Film critic Jim Emerson offers an extremely detailed look at the first part of a famous “The Dark Knight” car/truck chase sequence, analyzing how it is put together and whether the filmmaking grammar makes sense. After watching, read the accompanying article (excerpt below)
There are plenty of ways to make a movie. There are plenty of ways to make a mess, too. But sometimes when I and fellow critics and moviegoers complain of “incoherence” in modern “snatch-and-grab” movies (particularly action sequences), some people say they don’t know what we’re talking about. This is an attempt to be very, very specific about why some of us get confused. What it boils down to this: we’re actually watching the movie.
When, for example, we’re shown someone gazing intently offscreen and there’s a cutaway to something else (that appears to be in the vicinity), we assume (having familiarized ourselves with basic cinematic grammar over the years) that we are seeing what they are looking at. But that’s not always the case. Why? I don’t know. I find many directorial choices in contemporary commercial movies to be sloppy, random, incomprehensible — and indefensible. –Indiewire