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We've been subjected to enormous amounts of hype and marketing for the
Dark Knight. We've seen Joker scavenger hunts and one of the largest
viral campaigns in advertising history and it culminates with the
actual release of the movie.
Everything that's been said is pretty much spot on. This is the first time I can remember where a summer blockbuster film far surpasses the hype.
For as much action as there is in this movie, it's the acting that makes it a great piece of work. Between all the punches, explosions and stunt-work is some great dialog work. All the actors have their moments.
Bale's Batman is the definitive Batman because we see everything in this character finally on film. Martial arts skills, cunning, great tactical thinking, forensic application, technological genius to advance or improve Luscious Fox's inventions/technological breakthroughs, intimidating personality, and even a little swashbuckling.
As for Heath, yes he gets credit for his performance as the Joker. But you have to also recognize Jonathan and Chris Nolan for the writing and treatment of the character. It's not just the fact that Ledger makes the Joker so menacing, but the Nolans have given the character this great manifesto that drives its actions. The Joker's stance on chaos, order, anarchy, the morality of the average modern human being make the character so interesting psychologically. The Nolans drafted a complex character and only a perfect performance could've pulled something like this off. That's how difficult of a role this was, and that's why Ledger's performance is so great.
This isn't an action movie. It's a film that explores literary themes of the hero and villain, as well as order and anarchy. Yes, listen to the dialog because it's all in there.
Christopher Nolan's second bundle of joy "The Dark Knight" EXCEEDED all of my expectations!!! With the success of 2005's reboot of the Batman franchise, they took what was already established and expanded it, amped it up, and gave a deeper, darker and brooding story that is more gripping and the suspense is likely to catch you of guard several times throughout. Christian Bale delves more deeper into Batman, sworn to fight evil and injustice, though also quite reluctant and uncertain if his crusade can ever end and cleanse his inner turmoil from his fractured soul due to the murder of his beloved parents. But with the help of his trusted butler/ally Alfred (played superbly by Michael Cane) grounds him, gives him moral support, and keeps him in check. But the real star of the show is Heath Ledger as Batman's most deadly enemy, The Joker. I can HONESTLY tell you that: as good as Jack Nicholson was in Batman'89 he is CHILD'S PLAY compared to this Joker. He is sadistic, psychotic, and downright SCARIER and PSYCHOLOGICALLY disturbing than the previous incarnation of The Clown Prince of Crime and Ledger gives it his all to do him justice. Along with the original cast comes some fresh faces such as Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal and more. I must say though I liked Katie Holmes, Gyllenhaal gives a much better performance and is a far cry from the "damsel-in-distress" stereotype (though there's a little of it, THANKFULLY) that's common in films. Bale and Gyllenhall have MUCH better chemistry this time around more so than Holmes. Even better, the fight sequences are vastly improved and feature more brutal and bone crushing combat than "Begins" in addition to new technology at Batman's disposal. Also worth mentioning is screenwriter Jonathan Nolan, who gives the film an added frosting to an already delicious cake. Simply put, The Dark Knight is totally more bad ass than "Begins." The action is great, and the plot is more deeper and engrossing. I applaud Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, and especially Heath Ledger (who sadly passed away earlier this year) and all those aboard for believing in Mr. Nolan's talents for this second installment. Although some may feel a bit of melancholy over Ledger's death, but as a final note I will say this sincerely from my heart: Remember Heath Ledger and honor him in your minds and hearts not only for his performances, but as a human being and father to his daughter Matilda Ledger. May we issue him best wishes for his family and friends and his daughter for years to come. Remember . . . Honor him not only for this role and past roles, but as an incredible individual and talented actor. Rest in peace. Heath Ledger: 4/4/1979-1/22/2008.
I had the honor of watching TDK during a screening and was completely
blown away! This isn't just the best Batman movie ever made, this is
one of the best movie ever made. Everything in this film is excellent,
not one piece of annoyance.
Bale marvels as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Ledger has made The Joker in to an iconic movie villain. His performance belongs there at the top with Hopkins Lecter. The Joker has finally been portrait properly on film, he has earned his place between the big boys in movie villandom. This is the true Joker every Batman fan knows, loves and fears. Ledger deserves any and every movie award known to man for this brilliant display.
Nolan has made his "I will always be remembered" movie, this is the crownjewel in his portfolio. Perfect directing, perfect story, perfect balance between action and drama, everything is perfect.
Even if you hate Batman, you will love this film. If you don't, then something beez wrongz with youz!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I must say I was excited for this movie since the instant BATMAN BEGINS
appeared on screen at the end of the first film. It was always going to
be good, and sadly, it was always going to be over-hyped by the
It is rare though, that a movie can surpass all the hype and pass all expectations on the film. Nolan (The Prestige, Begins) delivers on more than the Joker we remember from the 'Old Days' of Burton and Nicholson. Instead we're given a psychopathic sadist who pleasures from sheer anarchy.
All the hailing of Ledger's performance are grounded. Watching it will make you feel a different chill down your spine than you'd remember from any other film. It's impossible, quite literally to relate to The Joker. He gets inside your head with his stories of how he got his scars, makes you laugh at his sick jokes, then makes you instantly wonder why you're laughing.
If Ledger wasn't enough to horrify you - wait for Harvey Dent. Brilliantly portrayed by Aaron Eckhart as Gotham's 'fallen White Knight' and Batman's direct counterpart. His transformation will put Tommy Lee Jones' portrayal look like children's breakfast cartoons. Gyllenhaal had perfect chemistry with both Bale and Eckhart, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman both work well as Batman's 'conscience' and of course, Gary Oldman as Lieutenant Gordon were all solid.
There are some major differences between The Dark Knight and Begins. Firstly, the music is extremely disconcerted compared with the 'majestic but unfinished' tones of Begins - but it suits the film's tone: Anarchy in every sense. There was a more solid singular villain (compared with the many in Begins) - but there was also a lot more henchmen in TDK. The martial art direction was faster and more efficient - as mentioned in the film, learning through experience.
I was disappointed at the role of Scarecrow in this film, it just felt like a loose thread and wasn't quite closed up or explained, and the ending, while it wasn't what I expected (others have said that it was predictable, but for me it wasn't) was solid and suited the film well.
All in all, this is a film that is quite close, if it isn't already, a masterpiece. Nolan has a great thing going and unlike previous 'Superhero' adaptations (Spiderman and Fantastic Four for example), there isn't campiness creeping in. In face, if Batman Begins was 10/10, The Dark Knight deserves a 12. Quite simply, the best possible sequel that could've been given.
If you watch this (which I implore that you do), you certainly won't regret it. One of the best movies of 2008 (I'll wait till Quantum of Solace comes out before I pass judgement) - but certainly a film worth getting excited for. If you don't like it, then that's also fine - but keep in mind that you probably thought Meet The Spartans was a good movie, so the rest of us won't take it to heart.
Stunning in every aspect, and exceeds all hype and expectation... Can't wait to watch it again, or for the Blu-Ray!
I used to leave a theatre after seeing a highly anticipated movie,
specifically a sequel, and be so revved up about what I saw that I
would declare that movie to be the best of a series. After each of the
prequel "Star Wars" films, I rated that one the best, as good as any of
the originals...for a time, until my opinion balanced out and I had a
more well-rounded take. For that reason, I steer away from that
mindset, and did for "Dark Knight".
Though my opinion is solidifying already after having seen a Warner Bros. screening last night, "Dark Knight" ably stands on its own with or without "Batman Begins". At a two and a half hour runtime, it's definitely an epic of a movie, but one that never runs out of gas. A delightful addition to this experience was a healthy amount of IMAX footage, which significantly adds to the feel of being on a personal, and gruesome, tour of Gotham City.
Christian Bale plays such a well rounded Batman and Bruce Wayne, qualities that none of those who have donned the cowl before him have pulled off. I still have to remember that Bale is British since he speaks with such a spot on American accent. Bale has a particular slurring lisp that serves him quite well, charmingly for Bruce Wayne and threateningly for Batman.
Countering him is the late Heath Ledger, who plays such a scary and creepy Joker that I found it impossible to NOT have chills half the time I saw him on screen. What really separates this brand of Joker from Jack Nicholson's portrayal is true unpredictability. It's obvious that, to be a good guy and think like the Joker, it really takes a toll, and it sure isn't easy. How exactly does one take him down when he's woven his harebrained plot around multiple hostages, explosives, or disappearing parlor tricks?
Initially, I was uneasy about how the character of Harvey Dent would be handled. In my mind, there was really only one faithful portrayal of him, and that could be found in the "Batman" animated series of the early 90s. As well as Tommy Lee Jones COULD have handled him in "Batman Forever", he certainly did not, though it still was a highlight of that movie. Aaron Eckhart ably assumes the mantle here, delivering a performance out of this world, easily on par with the Batman animated series.
Be it known, this caped avenger stands for the good of Gotham City that the police force and its counterparts can't represent, the good that has no jurisdiction, no procedures...and no rules, save for one. I can only hope that we've seen just the prelude to the Dark Knight's upcoming legendary battles with the worst of Gotham City's dark underside.
"The Dark Knight" gets a solid 10 of 10 stars.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I thought Batman Begins was a very well conceived and put together movie. We finally get Batman as a fully rendered character. We gain new insight into his motivations and the variables he must contend with in his role as protector of Gotham. We get to see Gary Oldman as an honest-to-goodness good guy. And we get to see Liam Neeson conducting perhaps his strangest facial hair experiment yet. But after seeing The Dark Knight, Batman Begins will forevermore be viewed (by me at least) as a handy little prologue to a FRICKIN' MASTERPIECE of a superhero film. To say it's the deepest mainstream comic adaptation ever produced would be akin to calling the Nolan/Ledger Joker 'a bit eccentric'. While watching it, I found myself thinking it was very long, which is usually a sign that it's TOO long, and therefore boring. But that's not actually the case here. The script is bulging with ideas, philosophical musings, THEMES, which Christopher Nolan is not content to gloss over in favour of cool set-pieces (as many comic adaptations are), but wants to explore, wants to allow the characters to explore, at a logical pace. So, what I guess I'm saying is, considering what it sets out to do, the movie is long ENOUGH, while still constantly holding the viewer's interest. And that's not to say the thematic exploration comes at the EXPENSE of big action, either. On the contrary, there is some truly awesome stuff going on here. The chase with the truck, for example, is fantastic, and there's some great hand-to-hand stuff too. But what engages us most is the characters, and, while the script is brilliant (the dialogue is sharp, and quite funny for the first two-thirds, before the drama really kicks in), this mainly comes down to the cast. Christian Bale. Taller than Michael Keaton was. More menacing than Val Kilmer was. Less like Adam West than George Clooney was. Solid and committed as always. He gives the character LIFE, and actually makes us feel for him. The word 'tortured' keeps coming to mind...and I suppose it's pretty appropriate. Heath Ledger. Y'know, I'd heard talk of an Oscar nomination, and thought it sounded a bit dubious. A Batman villain? Winning an Oscar? Is that what it's come to? Then I thought, is it because he didn't get one for Brokeback? Or more dubious still...is it because he...died? But...well...how can I put it...? It seems a bit blasphemous to compare Jack Nicholson to Cesar Romero, but after seeing Heath at work...Jack (who once seemed so awesome) just looks...well...lame. If you've seen it, you hopefully get what I mean. If you haven't...you need to. You will discover the true definition of commitment. Maggie Gyllenhaal. I didn't have any problem with Katie in the first one (at the time), but I doubt she could have pulled off the more emotional stuff Rachel goes through here. Seeing recasting was necessary (does Tom have a problem with his wife being involved with Batman? Too many bad memories perhaps? Why am I even talking about such garbage here?) they could have done a butt-load worse than Maggie. She rocks. As does Aaron Eckhart. But I'm not giving ANYTHING away. Suffice it to say my mind was blown...AGAIN. Makes Tommy Lee Jones look like...you get the idea. Michael Caine. Still one of my favourite actors. Alfred is the shiz. Morgan Freeman. Morgan Freeman. AOK. Gary Oldman. As in BB, no mania. No psychosis. No nervous tics. Absolute subtlety. Manages to hold his own alongside Christian, Heath and Aaron without resorting to parlour tricks. Sign of spectacular talent. Go Gaz. Eric Roberts! William Fichtner! Michael Jai White! Tiny Lister! The whole thing is just a big bag of thoughtful, well-executed entertainment. It's equal parts cerebral and visceral. Ideas and action. I've liked every Batman movie so far (okay, besides Batman & Robin), but this one makes them all look pretty bloody ordinary.
Batman has always been my favourite superhero ever since the first time
I heard about him because he his human with no powers, also he is much
more questionable than any other superhero. The story of the film is
about Batman, Lieutenant James Gordon, and new district attorney Harvey
Dent beginning to succeed in rounding up the criminals that plague
Gotham City. They are unexpectedly challenged when a mysterious
criminal mastermind known as the Joker appears in Gotham. Batman's
struggle against the Joker becomes deeply personal, forcing him to
"confront everything he believes" and to improve his technology (which
introduces the recreation of the Batcycle, known as the Batpod and the
Batsuit was redesigned) to stop the madman's campaign of destruction.
During the course of the film, a love triangle develops between Bruce
Wayne, Dent and Rachel Dawes.
There are now six Batman films and I must say that The Dark Knight is the best out of all of them. The title is good because that is what Batman actually is. It has been 3 years for the adventure to continue from Batman Begins but that entire wait was worth it. Gotham city is very Gothic looking and is very haunting and visionary. The whole movie is charged with pulse-pounding suspense, ingenious special effects and riveting performances from a first-rate cast especially from Heath Ledger who gave an Oscar nomination performance for best supporting-actor. It is a shame that he can't see his terrific work on-screen. The cinematography is excellent which is made so dark & sinister that really did suit the mood for the film. Usually sequels don't turn out to be better than the original but The Dark Knight is one of those rare sequels that surpasses the original like The Godfather 2. I also really liked the poster where the building is on fire in a Bat symbol & Batman is standing in front of it. Christopher Nolan is a brilliant director and his film Memento is one of my most favourite films. He hasn't made 10 movies yet and 3 of them are already on the IMDb top 250. Overall The Dark Knight is the kind of movie that will make the audience cheer in the end instead of throwing fruit & vegetables on the screen.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(Synopsis) Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale) continues to eliminate
crime in Gotham City with the help of Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and
the new District Attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). The Dark Knight
wants to finally get rid of organized crime for good and be free of
their corruption. Batman soon finds that a new psychopathic mastermind
known as the Joker (Heath Ledger) has taken over organized crime. The
Joker's plan is to terrify the citizens and throw the city into chaos,
and kill Batman. Batman takes the fight with the Joker personal, which
makes him confront his own beliefs. The Joker is the most dangerous
criminal that Batman has encountered, and he will need all his strength
and vigilance to defeat him.
(My Comment) This film just blew me away. Christian Bale is a natural as Bruce Wayne/Batman, and Michael Caine fits the part of Alfred, the trusted butler. Heath Ledger's performance as the sadistic Joker was absolutely disturbing and scary yet simply amazing. I would not want to meet the Joker in a dark alley, and whatever you do, don't ask him how he got his smile, especially, when he has a knife in his hand. Ledger's performance has turned the Joker into a new iconic movie villain image. Between all the punches, mayhem, and explosions, there is some good sinister dialog. The movie not only has a lot of action, it also tells the story of the internal struggle that Bruce Wayne is having with being the Batman hero. Bruce Wayne wants to be himself and maintain the difference between himself and Batman. Bruce must decide to follow the code or do what has to be done without affecting his own morals. The movie explores the literary themes of Hero verses Villain, as well as Order verses Anarchy, and the Joker explains to Batman that to have one you must have the other, and because of that, they will always be connected. The movie is long, but it went by so fast. You will love the last 45 minutes, because of the non-stop action with Batman in his new sonic suit and his BatPod. With all the explosions, body count, and the dark mood of the movie, I don't think parents should take young children. (Warner Bros. Pictures, Run Time 2:32, Rated PG-13)(10/10)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I think the big question...or the question everyone actually cares
about is this: Is Christopher Nolan's follow up to the critically
acclaimed 2005 film "Batman Begins," The Dark Knight, as good as
everyone is saying? Quite simply, yes, yes it is. There is no doubt
about it, one of the most anticipated movies of the 21st century duly
deserves every amount of praise lavished onto it. This is no ordinary
superhero movie, this is a character and dialogue driven piece, not as
action orientated as you might expect.
I will not go into plot details, because there is a lot of it. However, a basic one sentence summary is: Batman now has to face his most cunning and psychotic enemy, someone with no real motives...The Joker. Now that that is out of the way, I will start off with the actors (and boy, is there a lot to talk about). Christian Bale has done a tremendous job as our beloved Caped Crusader, with him already blowing everyone else out of water with "Batman Begins." Bruce Wayne has a flawed personality that hangs on the balance between righteousness and criminal. His perception of justice causes an emotional and personal shift, whether he is a wealthy businessman who fights crime in a gadget-riddled suit or just a normal man who is sick of all the scum in Gotham City and decides to give the law-breakers a dose of their own medicine. Because of this, and Bale's tremendous acting, Bruce Wayne is justified, and we emphasise with Bale's flawed hero more than any of the other actors. If there ever was an excellent Batman, this is it. The theme of right and wrong is played well with his character here.
Of course, I am sure you all want know if Heath Ledger was that good. And I can safely say that he most definitely was. Ledger's Joker is not only the best, but is now the greatest superhero film villain ever. His performance is truly terrifying, chilling, brilliant; any synonyms of the previous adjectives. Every scene he is in is stolen. The Joker truly is Batman's worst villain; cunning and psychotic, nothing quite matches his laugh and sinister makeup. If Ledger nabs the Oscar for Best Actor, I honestly will not be surprised. It is a true tragedy to see such a talented actor fall at such a young age...
All the other actors cannot be forgotten, though. Aaron Eckhart has definitely proved himself previously ("Thankyou for Smoking") as someone to watch out for. Here, as Harvey Dent (and later Two Face) he is very powerful. All he wants is justice; to bring down every single criminal. Eckhart is the definitive Two Face. Maggie Gyllenhaal as Wayne and Dent's love interest, Rachel Dawes is much better than Katie Holmes. Gyllenhaal's performance has substance, I really cared for her and her future and she was terrific in every scene. Michael Caine can do no wrong, and as Alfred Pennyworth he provides some comical and emotional scenes. Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, although a limited role, does inject some sly humour and much needed morals into the story. Finally, Gary Oldman's Lt. James Gordon is riveting. He at least needs a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance as another crime-fighting hero who faces some challenging situations.
Wally Pfister's cinematography is simply stunning. Gotham has never looked so good, so big and deep. His wide shots purvey a dirty aura and contribute to the feel of the film. Without it, it may not have been the same. Another Oscar worthy portion, THE MUSIC! With Hans Zimmer AND James Newton Howard at the helm, how could it go wrong? The score sets the mood in every scene, giving an epic and thrilling tone. During the action sequences it really ups the adrenaline. And on the topic of action, The Dark Knight succeeds in having the best fight sequences and car chases in a comic book adaptation yet. With no obvious or over-use of CGI, the explosions and accidents are the real deal. Thrilling, edge of your seat and violent, this is brutally awesome stuff.
Nevertheless, none of this would be possible without Christopher Nolan, the man behind it all. Pairing up with the writer (and brother) Jonathon Nolan, the darkest Batman movie yet is the best, and the best so far this year. This does not feel like a comic book film, the dialogue and situations feel so realistic. And, it IS the script that drives this film. The dialogue is very, very well written and is the centre of the conflict and the movie.
It may be bold to say this, but this is the best superhero film of all time. There are others that are magnificent ("Superman" and "X-Men" are two examples) but this is the most complex, the most dark and the most spectacular and epic of them all. See it for Bale, for Ledger, for the music, the action and for Nolan's flawless direction.
5/5 and the best film of 2008 so far!!
I have just come out of the "Dark Curtain" Screening for The Dark
Knight in Adelaide, and I'm blown away.
Nolan's directing is sublime, the pacing of the movie was so well kept, managing to keep the audience enthralled in an almost 3 hour movie. There were several shots in the film that had me saying "Now how in the hell did they do that?!", Brilliant scores by James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer. Every actor shines, no one person steals the film. I don't want to say much about it, because whatever is said cannot do it justice, there is enough hype surrounding it's release, but it's there for a reason. Top Notch film. Bravo to Nolan and his crew for giving a movie that Batman truly deserves.
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