For Ninoy’s birthday, my father and I saw Dark Knight at Megamall. We had limited choices. The movie, after an extended run, was then only being shown in far flung malls I haven’t even been to, like SM Fairview, and Mall of Asia’s IMAX (with limited screenings). I wanted to go to Gateway, but it was being shown alternately with Torotot, and I didn’t want to get the schedules wrong and step into the wrong movie.

So we settled with Megamall, Cinema 12, where the audio was appalling and the seats reminded me of high school, when going to the movies qualified as a hip gimik.

But I don’t think a state-of-the-art theater could have helped Dark Knight. It was just not well done. I’m not even going to talk about the cheesy dialogue and the lackluster Rachel substitute and what’s up with Batman’s doble-kara voice? His new suit is doing odd things to his vocal chords.

No, what gets my goat are the lapses in editing and storytelling. For two and a half hours, the movie couldn’t suspend my disbelief. And it’s not because I’m a cynic–I happen to like movie-length escapist thrills and willingly trade my blue collar clothes for a mask and cape at the theater door.

Flat characters are iredeemable, just as three-dimensional ones live on after the movie. I wonder how they managed to make Batman look flat–with so many previous films already contributing to make a character so real to the audience’s mind, they still did. Batman was cut out of a cardboard box, especially in contrast to the Joker’s superb presence. And I’m not just saying that because Heath Ledger is dead. Really, wow. Now, that is–was–one intelligent actor.