I’ve never had a resistance to super hero movies. I can remember the first time I saw Superman as a kid sitting transfixed, wide eyed and amazed as Christopher Reeve, god rest his soul, went about his daily business in a rather gawky manner whilst saving the world in his spare time. Not only saving the world of course but reversing time. I’ve never once heard Steven Hawkings disprove that the Superman method wouldn’t actually work.
On growing a little older the genre lost its charm for me. Example after example of comic book adaptation was pumped into cinemaplexes with huge promises of never seen before action. It all came crashing to hard nosed conclusion for me on release of HULK…. I was a great lover of David Banner as a kid, this was the “you won’t like me when I’m angry” TV David Banner of course, played wonderfully by Bill Bixby with Lou Ferringo as the frightening yet lovable monster. The movie was, and I’m an admirer of Ang Lee, HORRIFIC.
My good friend and workplace adversary Matt Etheridge (He loves his Blu-Ray) convinced me, through his relentless enthusiasm for the release of THE DARK KNIGHT to revisit the superhero movie and, as much as I hate to admit it, he’s right.
Christopher Nolan’s reinvention of this particular character is bursting with depth, conflict and, most importantly, bloody good storytelling and filmmaking. It’s not often you get such a cast fitting so well together to make what should be a formula Hollywood film, but is anything but. Christian Bale is fantastic, if you haven’t seen RESCUE DAWN, then do. Herzog and Bale seem like perfect collaborators considering their collective fondness of the physical extreme.
Liam Neeson, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman also feature prominently and to great effect, Kate Holmes manages to keep her face looking not too weird by resisting that Cherie Blair thing that she sometimes does but the one appearance that REALLY floated my boat was Tim Booth of Indie legends JAMES fame as a villain who turns up a few times in the picture but says NOTHING… He looks the part, granted, but I don’t know if Gotham City was frequented by mancunian indie frontmen which was maybe a reason for having him mute. By the way, as I was googling Tim, I for some reason put an “e” at the end of his christian name and ended up at, what is probably the most boring website in the world….. see it here.
The scene below is one of my favourites in the film and really gives a sense of what I’m talking about in terms of craft. Bruce Wayne meets Ducard for the first time which proves to be a turning point that will change Wayne’s life forever.
Roll on Dark Knight……..