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And here we go

I was right, I completely undersold The Dark Knight. It's a masterpiece, in which the narrative is told in beautiful frame after frame. The scenes are cut fast and the sequences packed with tension and detail, you have to stay locked in; you blink and you missed something.

The story comes at you--fast--wave after wave and you'll find it difficult to breathe, but that's the kind of suspense I've been begging for. It's mostly unpredicted, and when you know something's coming you're supposed to and that put me in an emotional state that was surprising. The dialogue is incredible, nearly every comment has a deeper meaning underneath it all, and I know I didn't catch all of it (thank the world for multiple screenings). There's a number of times where Batman is in one place, the action is in another and the villain is across town, laughing at them as they scramble and try to figure it all out. Sub-characters, like Alfred and Fox, keep you and Bruce just above insanity, too much of The Joker can be a real bad thing. But its The Joker that makes this film everything it is.

Heath Ledger's performance steals every frame. There's two points of dialogue that get you to the core and you understand him, who he is and why he exists. If you're going out to see Heath, he's not in this movie, he delivers such a powerful performance its unrecognizable. He's been replaced by a madman, posing questions to you that cut deep into your very nature. As he taunts his victims, it's like he's taunting you. Teasing you and seeing if you'll break, not for any material gain, but because he likes the sport. There's no logical process, but there's a plan and he's one step ahead of everyone else. I found myself leaning in every time The Joker appeared on screen, just to catch another one liner or sly comment on what everyone else's problem is. This isn't The Joker I knew from the comic, the face paint throws me off, but his psychology is familiar; this is the epic villain, comic book adaptations have been waiting for.

You can take this film on its surface, it lets you, but you wouldn't be accepting it for what it really is. It's an epic film because its universal and relatable, it asks big questions in short scenes. There's situations where you have to ask yourself, what would you do, and that answer may surprise (or frighten) you. It invites you to find things, perhaps you wish, you didn't know about yourself. (I did, and that's why I'm going again in 6 hours!)

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