The Dark Knight Review

The Dark Knight Heath Ledger Joker

The Dark Knight

Rating: ★★★★½ 

I’ve tasked myself with the responsibility of writing a review on The Dark Knight, but find myself lost for words. Much like my feelings after Batman Begins, it’s one of those movies that I would need to see a few more times to better digest the sheer scope of mayhem that director Christopher Nolan was able to pack into a mere 152 minutes.

This was probably the movie I was most excited to see this summer and it certainly does not disappoint. In fact, once The Dark Knight begins, it rarely lets up. Nolan has managed to create one of the most realistic comic book movies to date. By realistic I mean gritty, dark and truly dangerous. It is precisely how Batman should have been presented all along.

We have Heath Ledger’s Joker who is hell-bent on anarchy. He doesn’t want to control the underworld of Gotham City, nor does he want money, instead, he is pure unequivocal evil. And boy does he chew up the scenery with his version of the Joker! Gone is Nicholson’s dark, campy version of the Joker. Ledger’s performance is both funny and truly insane. As many versions as his character comes up with for how he looks the way he does, one wouldn’t be surprised if the Joker had decided to chew on a razor just for the fun of it, that’s how insane this Joker is!

And while we’re discussing truly nasty, Eckhart’s make-up for Two-Face was so impressive that this reviewer had trouble watching. Again, gone is the campiness that too-long plagued the Batman franchise and while the Joker stole every scene, it’s Harvey Dent’s gradual demise, playing like a Shakespearean tragedy, that is the backbone of the movie. I must admit, hearing that Two-Face was also going to be in this, made me apprehensive. Sometimes superhero movies add multiple villains and it feels as though the story gets diluted, as we see our hero spar off with each villain in turn (or sometimes both at once). Not so, here. In The Dark Knight, the Joker essentially creates Two-Face and by turning Gotham’s White Knight into a deformed psychopath, not unlike himself, scores himself a win.

I could of course, go on about the whole ensemble, from Michael Caine as Alfred, to Maggie Gyllenhall’s version of Rachel, to Freeman’s Lucius to of course, the ever-excellent Bale- Christopher Nolan has put together a top-notch cast. And while certainly, this movie runs longer than I would have liked, it’s hard to say that it ever feels slow. The punches that Nolan wallops you with by the end of the movie will leave you gasping for air. For it is clear that in Nolan’s Gotham, when somebody picks up a gun, somebody else is likely going to get killed- actions do have consequences and the Batman is not always there to save the day. I’m sure that many people will be clamoring for a sequel to The Dark Knight, but I certainly hope not. This movie was just about pitch perfect. Why ruin perfection?