Heath Ledger’s Oscar winning performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight was one in a lifetime sort of thing. Truth be told, his superb performance accounted for the movie’s success.The idea is that comic book adaptations have always been a mix between comedy and drama. Lighthearted at best, with some dark tones here and there and, you know, the whole “we’ve got to save the world thing.”
But The Dark Knight was different. Dark in ways that we have yet too see in a comic book adaptation. Could well be defined as a psychological thriller, with the Joker posing an intriguing question about sanity and why we do what we do. The dichotomy of good and evil that is ever present in such films takes a new meaning here. It becomes something different. It becomes a lot more nuanced, more difficult to understand.
This movie is a brilliant one. And, for a long time, is going to be the best comic book adaptation ever. The best movie inspired by comics, the best superhero movie, and probably Heath Ledger will spend decades as the best villain, and the best performance as the Joker.
Because of all this, now it’s difficult to watch a movie that takes place in the DCU. I couldn’t take Suicide Squad seriously because Jared Leto does a very poor performance as the Joker. Also, trying to emulate this dark tone, but in a different fashion, hasn’t worked very well for all the other movies.
And, yes, we should all lower our expectations, because, truth be told, comic book adaptations have never even tried to achieve what the Dark Knight managed to do.
We should appreciate it as a wonderful work of art, but shouldn’t ask for other superhero movies to rise to the same level.
Christopher Nolan’s magnum opus, Heath Ledger’s most brilliant performance. It’s going to take a long time to see a movie of this grandeur and level of perfection. Decades, if maybe not longer.
Until then, we should just enjoy the movies in the DCU as being on a lower level. Entertainment and nothing more.
I just hope the guys over at DC realize this before they screw everything up.