The last time I watched Marvel’s Iron Man, I was pleasantly surprised with how good the movie adaptation was. I was hoping that DC would inspire the same reaction with their upcoming The Dark Knight.

It seems that my faith have been rewarded.

Mark these words: The Dark Knight will be the benchmark that all superhero movies after this will be compared to.

Yes, it’s that good. The moment I came out off the cinema, I was literally speechless. All my awe and terror and surprise and joy had left my mouth during the 152-minutes thrill ride.

There wasn’t any particular thing that I could nitpick on. It was as close to perfection as a superhero movie can be. It will be very hard indeed to find someone who will not be pleased after seeing it.

Christopher Nolan has made a back-to-basic superhero movie—chockful of action and a brilliant storyline that wouldn’t alienate anyone, even the most hardcore of fans. Best of all, he didn’t even need to insert esoteric moments significant only to fanboys, in order to please them.

Batman is awesome, the fans know it. Nolan just showed us how much more awesome Batman can be.

By now, Heath Ledger’s tragic death has lend a posthumous hype to his appearance. The public had seen a glimpse of his talent portraying Joker, and he had been touted as being on the same iconic level as Darth Vader. Peter Travers from Rolling Stone even lobbied for a posthumous Oscar for Ledger.

What can I say? I agree with every single praise for Ledger’s performance as the arch-nemesis Joker.

Jack Nicholson was good, but Ledger took the character to another level entirely with his anarchic interpretation. A lot of writers might have fleshed out Joker in the past, but the one in The Dark Knight truly belonged to Ledger. He was sinister, psychotic and ruthless. His mind has no order, just chaos. And he’ll kill Batman just because he loves it, laughing all the way. That, ladies and gentlemen, is Joker down to a T.

Furthermore, boy, is he scary. Everytime he takes out his knife, my bones are filled with dread. Heath Ledger could’ve carried the movie all by himself.

But he didn’t, and he need not to, and that’s what made the film all the more amazing. Everyone just seem to have their characters down pat, which I think has to do with the writing as much as the actors. I particularly love how the audience is enlightened to Harvey Dent the District Attorney, the Apollo, the Golden Boy, rather than Harvey the Two-Face—something picked up from The Long Halloween, surely. It made his descend into Two-Face all the more tragic and funereal.

My advice: prepare to be shocked. No matter how straight you thought the story would turn out to be, you’ll still be surprised. And please catch it in the cinema, the ‘BOOM’s and the ‘KAPOW’s will be much more satisfying.

“I don’t want to kill you,” said Joker to Batman. “You complete me”.

How true. It’s criminal that we won’t get to see more of you, Joker.

The author watched the free advance screening of The Dark Knight at the G-Max cinema in Greater Union, George St courtesy of Myspace’s The Black Curtain.

The author was in awe with The Dark Knight‘s viral marketing campaign, especially after receiving 3 issues of The Gotham Times before the screening:

The Gotham Times

The Gotham Times