When I saw the original Dark Knight in the movie theaters, I was massively disappointed. It felt long (I checked my watch several times near the end of the movie) overly complicated and had no real emotional center.
I am glad to say that Jorge has improved on the original immensely! This is without a doubt my go to version of Batman!
What works? The memento style is brilliant to me. It is not a gimmick because it makes much clearer how and why Harvey Dent fell. The first and last scenes are with him and I think the last scene of the movie is quite powerful and tragic due to the way the movie was structured.
Also I believe this movie has much more momentum than the original. Like I said the original movie just began to drag for me. The new structure and aggressive cuts make this a leaner and more interesting movie.
Pre-Amble Ramble -
This was the second fanedit I ever saw, before I knew about this site. I knew fanedits existed but had only ever heard about the countless Star Wars prequel edits. So when I found this (however the hell I found it) I was eager to watch it as I love TDK like McAdams loves Gosling. I don’t need to go into how much I love TDK but I love it, warts and all.
So I watched this edit (in 2010) and didn’t care for it. I didn’t like the Memento style story telling and was upset that some of my favorite moments were cut. Much later once I had joined this site I gave this edit a 7/10 rating without rewatching it. I’ve felt bad about that 7/10 because I didn’t appreciate the idea of a FanMix and when I first watched it I cared more about the fact that blah blah blah was cut and didn’t watch it with an open mind. Now when I look at the history of fanedits, this is a big bright shining star so I felt I should revisit it.
So now that I’ve watched it fresh, here’s what I think.
Note: When it comes to rating the edit in terms of enjoyment/narrative as a movie in its own right, it is all opinion based on my own warped views.
Technically speaking, this edit is close to perfection. The only complaint I have (on the editing side) is the “Sin City B&W/color effect” that is applied spills over at times (mainly when it comes to Joker’s smile). But there are so many things Jorge did right with his editing I can easily overlook these moments.
But this edit still doesn’t work for me. I didn’t like the flow of the narrative, mainly due to the Memento-mix structure. Most of the scenes were too short and (especially in the beginning) it felt disjointed. I often had to remind myself that the original film still exists and I can always rewatch that version. If I hadn’t seen this movie a million times it would be hard to keep track of what was happening.
The Memento-mix works in Memento because the main character has no short term memory. The structure of that movie puts you into the main character’s shoes (to a degree) and the finale brings the two timelines together perfectly. This movie doesn’t have that lynchpin to really justify the structure. As an example, the final scene here feels forced and out of place, yet Memento’s final scene makes you rethink everything you just watched.
I know that Jorge’s intention was to create a new ride for people who have seen the movie umpteen times, but truthfully, I’m not sure how many more times I will watch this version of TDK. To be fair, it’s still Batman and (more or less) it’s still TDK.
Now let’s be unfair. I’m going to compare this edit to Jaws The Sharksploitation Edit. Both are FanMixes of beloved movies by top notch faneditors. Jaws Sharksploitation on the one hand is the perfect “Disc 3″ version to Jaws. If I want to rewatch Jaws I ask myself “Do I want to see the original classic or do I want to watch the crazy version?” It’s a coin toss for me, depending on the mood I’m in. With TDK, I’d rather watch THE DARK KNIGHT instead of THE DARK KNIGHT REMIXED. Is it fair of me? No. Do I love TDK as it is? YES. Did I enjoy The Dark Knight Remixed by Jorge? As a piece of fanediting history, that’s an emphatic YES. As a movie, I’d say “Eh, not really.”
OK, with all that being said, I applaud Jorge for what he did here. As a fanedit, this is a must-see. As a movie in its own right, this would collect dusk in my cabinet.
Let me add something. Having watched it again, I don’t know what the hell I was upset about Jorge cutting. I may have confused this edit with The Rise and Fall of Harvey Two-Face. All of my favorite Joker moments (except the shot of Joker with no make-up) are here. So that was sweet.
FANEDIT RATING – 9
Audio/Video Quality – N/A (The DL DVD is offline so I watched an xvid avi someone else made)
Visual Editing – 9
Audio Editing – 10
Degree of Editing – 8
(NOTE: “Degree of Editing” is a 100% arbitrary rating that I keep in mind when reviewing edits. This is not meant to insinuate that a faneditor is lazy or not. Some fanedits require a lot more work than others and I take this into account.)
MOVIE RATING – 5
(NOTE: Normally, Movie Ratings treat the edit as if it were an official theatrical release. In this case, because this isn’t a FanFix, I’m looking at it as if it were like a 10th Anniversary Alternate Cut. I know this edit doesn’t try to replace TDK.)
Narrative – 5 (Original, honestly, is an 8/10)
Enjoyment – 4 (Original is around 19/10)
This may easily be the Best Fan Edit I have ever watched!
I had the distinct honor of the seeing the rough cut of this masterpiece more than a year ago.
So I feel like a total schmuck that it took me this long to actually sit down
and watch the final DVD version.
The alternating timelines thru the use of colour and b&W,
the moving of Harvey Dent to the forefront
while maintaining the powerful psycho presence of the Joker,
the seemless merging of past and present….
…this was just a beautiful experience.
While I am not a huge fan of the memento-mix style,
here is works perfectly, and if anything,
magnifies the power and tragedy
of Bruce, Harvey, Gordon and Rachel.