New York magazine film critic David Edelstein is public enemy number one after publishing the first negative review of the much-anticipated and lauded The Dark Knight. Batman fans and fellow critics are firing back, saying he just didn’t “get” the film. Edelstein gave the film a negative review due to violence and “morbid” factors that seem related to Ledger’s untimely death:
The momentum doesn’t carry through, though. The Dark Knight is all fits and starts—fitfully suspenseful, fitfully scary, one jerky episode after another with jolts of brutality to keep you revved up. 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.
Many of the latest superhero movies are not for kids. The films are a darker take on the masked hero genre and are aimed at an adult audience.
It is unfair of me to judge the sole negative review of the film based on the trailers I’ve seen. Of course it seems “dark” and “morbid,” but I think that’s the point.
Those who have seen The Dark Knight and feel differently about their beloved Batman 2.0 have answered the call with their support. Even fellow critics have called the review “complete bulls##t.”
The so-called critic chimes on the morbid elements of the film, calling it “noisy, jumbled, and sadistic.” 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.
Time and Rolling Stone are just a few of the major outlets that heap praises on the film. It had a 100% aggregate rating on Rotten Tomatoes until Edelstein’s negative review pushed it down to a 94%.
Edelstein seems to think that the role was a negative outlet for Heath Ledger as the Joker and lef to the unstable mental state which contributed to his death. As Slash Film points out, that may have been what ruined the movie for Edelstein and should not be something you’re thinking about while watching it:
David found Heath Ledger’s performance “painful to watch”, calling it “rave and rage and purge acting”.
“Scarier than what the Joker does to anyone onscreen is what Ledger must have been doing to himself”.
Oh C’mon… Yes, Heath Ledger’s death was tragic, but if you are thinking about his tragic personal life while watching this performance – Trust me, you aren’t watching the movie right.
The film is sure to be a huge hit at the box office. It opens in the US on Friday and advance ticket sales have been massive. Given all the other rave reviews there probably won’t be many more contrarians like Edelstein.
Photos are stills from The Dark Knight, thanks to AllMoviePhoto.