvey Dent dated Batman’s love interest. Harvey Dent was good at beginning and ended up being killer and Batman took the blame. You could have achieved that with less screen time. Two-Face had couple good scenes but that doesn’t change that most of the time Harvey Dent is in screen is waste of time in movie that is too long. These scenes are not on level of other scenes. Aaron Eckhart and Maggie Gyllenhaal are not as good as others in this movie. Sometimes they seems to be different kind of movie than rest of the cast. Worst thing in Harvey Dent plot is that it ends after main story with Joker. After all excitement every thing is toned down to Two-Face ending.
Other thing that could have easily been taken away was trip to Hong Kong. That introduced gadget that was used later in movie. This could have achieved with much less time. Trip just takes the movie from main story and stops the flow. There is no good reason why that guy could not have been taken before he left country. I don’t think any group performing artist would cancel sold out shows to go to cruise with millionaire playboy. They could do that when they don’t have sold-out shows. Movie was too long and I would have taken these away. That would have left with real classic instead of long, good but uneven movie.
What I can say about Heath Ledger as Joker. He does a perfect job. Best moments of movie are ones he is in. Scenes in police station deserve their place in movie history. Joker is suicidal psychopath who want to see how people react when he does something horrible. Some of his plans go too well, but this is not realistic movie. Eric Roberts and Michael jai White have memorable roles as gangsters.
I don’t think Batman got it correct why boats didn’t explode. What he says to Joker is not what we saw happened. What actually happened was that only one man in those ships was ready take responsibility and he felt that innocent should survive. In other boat they wanted to blow criminal ship up. There just was no-one who could have taken the responsibility. I liked this boat thing until Batman ruined it. Those people didn’t believe in good. I don’t think this should show that Batman saw people of Gotham better that they actually were. There were nothing else pointing to that direction. He was even too afraid to let people to know truth about Harvey Dent. In press confess he looked like he understood that people wanted everything right now even when that would hurt them in long run. He also saw how people were ready to kill Coleman Reese.
I don’t think Joker was that wrong as Batman thinks. He just had wrong methods, not enough time and too little influence on normal people. On Coleman Reese case he nearly got what he wanted. One of the boats nearly exploded. Other boat voted on that. Movie paints picture of people being selfish and looking for short-term reward. They don’t want to take responsibility. They want others to do the dirty work. They are ready to make bad things to other people, if they can keep their hands clean. To make society work someone have to make hard decision. People are happier to living in the lie because then they can have their hands clean and have their short-term rewards. Problem is that movie is not subtle enough with these themes to make them to work.
This is good movie that has little too much in it. I wrote Harvey Dent rant from memory. After seeing movie again I don’t feel that strongly about it, but I still feel like it. Heath Ledger is so good as Joker that moments without him don’t feel that good. This is not as even as Batman Begins and this has problems with rhythm.