Reader review: The Dark Knight

2012-07-13 14:30
What's it about?

Bruce Wayne disguised as the masked crusader Batman (Christian Bale) continues to eliminate crime in Gotham City. However, he wants to finally hang up his cape and hand over the crime-fighting reigns to District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). But with the arrival of a new psychopathic mastermind known only as The Joker (Heath Ledger), everything changes. The Joker succeeds in terrifying the citizens of Gotham City and throwing the city into chaos. He even infiltrates and intimidates the all-powerful mob and takes over organized crime in Gotham City. The Joker toys with Batman and all of Gotham.
The Joker is the most dangerous criminal that Batman has encountered and the Dark Knight must pull out all the stops to defeat him.

Read on…

Heath Ledger at his best … or worst! As this being his final completed movie before his untimely death in January 2008, The Dark Knight is a tribute to Ledger's spectacular performance as the unhinged Joker. Ledger makes previous Jokers, even Jack Nicholson, look like… well, clowns. Ledger's Joker is so horrifically captivating and mesmerising – I couldn’t take my eyes off him and his antics kept me riveted.

The Dark Knight has a strong ensemble cast. Christian Bale is excellent as the haunted vigilante revealing all his traumas while Aaron Eckhart is gleaming as Gotham's White Knight and then appropriately scary as Two-Face. Gary Oldman skilfully portrays the ultimate good cop, Lieutenant Jim Gordon and Michael Caine is brilliant as Bruce Wayne's wise but sarcastic butler, Alfred Pennyworth.

Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes is an improvement on Katie Holmes but I think her character is still slightly weak. And, finally, Morgan Freeman settles into his dutiful role as scientific genius, Lucius Fox. But without a shadow of a doubt The Dark Knight is Heath Ledger's movie.

With his greasy green-tinted hair, cracked white make-up, blood-red grin, dark-shadowed eyes and strangely witty one-liners you completely forget the actor behind The Joker and admittedly he may be the most charismatically evil villain you will ever meet.

But make no mistake, The Joker is evil personified – a self-confessed 'agent of chaos'. Like Shakespeare's Iago, The Joker has no rules, no morals and no motives. He 'just wants to see the world burn'.

At times it was painful to watch Ledger because you have to wonder if his role as a maniacally murderous Joker sent Ledger over the edge. Yet there are no indications of this in Ledger's performance as he delivers a performance of the highest quality. Deserving of his posthumous Oscar? Definitely!

Director Christopher Nolan has exceeded all expectations with this enthralling, high-class action packed movie. Six action sequences were shot with IMAX cameras for maximum effect. The Dark Knight was shot on location in Chicago, bringing realism to a comic book fantasy.

A subtle use of visual-effects and relying on stunt work adds to this realism. The movie is a bit long but holds your attention throughout with a storyline consisting of twists and turns. The Dark Knight unfolds as an absorbing crime caper.

The only ones who shouldn't watch this thriller of a movie are those who are afraid of clowns…. For the rest, there is no excuse. How will The Dark Knight Rises conclude this spectacular trilogy? Only time will tell.

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