Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Dark Knight, Revisited

Last summer, like most people who saw TDK in the movie theatre, I felt justifiably wowed by the production and the intelligence that went into the flick. On second viewing, and on the small screen at that, I find more sympathy for its critics. The nihilism is pretty much unrelenting.

Without the benefit of surprise, the Joker character Heath Ledger and the Nolans put on screen is less fascinating and more loathsome. I still hold my earlier opinion he's too much of a controller to be an "agent of chaos," but it's still one of the best depictions we'll ever see of a dog that needs to be put down.

I have to wonder about all the Oscar talk: after last year's honors for No Country for Old Men, how much of a backlash would there be if Hollywood goes this dark for the second straight year? What does it say about us, as a culture, that our entertainment industry would put so much quality effort - and praise - into products that embrace nihilism to this extent two years straight?

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