First Negative Dark Knight Review - And Why It's Bullsh*t
If you haven't already noticed, The Dark Knight currently has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, which falls right in line with my own initial reaction to the film. Although I was hoping it would remain one of the best reviewed films of the year, the first negative review has shown its ugly head courtesy of David Edelstein at New York Magazine. The so-called critic chimes on the morbid elements of the film, calling it "noisy, jumbled, and sadistic." I wanted to wait to address this, because I'm on my way to see The Dark Knight for my second time right now, but alas it's become the talk of the web and I can't help but address it before other critics get their chance to see it this morning as well. If you care to still stay spoiler free, I'd suggest you walk away now, but for those who want to see how bad film criticism has become, read on.
I'm not going to spend too much time addressing Edelstein's review, because it's easier for everyone to simply read it for themselves (unless you want to stay spoiler free). This isn't just a matter of complaining about a critic who didn't like a film that I loved, this guy really doesn't get the movie. It seems like he's just attacking its more brilliant aspects just to spite its otherwise perfect rating. "It's a shock—and very effective—to see a comic-book villain come on like a Quentin Tarantino reservoir dog. But then the novelty wears off and the lack of imagination, visual and otherwise, turns into a drag." Are you kidding?! The film's "novelty" never wears off, in fact, it keeps escalating all the way through to the end - that's what really made the story stand out so much! At least he "got" how amazing the Joker was as a villain.
Edelstein also mentions that "Nolan appears to have no clue how to stage or shoot action." This is completely subjective, but considering the visuals (in IMAX), which included extensive fight scenes, were part of what made my jaw drop, I can say he's very far from being accurate on this one. It simply sounds like another complaint from a critic who didn't know that you shouldn't sit in the front row of the IMAX theater. And as for the morbid aspect, Edelstein says that "it could only be darker if Batman died." While it is a very dark film, that edginess is what gave the film more depth and intensity than any other comic book movie before it. He even goes as far as to compare it to Tim Burton's Batman - negatively. "When Burton's Batman came out, some prominent critics griped that the film was too violent for kids. Wait'll they get a load of this."
Yes, we will wait until those critics get a load of this. So far they've said things like if "Batman Begins, the 2005 film that launched Nolan's series, was a mere five-finger exercise… This is the full symphony." (via Time) Hopefully this hasn't put a damper on anyone's day, because it's a review that can easily be looked past. And when the film finally arrives on Friday, you'll all be able to see for yourselves just how wrong Edelstein actually is. Until then, it may be best to skip reviews this bad, or else his ignorance may even frustrate you. We knew this was coming, someone had to give it a bad review, but we just didn't think it would be someone who wasn't able to comprehend what Christopher Nolan has brought us.