Friday, July 18, 2008

The Dark Knight (Soundtrack) by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard - Review

The Dark Knight (Soundtrack) by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard - Review
Smiles in the Dark
Review by Christopher Coleman

Let me tell you how I got this smile on my face...

In 2005, one of DC’s most beloved superheroes was brought back to the big screen by director CHRISTOPHER NOLAN. The Batman franchise had been reinvisioned and reinvigorated by Tim Burton in the late 1980s with BATMAN and then in 1992, with BATMAN RETURNS. While the film franchise went into serious decline after that with the next two Batman films, several animated television series were developed and have seen great success. Batman was still very much alive in our media consciousness. Still, the overwhelmingly positive reactions to Christopher Nolan’s BATMAN BEGINS made it clear that we were ready for a big-screen-Batman again. Three years later, the dark-one is back, flanked again by composers HANS ZIMMER and JAMES NEWTON HOWARD.

THE DARK KNIGHT truly stands out from the crowd this Summer. Despite excellent efforts in both IRON MAN and THE INCREDIBLE HULK, director Christopher Nolan pushes his film along the lines of real-worldliness beyond either of these two ... even beyond his own BATMAN BEGINS. This real-world grittiness (enhanced greatly by the sparring use of CG) helps to separate this film from the glut of 2008's Summer movies. In fact, take away the cape and cowl, and poorly applied make-up and this film could almost slip into this year's dramatic Fall line up. Well, maybe I go to far.

Since Batman's revelation, the city of Gotham has changed: the people, the police, and the criminals. Such change is visually reflected, among other ways, in the color palette shift from the golden hues of the first film to cold hues of blue. The mob is under new leadership and have themselves hit hard times, thus opening the way for a new sort of criminal – one not moved by money or simple power. Our hero of the night has to fight the old mob and the well as himself in this new Gotham. Christopher Nolan's sequel is an effective mash-up of mob drama and psycho-thriller that happens to include a caped crusader as its protagonist. As the perilous second act of a hopeful trilogy, Zimmer and Newton Howard follow suit and push and already menacing musical style even further into the darkness.

Read the full review here

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