Opens July 18
In our elitist-critic mode, this movie critic probably should have included some indie comedy or searing documentary. Or at least something for the older crowd. But this is summer, when testosterone and special effects rule. So we can’t leave out the summer's other big, murky action picture: the first sequel to the prequel of the Batman movies. Again it's helmed by Christopher Nolan, who usually has cool tricks in store: he directed that snazzy illusion The Prestige, and in his earlier art-house life pulled off a devious told-in-reverse murder drama, Memento. In The Dark Knight, Young Bruce Wayne (the always-broody Bale) has matured enough so that he can face off against the chief villain of the first Tim Burton Batman: that merry, maleficent prankster The Joker. Back in '89 he was incarnated by Jack Nicholson. This time the role went to Ledger, a casting choice that guarantees poignancy as well as evil fun. He’s supposed to be great. What a pity that, when the inevitable sequel to the sequel to the prequel comes along in a couple years, Ledger won’t be in it.
Next Mamma Mia!