On Monday I saw the most hyped film of year: The Dark Knight. Unfortunately, as well as rather predictable, it didn't live up to the billing. That said it's a perfectly competent film, but nothing more. Everyone has been rightly raving about Heath Ledger. He puts in a fantastically disturbing performance as the nihilistic Joker. However, possibly the best performance comes from Gary Oldman as Lt James Gordon. He is just incredibly believable as the good cop stuck in an evil world.
The script is laced with black humour through out. The best line being delivered by Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman):
"Let me get this straight: You think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world, is secretly a vigilante who beats criminals to a pulp with his bare hands. And your plan is to blackmail this person? Good luck."
The cinematography coupled with some excellent direction creates a sinister atmosphere throughout the film. Consequently the violence is some of the most disturbing I've seen since Battle Royale. It’s not though explicit. Nolan eschews modern convention of always showing the gory details and cuts away allowing you imagination to do the work. Particularly notable is the scene where the Joker has the knife to that guy's neck for an inordinate length of time and cuts away when the inevitable happens. Tim Burton would have been wise to take heed of this style when making Sweeney Todd.
This brings me neatly on to the rating of 12A by the BBFC. Those guys are absolute jokers (pun intended). The relentless violence and hopeless undertone make it wholly unsuitable for even 12 year olds; note with the 12A rating a child of any age can view it with an adult. If my sister, who is 11, would have seen it she would have been traumatised for days afterwards. This demonstrates that the BBFC's main rating categories of sex, violence and swearing are insufficient to rate a film properly. To their credit, breaking down the ratings...