Movie Reflection: Batman

Category: By Christian
In 1989, I was 9 years old. That fact alone made it remarkable that my father took me to see Batman in the theatre that summer. I was thrilled. My first ever PG-13 movie a good 4 years before I had earned the right.

In my mind, the movie was fantastic. I remember recounting the entirety of the film to one of my neighborhood friends that afternoon with zeal. The characters were amazing. The action scenes were unlike anything I had ever seen before. And the movie was so dark. Disney didn't do that.

Probably the most memorable part of the film was The Joker. Jack Nicholson was memorable. In fact, for the past 20 years I have been unable to separate the man from the character. The dude who sits court side at the Lakers games? The Joker. The dude who starred in As Good as it Gets? The Joker. Jack is the Joker.

Until Friday. Because from now on, Jack was the Joker.

It takes a lot of guts to remake a perfectly good movie. To make a dark movie darker. And to recast one of the more memorable characters in superhero lore. But it has been done, and it has been done well.

But I wonder if we were really ready for it. Because Heath Ledger's Joker might just be a little too crazy for us to really get it. A little too evil. When I was sitting in the theatre on Friday morning I was getting a little annoyed with people who would crack up every time The Joker would make a funny. My guess is they couldn't escape the past images of the The Joker to really allow themselves to be jolted by this new incarnation. And perhaps it's better that way. Because the 2008 version is one bite of human flesh away from being scarier than Hannibal Lecter. Seriously.

There is a lot to like about these new Batman movies. Not the least of which is that they make you think. I was struck by how Batman Begins really wrestled with the difference between justice and revenge. And Dark Knight does a good job of helping us wrestle with the true nature of people, and the circumstances under which that might come out.

Did the movie run too long? Maybe. Or maybe I just get really tired at 4am.

Fair Dinkum

1 comment so far.

  1. alicia 6:23 PM
    another great thing about the new batman movies? ... Christian Bale is a serious hottie.

    :) I totally agree with your review by the by...

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