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The Dark Knight

2009-02-06 12:32
The Joker

What it's about:

Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is confronted with a brand new, clown-shaped villain in the form of the bloodthirsty and insane Joker (Heath Ledger), who has managed to gain control of Gotham's various organised crime outfits. Bruce must also deal with his former fiancée Rachel (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who is now dating Gotham's volatile new District Attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). As the Joker commits acts of terror across Gotham, Batman and Harvey must work together to capture him, while the bodies pile up. But are they just pawns in the Joker's diabolical game?

What we thought of it:

The Dark Knight has been a long time in the making, and for comic fans and those who loved Batman Begins (2005), the wait has been almost unbearable. The tragic death of Heath Ledger has been both a curse and a blessing for the franchise, generating unbelievable publicity, but also cutting off the reappearance of the Joker in any sequels unless he is replaced by another actor (just as Heath Ledger caused outrage in some circles by replacing Jack Nicholson in the role). Given the divided focus, how does the film itself compare to the hype?

The Dark Knight is the best entry into the franchise since Tim Burton's striking original, and it all but purges the disgusting taste of Joel Schumacher's putrid offerings (Batman Returns [1995] and Batman and Robin [1997]). Christopher Nolan has not only managed to make one of the decade's best superhero films, but has also created a compelling thriller that should appeal to people who are put off by Marvel and DC. Succeeding in ways that Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008) and Hancock (2008) could only dream of, The Dark Knight combines the wonder and escapism of the comic world with real life protagonists that act like actual people.

Screen time is split quite evenly between the various characters and story threads to create an expansive picture of Gotham, as well as a complex and gripping plot. The impressive cast is helped immensely by a sharp script that rarely descends into cheese, with a focus on characters rather than spectacle. By striking such a balance, Nolan has managed to make a far more cohesive film that doesn't have people yawning through dialogue and embarrassing 'character development' while they wait for the next giant robot or CGI fight sequence.

Not to say that The Dark Knight lacks action – there are countless fights, explosions and a spectacular chase through the inner city with trucks, vans and Batman's newly renovated Batcycle. Despite this, the stunts don't often go over the top and Nolan keeps things personal by focusing on the crack of a breaking bone, or the expression on a henchman's face as Batman hurls him through a window.
BThe cast is fantastic, with Christian Bale reprising his bitter and troubled Batman with a cocky façade. Aaron Eckhart does well as the idealistic Harvey Dent before his trouble begins, and there isn't one person who saw Batman Begins who isn't glad that the vastly superior Maggie Gyllenhaal replaces Katie Holmes as Rachel.

Given the circumstances, all eyes will be on the Joker and Heath Ledger more than lives up to expectations. He is far more brutal than Jack Nicholson's Joker or any Batman villain in recent memory – a filthy, twitchy clown with a grudge against the world. From his weird gate to his facial tics, he is the embodiment of everything foul about clowns, villains and terrorists.

The Dark Knight is making waves, and rightly so. It's the best superhero movie in a very long time and stands up as a good film regardless of genre. It has everything you could possibly want from a blockbuster and it all works together as part of a nail-biting plot. But then what do you expect from someone like Christopher Nolan, who gave us a masterpiece like The Prestige (2006)?

Do yourself a favour and go watch this on the big screen.

- Ivan Sadler

The criminally insane Joker holds Gotham to ransom in an attempt to unmask and kill Batman, while the caped crusader and District Attorney Harvey Dent try to stop his trail of destruction.

Jonathan 2008/07/25 10:23 AM
The Dark Knight I saw it on Imax at a preview screening and I have to say it is absolutely fantastic! You can't go wrong with this movie - it will grip you from beginning to end.
THE BOSS 2008/07/25 1:48 PM
Bruce Wayne 2008/07/25 10:52 PM
Hell yes Son, today I will give you a better class of criminal. This movie was brilliant!!!
Celeste 2008/07/27 12:34 AM
THE DARK KNIGHT I saw it yesterday in New Zealand, and the movie is the BEST Batman movie ever - absolutely fantastic!! Too bad for those making assumptions that it will be the same as previous Batman movies...they are so losing out!!!
Marius 2008/07/27 11:35 AM
Gordie88 All I can say is Wow....One of the best movies I have ever seen...It has everything! Heath ledger is brilliant....
Zk 2008/07/27 3:58 PM
Batman Definately the best movie I've seen this year, and thee best Batman movie ever. Ledger deserves an Oscar for his portrayal of the Joker. If you haven't seen it yet, what are you waiting for?
Indigo 2008/07/28 1:27 PM
Batman Wow, it was awesome, hectic but awesome. Cant wait to get the dvd.
Maduli 2008/07/29 7:48 AM
stupid movie what a stupid was very predictable and silly.the hulk was much better.pity everyone is giving it a good rating because the late heath ledger acts. bet, if he wasnt, then the reviews will be different. Anyway it was a dumb movie, abosoutely dumb.
Justine 2008/07/29 9:58 AM
Mind-blowing Chris Nolan has cemeted himself as one of the most versatile directors in Hollywood. From Memento to the new Batman franchise, he's seriously talented. Who would have thought that someone could revive the ailing franchise AND receive critical acclaim?! This is a much darker and more intense film that 'Batman Begins' - it's also a lot slower. There's more character development and the overall message never becomes tired or overdone. The cinematography and score are unbelievable. It's definitely worth a second viewing, to get a better idea of the inticacies of the film without being distracted from the sheer mindblowingness of it all. And BTW, Mr Sadler, when referring to how someone walks, it's spelled 'gait' and not 'gate'. Just FYI.
Liam 2008/07/29 2:26 PM
Uh... The review credits Joel Schumacher with (Batman Returns [1995]) but he did Batman Forever. Returns was Burton's sequel. ANYWAY - awesome movie. Ledger would have had these accolades whether alive or dead. An awesome rendition. And hey, lots of people have known for ages that Comic book readers (as Nolan curely is) can be brilliant.
Wicus Burger 2008/07/29 2:55 PM
Darker I loved batman since I could remember but felt that the Darkness surrounding Bruce Wayne and Batman was never captured in any movie until Begins and DK. Mindblowing character development and wit.. Bravo Mr Nolan... Spot on
Hells Bells 2008/07/29 8:42 PM
Smoldering, broody, and the epiphany of cinematic triumph I disagree with your rating of 4/5. I would give this film 5/5 stars. It's streets ahead of his last film, the Prestige, which is a masterpiece! Ah well, I guess Nolan can't please everyone, particularly the highly eloquent individual a couple of posts above me who called it a "(now, note the lack of caps lock) stupid movie." I think the fact that he liked the Hulk more than Dark Knight says more than enough. If Heath gets an Oscar for this, it won't be out of sympathy, I wasn't much of a Ledger fan before this (except for Brokeback Mtn, what a heartbreaking film!), but I have to say, he deserves the praise. Despite the fact that I disagree with your rating (which is actually very good, it's just that I feel that an exceptional film comes out only once in a few years, and here we have one. I have NEVER seen a reaction to a film like the one of the audience that I saw the Dark Knight with on opening night, really, there were COMPLETE STRANGERS talking excitedly with each other abo
not a fan 2008/07/31 3:29 PM
it's good... but not great. really people 3.5/5 at best. the movie should have stopped without exploring the theme of two face. it felt forced and made the enery of the movie drop. i got bored. good directing. good movie. but not great
JB 2008/08/04 12:40 AM
Not a fan Coming from a film background with contacts worldwide in the industry, this is one of the BIG movies of all times....for so MANY reasons. What I do have to say is that NOT A FAN does NOT HAVE A CLUE. Go and see this...a guaranteed 2.5hours of entertainment for ANY viewer, young/old/any race/any genre/anyBODY. This IS history in the making...
Mindlo 2008/08/04 7:50 PM
Alright guys Its all good, but not better than Batman Begins. I think the director was told that Batman Begins lacked comic book action, so he overcompensated. And because of the multi dimension that this movie takes, Heath Ledger's screen time reduced, but i bet WB will punt him for Best Actor, Not Supporting, which is sad, considering its only Aug and Daniel Day Lewis, Viggo Mortensen and Denzel Washington have movies coming up. But its far from being boring
Cruiz Dwyer 2008/08/07 4:58 PM
Dustin 2008/08/11 5:42 PM
Not that great I have to agree with some of the recent posts,the movie started out great and from half way thru it started bordering on the ridiculous. batman begins was way better,with a better storyline too.the epilogue is worth the wait though!
Angelique 2008/08/12 9:06 AM
Have seen better I also got bored during this movie much like some of the others that have posted messages here. Thank heavens, I thought I was the only one. Heath Ledgers performance was good. Christian Bale was a bit too bland for me. The story line wasn't gripping. I have definately seen better movies.
Yaarik 2008/08/12 10:00 AM
Awesome! I went to see this on the opeing day and again on the Sunday. It is definitely one of THE BEST movies I have seen in a LONG TIME.. It is an action hero movie but includes elemant that will appeal to almost every time of movie fan. Enjoy! I am so going for a third watch before the run ends...
Sanza 2008/08/14 1:55 PM
Dark Knight Brilliant, I dont CARE who says what, the movie is long and I liked it that way. I was getting a bit tired of paying so much money to watch a movie that only plays for 92 minutes. Heath's perfomance is out of this world. I am going to watch it again and even buy the DVD when it comes out.
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