Please note: This is an update of my original review from back in October. Now that the DVD is out, I wanted to include my review of that also. My 5 stars is for the movie itself, the DVD however I give 2 stars, and that is aimed at the special features (or lack thereof). But more of that in a minute, first is my review of The Dark Knight.
Finally - a movie that not only lives up to the hype, but actually surpasses it. What a great movie. I found it very entertaining all the way through, it was never boring, and just when you think you have time to take a breath, you're off again! This movie had everything you could possible want in a good film - great characters, a terrific story, stunning cinematography, and a soundtrack that is haunting, powerful, and emotionally psychotic. I really can't think of anything about The Dark Knight that I didn't like. I have seen it a few times, it's just one of those movies that I don't think I'll ever get tired of watching.
As the Joker, Heath Ledger was captivating, and gave the performance of his life in The Dark Knight. When he was on screen you couldn't take your eyes off him, and you were always on edge because you never knew just what the Joker was going to do next. Heath put everything he had into making this role his own, adding all the little antics, expressions and mannerisms that actually made his character fun to watch. There was a lot of talk about Heath's incredible performance in The Dark Knight, BEFORE he died, so for anyone to say that this movie was hyped just because of the death of Heath Ledger, it is completely inaccurate. He earned every bit of praise and recognition that he is getting for this film, and not out of sympathy, but because he truly deserved it. Although Heath's character was a major role, and absolutely stole the movie, all the other actors were terrific as well, and I wasn't disappointed with any of the performances that they delivered.
So many times I have gone to see a movie expecting great things, and then come away feeling let down. This didn't happen with The Dark Knight. It was everything I was expecting, and even more. The DVD however, left alot to be desired. Disc #2 didn't have much to offer in the way of extras. There were no behind the scenes documentries, no specials on how the movie was made, or how they filmed the special effects, no cast interviews, nothing. It might have been nice to see a blooper segment, or out-takes, deleted scenes, but again there was nothing. Of all the DVD's I have purchased in the past, the best value I got for my money was the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. Each one of those DVD's had HOURS of extras, including all the interviews and documentries, there was so much to see, everything that you could possibly want in special features, and I was hoping that with The Dark Knight being such a huge movie, we would see something similar on the second disc. Instead, it was a let-down. Perhaps, as some people are suggesting, Warner Brothers might release another DVD, a Directors Cut or extended version of the movie, with lots more extras than there are on this release, and if that's true, then we will have to go out and spend more money again if we want to own it. The special features on this DVD do nothing to compliment or support what was and still is a great movie.
My final comments on the film itself - I hope that the next Batman movie can live up to this one, because The Dark Knight will be pretty hard to top. There was enough action, drama, adventure, emotion, and the occasional comic relief, just enough of everything to make it a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. I haven't seen a movie like this in a long time, and certainly not one that I have enjoyed so much. Kudo's to Chris Nolan, the cast and crew, and last but not least, Heath Ledger. He had an amazing talent that will be truly missed.