The Dark Knight is Not a Masterpiece? Say It Ain’t So!

After a month or so of foaming at the mouth by fanboy movie sites and actual critics alike to praise “The Dark Knight”, a movie critic has decided to take the film to task for being kind of average, while a fanboy movie site is taking issue with all the hyper praise for Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”. David Edelstein of NYMag is the critic, and John over at TheMovieBlog is the fanboy. John calls bullshit on descriptions of the movie as a “masterpiece”, “ultra violence”, and my personal favorite, “the best goddamn crime movie since the invention of cinema.” Okay, so maybe I made that last one up, but you get the idea.

NYMag critic Edelstein has already gotten grief from certain fanboy movie sites for his less-than-“it’s a masterpiece!” praising of “The Dark Knight”. Here are some of the highlights from his review:

Nolan appears to have no clue how to stage or shoot action. He got away with the chopped-up fights in Batman Begins because his hero was a barely glimpsed ninja, coming at villains from all angles in stroboscopic flashes. There are more variables here, which means more opportunities to say “What the f— just happened?”

How is Heath Ledger? My heart went out to him. He’s working so very hard to fill the void, to be doing something every second. It’s rave and rage and purge acting. This Joker is a straight-out psychopath… I couldn’t take my eyes off him, but in truth, I found the performance painful to watch. Scarier than what the Joker does to anyone onscreen is what Ledger must have been doing to himself—trying to find the center of a character without a dream of one.

Meanwhile, here are some highlights from John over at TheMovieBlog, which I recommend as s must-read:

1) The Dark Knight Is One Of the Darkest (Or Grittiest) Films I’ve Ever Seen
This statement (or some variation of it) is one of the staples in the blog fanboy quotes you’ll see in most Dark Knight reviews. When I read those quotes all I can wonder to myself is “what the fuck movie were they watching and what made them think it was Batman?”

Bullshit: Let’s get the straight. The Dark Knight isn’t really all that Dark and it isn’t really all that gritty. Oh it’s dark and gritty for a COMIC BOOK MOVIE. Sure, I’ll agree with that. Compare this film to X-Men and you can call it dark and gritty. Compare it to Spider-Man and you can call it dark and gritty. But don’t even pretend like The Dark Knight is even in the same league as Apocalypse Now or American Psycho (also featuring Christian Bale coincidentally) or The Killer. The Dark Knight looks like a G rated family film next to real “dark” films. Dark and gritty for a comic book movie, sure… but just leave it at that.

He goes on, and it’s definitely a fun read.

I haven’t seen “The Dark Knight” yet, and truthfully, I’d like to see this thing with an audience. As much as I’ve enjoyed the clips, the trailers, and the first six-minutes of the film that have been released for mass public consumption so far, I nevertheless have trouble seeing “The Dark Knight” as some sort of masterpiece comic book movie. Will it be good? I’m almost certain of it. Will I leave the theater thinking it’s the best movie EVER MADE, like some of my fellow movie site critics? Probably not.

But hey, I’ve been wrong before, and I’ve love to be wrong this time.

The Joker and Rachel Dawes