Movie Chronicles » The Dark Knight

First Dark Knight Review online June 25th, 2008

AICN have posted a review of The Dark Knight, where the movie is com­pared to The God­fa­ther 2 and Heat whilst also sug­gest­ing that Heath Ledger should get an Oscar nod from the Academy.

This review con­tains spoil­ers — full arti­cle included after the break.

Just after watch­ing The Dark Knight. I see no reviews are online so I
thought Id send you my review.

Ive kept this review as spoiler free as pos­si­ble as I dont want to ruin any­thing like some­one did recently with another Chris­t­ian Bale movie!!!

Ill start by say­ing that I was a fan of Bat­man Begins and am a huge admirer of Christo­pher Nolan’s body of work. I had my faults with BB mainly to do with how they shot and edited the fight sequences but felt it was a great start to a much larger story and I jumped with joy when Gor­dan pulled out the Joker card at the end.

The Dark Knight opens with a bank heist sequence that high­lights how the joker is always one step ahead of the crim­i­nals he is work­ing with and the police who are after him. Numer­ous men break into a bank con­trolled by the mob wear­ing clown masks and com­ment on how The Joker
has put the whole thing together. This is the cat­a­lyst for which the rest of the events in this movie takes place.

The heist does not go to plan well at least not for all the gang. Its a great set up and pay­off and a unique way of intro­duc­ing the ace in TDK’S whole or in this case its Joker.

Heath Ledgers per­for­mance of the joker is truly one for the books. A man of no remorse or morals who sim­ply wants to see things burn. There is no back story or estab­lish­ing the char­ac­ter. He is fully formed. He does have some dia­logue scenes that reveal a bit of his back­ground.
Lets just say he has some issues with his father and that smile of his is rooted in a ges­ture of love. He is far from a car­i­ca­ture and has depth . He realises that with­out Bat­man he would not be. The Joker is almost more of a ter­ror­ist than crim­i­nal. He is not moti­vated by money. He wants to see peo­ple suf­fer. Its a damn shame that this was Heath Ledger’s final major per­for­mance as it shows a whole dif­fer­ent side to him as a per­former and I now know that he was end­lessly tal­ented. To watch him walk away from an explod­ing hos­pi­tal dressed as a nurse is prob­a­bly my favourite moment Ive seen on film so far this
year. Also look out for when he makes a pen­cil dis­ap­pear such a cool moment! Best sup­port­ing Oscar anyone?

Gotham is still engulfed by crime. Falcone’s reign as the head of the mob is over and that seat has been filled by Sal­va­tore Maroni played by Eric Roberts. What becomes clear is that there are also numer­ous other gangs within Gotham. Its no longer just one syn­di­cate. They are all in some way in cohoots but the arrival of Bat­man has made it harder for them to operate.

Bat­man has inspired the city offi­cials par­tic­u­larly Har­vey Dent. The
DA for Gotham city. This is really his story. The rise and fall of the white knight. He is Bruce Wayne’s hope for Gotham City. A hero who doesn’t have to wear a mask. A man who can inspire hope in the masses. If BB was about fear then TDK is about hope and is rel­e­vant in today’s times. Har­vey Dent is a good hon­est man who is will­ing to bear the weight of bring­ing down all the crim­i­nals on his shoul­ders and what that means for his own life and those he loves. In terms of his tran­si­tion to Two Face all I will say is that every­thing online that Ive seen is fake. The moment we first see him in hos­pi­tal when Har­vey
Dent asks Gor­dan what his nick­name used to be in Inter­nal Affairs and Gor­dan says Har­vey Two Face and Har­vey turns to him . Such a clever way of estab­lish­ing the char­ac­ter. Even down to his dou­ble sided coin. Lets just say Aaron Eck­hart puts Tommy Lee Jones to frig­gin shame!

The film feels more like a crime drama in a grand city scape than a typ­i­cal comic book movie. It feels like Heat except Bat­man is Al Pacino and The Joker is Robert De Niro and just like in that film we have a great scene between Heath Ledger and Chris­t­ian Bale across a table. There is also an ele­ment of a Greek Tragedy.. There is a vast
sense of moral­ity at play within the film.

Dent is try­ing to bring down the crim­i­nals and wants to bring them in under a RICO charge. To do this he needs Batman’s help as he has to bring in the man who takes care of all their money. A glo­ri­fied accoun­tant as Rachel Dawes puts it.Think Al Capones accoun­tant in the Untouch­ables. So Bat­man ven­tures to Hong Kong. It adds to the idea that this is very much set in the real world and its not just Gotham that Bat­man can access.

This all hap­pens within the first third of the film. The run time is
two and a half hours. It doesn’t feel that long as there is so much going on within the film. Ive always felt Christo­pher Nolan was able to han­dle pac­ing unlike many movies that are over two hours these days. This is also his first entirely lin­ear film and he proves him­self to be a gifted sto­ry­teller and a mas­ter of util­is­ing film as a visual medium. He fills each frame with so much scope and detail. You can tell he is enjoy­ing him­self with the amount of money he is being allowed to play with and wants to bet­ter him­self and the fran­chise. Although this movie doesn’t feel like an instal­ment in a fran­chise.
The best thing I can think of for com­par­i­son is The God­fa­ther Part 2.

There is no sign of the Bat­cave in this film. Although Alfred does make men­tion of it say­ing how he looks for­ward to it being fin­ished. Bruce now lives in a pretty sweet pent­house apart­ment and his new bat­cave is in an under­ground layer in the docks. Bruce and Lucious Fox have been work­ing on the suit and toys although to my sur­prise the Bat­pod was in BB and nobody spot­ted it. It’ll put a smile on your face when it makes its introduction.

Chris­t­ian Bale owns this role. He is Bruce Wayne and he is Bat­man. He
is also a third char­ac­ter in some regards as there are almost two sides to Bruce Wayne. The pub­lic fig­ure, a play­boy bil­lion­aire who knows how to spend his money and the Bruce Wayne behind closed doors who only Alfred and Rachel get to see. A man cov­ered in bruises and wounds who des­per­ately wants be free of Bat­man but is com­pelled to make a dif­fer­ence as no one else can. He can play the vil­lain to be the hero as he does.

The sec­ond third focuses on the cap­tur­ing of The Joker. The city is liv­ing in fear as he makes threats on national tele­vi­sion that he
always fol­lows through with. You sim­ple have no idea what he will do next. There appears to be no rea­son to his mad­ness although that proves to not be the case.

I don’t really want to give away any­more. I will say there is death but not in the way some of the fan boys who have watched the trailer are think­ing. There is a pres­tige moment within the film that is a true Chris Nolan moment. The scare­crow is in the film but has a very minor role.

Just go see it on open­ing day in a room full of fans. Ill be doing the
same and have no doubt Ill enjoy it even more the sec­ond time round.


Tim Bis­ley

Comments No Responses to “First Dark Knight Review online”

Michael Dray­cott June 25th, 2008

Where is the Pod in BATMAN BEGINS? Any­body have any idea?

wez June 25th, 2008

a report from tim bisley?thats the name of the main char­ac­ter from spaced!lol

Galaf June 25th, 2008

Yes, that’s true. Where is the Bat­pod in Begins ? Maybe when Bruce Wayne go to find his future equip­ment ? At Lucius’s office ?

Dylan June 25th, 2008

Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler

The bat­pod is in the the tum­bler like were gor­don is aim­ing at the bridge it sep­a­rates from the tum­bler when the tum­bler seems to be crushed by the semi

theone­an­donly June 25th, 2008

what? this is a spoiler, you said its spoiler free but you’ve told the full out­line of the story.

Galaf June 25th, 2008

which tv-spot ? I don’t see the bat­pod sep­a­rat­ing from the Tum­bler O_o

Cas­san­dra June 25th, 2008

where the heck is the tum­bler in BB?
im kind of dis­ap­pointed by the fact that bruce wayne has changed so much in this movie…a pent­house? bat­cave under the docks?? allright…it had bet­ter be good though. i have my hopes up because I’ve been fol­low­ing the pro­duc­tion from the begin­ning so it bet­ter had not be a dis­ap­point­ment. what really is ironic though is that this movie cen­ters all around the Joker and then har­vey (two face) ( it’s all fake?!?)
and then batman/bruce wayne…where did the hero go?? okay im still stoked though. ;D

A3 June 25th, 2008

The bat­pod appears on BB, remem­ber when Bat­man and Gor­don use the “weapon mode” .. you can see that it kind of trans­forms into the bat­pod shape.

Keith (What­where) June 25th, 2008

Cas­san­dra; maybe you should read the review again; I think you may have mis­in­ter­preted what it was saying.

Bruce is three people:

#1) Bil­lion­aire Playboy

#2) Car­ing; but, scarred hero

#3) Bat­man

So he’s still a hero; but, he plays up his play­boy sta­tus to avoid suspicion.

Galaf June 25th, 2008

no, when it’s in weapon mode, look at the wheel, it’s not the same at all.

xj9 June 25th, 2008

wez, you are cor­rect. This review may as well be writ­ten by Scooby Doo.

From wikipedia:

Tim Bis­ley (Played by Simon Pegg): Tim, rarely seen with­out his skate­board, his Choco­late beanie, or his PlaySta­tion con­troller, is an aspir­ing comic book artist, ama­teur skate­boarder, and pas­sion­ate fol­lower of cult fic­tion in many forms, includ­ing video games, sci­ence fic­tion, and espe­cially — at least ini­tially — the orig­i­nal Star Wars tril­ogy. He is a rather grumpy and short-tempered soul, quick to irri­ta­tion at the slight­est provo­ca­tion, mostly because his girl­friend, Sarah (played by Anna Wilson-Jones), broke his heart and dumped him after an affair with Tim’s friend — Duane Ben­zie (played by Peter Ser­afi­now­icz). He’s cur­rently writ­ing and illus­trat­ing a graphic novel about an orphaned boy who has been inad­ver­tently trans­formed into a giant mutant bear from the exper­i­ments of the crazed “Dok­tor Man­drake”, who now is try­ing to find this bear so that he can repli­cate the exper­i­ment which trans­formed the boy. Tim hasn’t actu­ally tried sell­ing his work, because he’s afraid that peo­ple will laugh at both it and him, as shown by flash­backs in-show of an evil-looking man (who is later found to be Damien Knox, edi­tor of Dark­star Comics) laugh­ing at Tim’s work. A trau­matic inci­dent in his child­hood when attempt­ing to cure a fear of dogs merely left him ter­ri­fied of dogs, light­ning and bam­boo instead. He ini­tially works as an assis­tant man­ager at a comic book shop, “Fan­tasy Bazaar”, along­side its manager/owner, Bilbo Bagshot (played by Bill Bai­ley). In the sec­ond series, he lands his dream job as a graphic artist at Dark Star Comics. Tim con­sis­tently demon­strates more of a work ethic than Daisy, although his adverse reac­tion to Twiglets makes him violent.

Jay June 25th, 2008

Does any­one know what the Joker back­story stuff means?

“Lets just say he has some issues with his father and that smile of his is rooted in a ges­ture of love”

Sounds a lit­tle strange. Any guesses?

I don’t like the idea of explor­ing the Joker’s past. I hope this isn’t is weird or stu­pid as it sounds.

Galaf June 26th, 2008

Well, his father hated him, he hit him till his born, one day, Joker kill his father, and since that day, he’s com­pletely crazy… Maybe some­thing like this.

what­what June 26th, 2008

The Rolling Stone review of the film said this, “The deft script, by Nolan and his brother Jonathan, tak­ing note of Bob Kane’s orig­i­nal Bat­man and Frank Miller’s bleak rethink, refuses to explain the Joker with pop psy­chol­ogy. For­get Freudian hints about a dad who carved a smile into his son’s face with a razor.”

I trust that over this other review that was hor­ri­bly written.

wez June 26th, 2008

thanks xj9
this helps prove that either its a major coin­ci­dence that this reviewer has that name or that its fake!im bet­ting its fake!for a start it men­tions that every­thing that has been shown on the inter­net of two face is fake,however,i know that thats not true,and i have proof!if all was fake then that two face scene weve seen (the ‘half dead’ scene) would be included,however,wizard mag­a­zine reported back in march that this scene was shown at a wiz­ard world show and they described it in the mag​a​zine​.it turned out to be exactly like the one posted on the inter­net!
im get­ting slightly pissed off with all these fake reviews ive seen,ive read 3 dif­fer­ent ones now,all com­pletely dif­fer­ent to each other!one of them even said that two face isnt even in the film!
so from now on,if i see a TDK review,i will ignore it!(unless its closer to the release date and in a mag like film or empire of course!)
and in the mean time im guna enjoy the viral cam­paign and con­tinue count­ing down the days!
peace and fuckin guys

Chris June 26th, 2008

i believe that the back story of the joker and what that dude mean’s is that the joker and his father had a bad past hid dad beat him and carved the smile in his face I.E it’s a scar and then he killed his father after­word just an idea?

First “Offi­cial” Dark Knight Review online (Bat­man: The Dark Knight — Movie Chronicles) June 26th, 2008

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sg1222 June 28th, 2008

first off I think that Chris is right about the smile on Joker . Its actu­ally a scar from his father carv­ing a smile w/ a razor. and i won­der who dies. I know that every­one thinks its rachel dawes but thsi review says its not who we think its is..

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