In the latest Batman reboot, Batman has to deal with both the Joker and Two-Face, all while contemplating whether he’s any better than the ends-justify-the-means dudes that he fights. Movie portrays a consistently murky, satisfactorily melancholy vision of Gotham in which it’s always night and no one is quite sure they’re doing the right thing. New ass-kicking technology, including wings for Batman and a muscular Batmobile with LOITER and INTIMIDATE modes [and the ability to eject a Batbike], provides spectacular pyrotechnics to distract from the fact that most of the acting is serviceable but not exciting.
Should be telling that the audience cheered and laughed only when the Joker was on the screen. While everyone else is repressed and dire, Ledger’s Joker capers in his own manic world, creepy, unpredictable and much more interesting than Bale’s Batman, who we know is dull enough to eventually do the right thing [supported, of course, by moralizing from Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon].
The movie’s strengths are its action scenes, special effects and the Joker. Weak points are the otherwise complete lack of humor, frequently ponderous script and lack of psychological realism, especially in the character of Gyllenhaal’s Dawes. Why does Rachel like Harvey Dent? There’s no chemistry and no interest. After all those resentful looks she passes Bruce Wayne, why does she insist that his penthouse is the safest location in Gotham? Who cares? This is not a movie about female characters. Screw the female characters. We have no need for them [even though the mayor, some Mob players, Lau and Gordon could be female characters without any problem at all]. This is a movie about MEN and MORALS. Also BIG FUCKING EXPLOSIONS. At these three things, it succeeds.
Three and a half out of five stars!