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.