The Dark Knight overrated?

Batman: The Dark Knight

Image by lamazone via Flickr

I’ve been reading some Thor movie reviews online and some critics/viewers have continuously compared it in quality to The Dark Knight, and I’m beginning to think a bit frustrated at how Christopher Nolan’s Bat flick has become the benchmark for all comic book movies. People state The Dark Knight as the best comic book movie ever made but I personally say it’s a tie between that, the original Superman movie and Kenneth Branagh‘s Thor as the best superhero films of all time. Why am I being so sour grapes about Batman? Here’s why:

1) Heath Ledger: I’ll agree Heath put in a fantastic performance as the clown prince of crime, yet none can argue his death didn’t generate super hype for the movie. After all it was Heath’s last big role (I don’t count Doctor Parnassus) and that undoubtedly earned The Dark Knight some extra hype. Would the movie have really been so successful if Heath was still alive? I doubt it.

2) The fight scenes: Batman is meant to be an expert in martial arts, yet that can hardly be determined from Begins/The Dark Knight. The fight scenes are overly chaotic, badly choreographed and difficult to watch. Batman’s fighting skills are a crucial element to his character and if you can barely make out what he’s doing when fighting then the scenes are ineffective.

3) Suffers from Fox syndrome: The Dark Knight’s casting choices is class on paper, misfire on screen. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s portrayal as Rachel Dawes was in complete contrast to the Rachel Katie Holmes gave us in Batman Begins. We went from a Rachel who genuinely wanted to help protect the city, and who had great chemistry with Christian Bale, to a Rachel who seemed overly interested in flirtatious behaviour all of a sudden and had aged quite considerably. Morgan Freeman and Micheal Caine were also left with such small roles for two amazing actors.

4) The Bat grunt: I understand why they chose to give Batman such a grunty voice, after all it’s a lot more intimidating and it helps protects his identity as Bruce Wayne even further, but I just don’t get why it was used in certain scenes. Scenes such as when Batman was instructing Harvey Dent in the alley. Batman was trying to forge an alliance with Dent, so why use the Bat grunt? Scarring someone isn’t going to make them trust you surely? The same goes for the scene with Freeman’s Lucius Fox, in Wayne Tower. Bruce had his Bat grunt on even though Lucius knows who he is. It’s moments like this when the voice begins to get annoying.

5) Lost romance: We were left at the end of Batman Begins with Rachel telling Bruce that his commitments to Batman will mean they cannot be together. When we see her in The Dark Knight, she has completely moved on from Bruce and is pining over District Attorney Dent. Her and Bruce do address their relationship in the film but it just feels like their romance was underplayed. Especially since Batman seemed to freak out more over the ‘death’ of Commissioner Jim Gordon then he did over the supposed childhood love.

I still believe The Dark Knight is a tremendous film, and is undoubtedly up their with the best comic book movies. It does deserve its reputation because it is an incredible film, I just wouldn’t call it undisputed yet. Marvel are whopping out some real gems, and if DC aren’t careful the caped crusader will find himself in real trouble when he’s up against The Avengers, The Wolverine and The Amazing Spider-Man next year.

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