Movie Review: The Dark Knight
The Entertainment Critic Movie Review
In Theatres Now Review
By James Myers
Rating: 9 of 10
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers (WGA): Jonathan Nolan (screenplay) and
Christopher Nolan (screenplay)
Genre: Action | Crime | Drama | Mystery | Thriller more
Tagline: Why So Serious?
Batman and James Gordon join forces with
One Man Army | Scarred Face | Based On Comic | Evil Clown | Ice Cream Parlor
Numbers Show 'Dark Knight' Will Smash Several Box-Office Records (From Rope Of Silicon.
Christian Bale ... Bruce Wayne / Batman
Heath Ledger ... The Joker
Aaron Eckhart ... Harvey Dent / Two-Face
Michael Caine ... Alfred Pennyworth
Maggie Gyllenhaal ... Rachel Dawes
Gary Oldman ... Lt. James Gordon
Morgan Freeman ... Lucius Fox
Monique Curnen ... Det. Ramirez
Ron Dean ... Detective Wuertz
Cillian Murphy ... Dr. Jonathan Crane / The Scarecrow
Chin Han ... Lau
Nestor Carbonell ... Mayor
Eric Roberts ... Salvatore Maroni
Ritchie Coster ... The Chechen
Anthony Michael Hall ... Mike Engel
MPAA: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and some menace.
Runtime: 152 min
Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS | Sonics-DDP (IMAX version)
Norway:15 | New Zealand:M | Finland:K-13 | Singapore:PG | Canada:14+ | USA:PG-13 | Australia:M | UK:12A | South Korea:15 | Ireland:15A
Battersea Power Station, Battersea,
Company: Warner Bros. Pictures
Every summer there is that one blockbuster that is the marquee event of the summer, the ‘Jaws’ type blockbuster that film buffs are willing to stand in line to see. The Dark Knight is 2008’s top blockbuster, and by the time its run ends, it may be the most pervasive blockbuster ever. Dark, mysterious, and foreboding, this is an edgy, gripping thriller. The performance by the late Heath Ledger more than meets the hype, and it alone is worth the price of admission. The Dark Knight is a 2008 American superhero film co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is a sequel to Batman Begins (2005). Christian Bale reprises the lead role. Batman's primary conflicts in the film include his fight against the Joker (Heath Ledger) and his strained friendship with district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart).
For his conception of the film, Nolan was inspired by the Joker's first two appearances in the comics and Batman: The Long Halloween. The Dark Knight was filmed primarily in
The film begins with the Joker robbing a mob-owned bank, and double crossing his accomplices so he can have all the money. That night, multiple Batman impersonators interrupt a meeting between mobsters and the Scarecrow. The real Batman shows up and subdues everyone, but injuries suffered during the confrontation force him to acquire a new, more functional suit of armor. Batman and Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman), contemplate bringing new district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) in on their plan to eradicate the mob, and the possibility that Dent will become the hero to the people that Batman cannot be. At the same time, Bruce and Harvey are both competing for the love of Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal). The mob bosses meet to discuss how to handle Batman, Gordon, and Dent, while a Chinese mobster accountant, Lau (Chin Han), lets the gang leaders know he has taken their money to
After Batman successfully abducts Lau in Hong Kong and delivers him to the
Dent and Rachel awaken to find themselves tied to chairs with barrels of explosive material surrounding them. Dent attempts to free himself, but accidentally immerses the left side of his face in turpentine when he falls on the floor. Batman arrives and rescues Dent just as both buildings explode; the left side of Dent's face is burned during the explosion. Gordon does not reach Rachel in time and she dies in the explosion. In the hospital, Dent is driven to madness over the loss of Rachel, which he blames on Batman, Gordon and the Joker. The Joker sets up another elaborate plan; first he convinces
While "Harvey Two-Face"(Aaron Eckhart) confronts the corrupt cops and the mobsters one by one, flipping a coin to decide their fates, the Joker burns Lau at the top of the clown's share of mob money, stacked into a tower. The Joker then declares that he will rule the streets and that anyone left in
Dangling from a wire, the Joker acknowledges that Batman really is incorruptible, but that Dent was not and he has unleashed
The competing themes in the movie make the dark, sinister backdrop even more persuasive. Does the vigilante have to abandon his code of helping law enforcement within some set of rules to rid the world of uncontrollable evil? Bruce Wayne as Batman longs for ‘a normal life’ with Rachel, who he has lost to the larger that life DA Harvey Dent. As long as he remains the Batman, he cannot have a normal life; he cannot have Rachel. The Joker, a "psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy," played expertly by Heath Ledger (“I believe whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger.”), is reminiscent of Alex (Malcolm McDowell) in a Clockwork Orange. He seems to want only anarchy and chaos, existential disaster to prove his paradigm of life: all goodness is corruptible and men are innately evil, contemptible beings. (“Introduce a little anarchy... Upset the established order... Well then everyone loses their minds!”) If you have ever read Mark Twain’s ‘The Man Who Corrupted Hadlyburg’ you get the idea. Man is cable of only good or evil; the Joker’s real mission is to prove man is capable of only ‘ultraviolent’ evil, particularly the Batman. His mission is to put his adversaries in impossible ethical and moral dilemmas that have no real solution and where the problem solvers do not know the truth behind their choices until it is too late. And once they choose, the inadvertently commit acts of evil violence. Humiliation, exposure, and dominance motivate the Joker. Micheal Caine as ‘Alfred’ says it best: “Some men aren't looking for anything logical. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
Unknowingly, it is his desire to exposure Batman as evil by performing acts of incredible violence that keeps Bruce Wayne from achieving his goal of acceptance and ‘a normal life.’ This tension is incredible throughout the movie, buttresses by living and vivid action sequences that simply have to be seen to be believed.
The writing and direction in this film is first-rate. The background and sets are incredibly gritty and urban.
Complex, dark and disturbing, this is an intense film that has moments when you are startled right out of your chair, and may be too intense for young viewers. The Dark Knight is clearly this summer’s best film so far and maybe the best grossing summer film ever. The Dark Knight opened on
Movie Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M_dzsvEfyM