not that it matters much
Expressing an opinion online is like talking to your favorite stuffed animal- sure it may have eyes and ears, but it doesn’t necessarily mean anyone’s listening and there’s a good chance by doing so that you’re certifably insane. But for the sake of hearing myself talk, I continue to ramble on without meaning and today my ire has been raised by talks of Ryan Phillippe in the running for Harvey Dent in Christopher Nolan’s next Bat-flick.
Now, yes, I do have an irrational attatchment to the character Harvey Dent. He is my favorite Batman rogue. He represents a sort of chaos theory take on old Bats- two guys with the same goal who ended up in very different, and yet not all that dissimilar, places. I like what Harv represents and I like the potential he has. Does he ever get used to that extent? In the previous media, not so much. Batman Forever isn’t worth the time to argue over. But all the merit in Harv can be immediately recognized by dropping two names – Loeb and Sale. That’s right- The Long Halloween. Just about the most perfect Two-Face origin there is to be had. It’s sexy, it’s noir, it’s fucking rad is what it is. If Nolan puts even a shred of the Harvey Dent from The Long Halloween/Dark Victory in his next picture, then I will probably be happy. I say probably because of what I mentioned before- Ryan Phillippe.
There’s nothing overtly wrong with Philippe, it’s just that he’s very pretty. But, you say, irony! That’s whole point. No, no, no. A gorgeous, proud Harvey Dent who gets scarred and goes crazy is all well and good, but this ISN’T SE7EN! Harvey Dent has substance and convictions! He’s a paragon of JUSTICE. If you make him a Ken doll who goes nutso because he can’t look in the mirror, that’s hugely selling the character short and undermining the development of Batman. So you’re damaging more than just Harv here.
I know Phillippe has chops and I don’t sell him short. The Way of the Gun and Crash, and Gosford Park, yay. Good stuff. But I’m thinking a lot about dynamics here, and the Bruce/Jim/Harv dynamic is so important, that I just can’t get on board because he’s younger than Christian Bale, Phillippe’s miles and away from Gary Oldman and after the Heath Ledger news, I just uhg… is pretty Joker going to scar pretty Harv and we’re just going to get pretty pretty Gotham city with only pretty supervillians? Where’s the grime and corruption- the dark brooding menace that makes Gotham, Gotham? This is unacceptable. This has me very worried for the fate of Batman. One villian per movie please. No blacklights. For godsake. Let’s learn from history here.
But not to completely abolish Ryan Phillippe, cause I don’t really dislike him, he might make a good Thomas Elliot. And that would be an excellent fresh story that Nolan might make good use of. When challenged to name a better Harvey Dent- and I’ve thought this over many times- my best thought is Sam Rockwell. Or Mark Ruffalo. Maybe Henry Thomas or Sean Patrick Flanery. Someone less fair, more brooding, and potentially volitile.
So what about you? Best Two-Face?