Rarely do movies or individual performances live up to expectations or hype. The Dark Night and especially Heath Ledger, do just that. Director Christopher Nolan has taken the superhero/action film genre to a whole new level, one that isn't likely to be topped, though I certainly hope he will try with his next installment in the Batman series. Ledger gives the performance of his young life and his death shortly after wrapping his role as the Joker made the movie all the more haunting. Clearly, Ledger totally immersed himself in the role and it showed in every single scene. He was brilliant, terrifying, demented, twisted, violent and deranged and everything the Joker is supposed to be. One literally forgets that this is merely a movie and nothing more than a performance as Ledger so takes on the persona of evil.
I've always been a huge fan of Batman and probably always will be. Unlike Supermans goodness or Spidermans geekiness, Batman is dark, mysterious and walking a fine line between good and evil. He's a troubled soul and isn't sure if he's actually doing any good. While not as dead on as Michael Keaton's wonderful take as Batman, Christian Bale is nevertheless a more than adequate Caped Crusader. The supporting cast is top notch with a few hidden gems thrown in but ultimately it all comes down to Ledger's epic performance. What happened to him in January was so tragic and ultimately such a waste. His last performance will go down as his finest and I can't think of a better way to remember him.