The Dark Knight currently holds two pretty impressive #1 spots. (Well, actually it holds quite a few, but I'm only going to talk about two of them.) While I thought the darker tone of the film would prevent it from reaching anything higher than #3 for all-time biggest opening weekend box office, it reached #1 with approximately $155 million dollars. Judging from my own screening and several comments I've read online, young children weren't present for the most part, which makes the feat even more impressive.
It is also, according to votes to date, the #1 rated film on IMDb, the ultimate source of movie knowledge. In other words, going by the votes there, it's the best movie of all time.
Does the film deserve either of these recognitions? While I'm not here to be a hater, I would like to shed some light on the issue.
I'm sure there are many people who saw the movie who would have no qualms declaring it the "best movie of all time." Though I admire their enthusiasm, I have to question their logic. True, the idea of saying that ANY movie is the best of all time is a fruitless, pointless effort, but if the majority of the world could come to a consensus, it surely wouldn't be The Dark Knight that got chosen.
Other new releases have hit similar peaks on the site, and I have no doubt that this one will eventually move down in the rankings, if for no other reason than haters voting it down simply because they can. (The Joker would love IMDb because it shows humanity at its worst.)
The film definitely raises some moral issues/questions and has some fantastic performances. I think Ledger's goes without saying at this point, but that won't stop me from writing a whole post about it later.
But I had two major issues with the film, and they sort of tie into each other.
1. It was WAY too heavy-handed. While this played into specific scenes, it was especially evident in the ending voice-over by Commissioner Gordon. He said lines VERBATIM that Lucius, Alfred, and Dent had said earlier in the film. I got the point of Batman having to be a martyr, and I liked it. But I didn't need it pounded into my skull.
2. In such a gritty realistic film with such great acting, bad acting or unnecessary comical moments really hurt it. The kids shooting and then the cars blowing up was straight out of the Michael Bay rejected script spoof. The passenger of the van carrying Dent had the worst reactions ever.
And the way things played out on the ferries was not believable to me. I liked the set up, and I actually liked what happened with the convicts. But the "innocent" people did not feel natural. No one mentioned the fact that not EVERYONE on the other ferry was a convict. There were guards and officials and crew. And there were just not enough people talking in general. And no one tried to get off only to be stopped by other people.
Putting it to a vote was pointless. Obviously "YES" is going to win. And there's no possibly way they counted over 500 votes that quickly. No one wanted to turn the key at first because they didn't discuss never revealing who actually did it or all lying and saying that the Joker blew it up.
Finally, I didn't believe for a second that that guy WOULDN'T have blown up the other ferry. He seemed like the type of guy that would totally justify it. Maybe I couldn't believe his change because I didn't think he was a very good actor.
While I didn't have a problem with the length, I can see how others did. It seemed to wrap itself up numerous times only to keep going. The stuff featuring the Joker was the most riveting, so it might not have been a bad idea to focus solely on that.
And I totally agree with a friend who said the first time we met the Joker should have been the "pencil scene." (I cringe just thinking about that.) The bank stuff was there to establish that he was stealing from the mob and that he had a total disregard for the people working for him.
We got the latter message plenty of times in the film, and the former could have been setup another way, even within the mob meeting before the Joker shows up. That's the first moment that everyone remembers, so it should have started his character with that and saved us some time.
Despite these criticisms, I highly enjoyed the film. And I am more than happy that it took the number one weekend box office spot away from Spiderman 3. While I haven't seen it, I've heard about the "emo Spiderman" stuff, and that's enough to knock it significantly down from the status of The Dark Knight. Any scene with the Joker gives you more to dwell on afterwards than the whole of the Spiderman movie.
Who knows how long it will hold onto the top spot, what with insane marketing and ticket prices ever increasing. But as long as it's there, I'm satisfied.