In 2005, Christopher Nolan rebooted the Batman film franchise with Batman Begins. After its incredible reviews, not many thought that the sequel could top the original, but it did. Simply put, The Dark Knight is the greatest comic book movie of all time. It’s not even close. Simply, this film has everything. Action? Check. Drama? Plenty of it. Surprises? Definitely. Bruce Wayne is a billionaire, inheriting his fortune from his late parents, who died in Batman Begins. After their death’s, Wayne travels to Asia to study martial arts so he can rid Gotham of crime. When he returns, he becomes the vigilante known as Batman, catching criminals the cops were too corrupt to chase. The first year of his campaign in incredibly succesful, scaring criminals to the point that some won’t even go out at night. The mob has had enough, and hires the Joker (played by the late Heath Ledger) to kill him so they can return to life without Batman. The cast, led by Christian Bale’s Batman and Ledger’s Joker, all perform their parts brilliantly. Bale does an excellent job portraying both the billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne and the street fighting vigilante Batman. His battle against crime has left Batman physically and emotionally exhausted, to the point that he is searching for a succesor to clean up the city for him. That man is Harvey Dent, played by Aaron Eckhart. Dent is Gotham’s new district attorney, who’s hatred for crime may even surpass the dark knight’s. When Dent is burned and becomes Two Face, Batman feels like Gotham has lost its true hero, because he puts criminals away without wearing a mask, and in his opinion, “Gotham needs a hero with a face”. As good as the rest of the cast was, none could compare to Heath Ledger’s Joker. When Ledger was cast, there were many questions as to why they chose him. He was always a great actor, but he had any comedic roles which concerned some Batman fans because the Joker is a somewhat comedic character. There is nothing comedic about this Joker however, only a homicidal maniac bent on proving that anyone can be corrupted and that everyone is inherently just as bad as him. Ledger does something that no other actor has achieved, he redefines the character in such a way that the next time I see the old, childish clown version of the joker, I will be legitimately dissappointed. Ledger was the best super villain in a movie ever. Better than Alfred Molina in Spiderman 2, better than Gene Hackman in the orginal Superman movies, and yes, better than Jack Nicholson as the original Joker in Batman. If Ledger doesn’t win an oscar for his role, I will lose faith in humanity. Period. His was not only the best performance I’ve seen this year, but I can’t remember ever leaving a theater being that blown away by an actor before. If you havn’t seen this incredible work of cinema, go see it now before you miss your chance, and for those who have seen it, see it again, it helps you really appreciate the fine performances produced by everyone in this movie.
the dark knight review
September 22, 2008