Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Review of The Dark Knight (2008)

Written by David S. Goyer And Christopher Nolan And Jonathan Nolan
Directed by Christopher Nolan

The Joker: "You truly are incorruptible, aren't you? You won't kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won't kill you because you're just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever."
Batman: "You'll be in a padded cell forever."

Out of all the movies in Christopher Nolan's trilogy, it seems that this will be the one that will forever go down as the most successful as the bunch. It's not hard to see why really. Not only is it arguably the movie where Christian Bale gave his best performance as both Bruce Wayne/Batman but it's also the movie that gave us one of the innovative versions of the Clown Prince himself, the Joker, courtesy of Heath Ledger.

To say that Ledger (who sadly passed away after this movie had been complete) is a revelation would be an understatement but it's hard to come up with other superlatives for him. He really is that brilliant as the Joker and in my opinion, he's actually the most threatening version of the character in movie form because he's genuinely hard to predict.

In this movie alone, we've seen him kill his own men, con mobsters, jeopardize both Harvey Dent and Rachel Dawes lives, cause absolute destruction throughout Gotham and conduct his own little social experiments with a bunch of civilians and criminals when he didn't attempt to kill the mayor and spend a great deal of time needling Batman beyond belief. No wonder Ledger's take on the role has go down a treat with fans. He truly is the Joker in every way possible.

Of course to say that Ledger is the only standout performance from this movie though would be a bit unfair. While Aaron Eckhart doesn't get much to do upon becoming Two-Face, as Harvey Dent though, he truly was the White Knight that Gotham deserved. It's a shame that things went so terribly for him because his heroism and dedication to trying to clean Gotham up certainly generated the respect he deserved.

As for the role of Rachel Dawes - I'm actually disappointed we lost Katie Holmes but props to Maggie Gyllenhaal for stepping in and being every bit as good as her predecessor was as well. While this movie doesn't particularly end well for Rachel, she's still cemented as an instrumental character in this particular take on the franchise. Basically, it's not just Bruce and Harvey who lose something in this movie.

As for the rest of the movie - the action definitely picks up in certain parts. The fight scenes with Batman and Joker are definite highlights as are the Dark Knight's little trip to Hong Kong to pick up a certain accountant and the opening heist also delivered nicely too. However while the movie does flesh out James Gordon a little more, there isn't too much that either Alfred or Lucius get to do but that's a minor niggle in an otherwise superb movie.

- Eric Roberts took on the role of Sal Maroni - Falcone's successor while Commissioner Loeb was killed. Guess who succeeded him?
- Gotham has about 30 million people and this movie took place a year after Batman Begins.
- So how did the Joker really get those scars? I actually wish we had gotten a definitive answer there.
- Wayne Manor was still burnt from the previous movie so we had a penthouse apartment and a replacement for the Batcave as well. I also liked the Scarecrow cameo at the start of the movie.

While it will be the next movie that will ultimately be my favourite out of this whole trilogy, for a second act, this one certainly raised the stakes. While the ending unwisely pitted Batman against the very city he vowed to protect, it certainly added a further emotional punch to a movie that kept hitting with them.

Rating: 10 out of 10

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