Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Dark Knight Trailer
I am not interested in the new Dark Knight film because I did not like Batman Begins. Having not seen Batman Begins in awhile I cannot give a detailed analysis, but basically I thought it was dreary, and I do not want my superhero comics all dreary. Caught between Tim Burton's fun hyperbolic stylishness (the definitive Joker?) and the audacious Spartan economy of Frank Miller's Year One (Batman fights cops), Batman Begins just looks weak -- it makes a gesture toward Year One, but still has to sell action figures -- so enter ninjas and the Scarecrow and all kinds of drearily designed "realistic" urban paramilitary cars and bikes and armor and things. Trying to get away from the Matrix and Kill Bill the fight scenes were also dreary muddy intentionally hard-to-see brawls -- again you can see the gesture toward a Miller-esque economy, but it really misses Miller's point. Miller is nuts but he knows a good Batman story should be fun, at least for him, and not so much a guilt-ridden ethical parable. Same thing with the music -- Burton has his pitch perfect theme tune, and you imagine Miller's Year One, properly brought to the screen, would use no music at all. But Batman Begins has to sell a soundtrack, and so we have dreary atmospherics for two plus hours.
The Dark Knight trailer opens up with the words "You've changed things -- forever," which should be a strong meta-line that is also about how amazing the first film was, but instead thuds to the ground since the first film very much did not change things forever.
I am very much with Neil Shyminsky in not liking HOBO-JOKER, as a design. Again, it is not down-to-earth enough to be striking, nor over-the-top enough to fly. As with Batman's gear fighting style, it is "realistic" in the most middling Hollywood blockbuster style.
I am not 100% sure this is what I want to say, but since this is a blog, let's test it: it is ironic that one of the tag lines for the film is the Joker's "Why so serious?" since that is just what I was thinking during the last one and am now thinking about this one.
On the plus side Maggie Gyllenhaal is one of the most beautiful women I can think of and she is introduced kicking some ass. Also there is a trace of Dark Knight Return's dark sexual connection between the Batman and the Joker when Batman takes the place of the woman and says "then you're going to love me." Works better with the Joker as a dandy though, surely, as he was in Dark Knight Returns and All Star. (All superheroes are dandies because they all care so much about outfits).
And just to be sure you cannot distinguish this movie from all the others, the trailer ends with nothing but dark streets, explosions, and gun-fire. These could be shots from just about any movie.