Two years ago, at the beginning of 2008 Heath Ledger had died from a drug overdose and he has just completed The Dark Knight in which he plays the Joker. When the film's initially released, Ledger's performance of the Joker was menacing and heartbroken not to fact that he had died. Several months later he received many accolades for the role especially a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. The Dark Knight worked not only because of his performance, but because of the entire film that had worked itself out.
It starts with an amazing opening sequence where band robbers donning clown masks rob a bank with the Joker as one of the robbers. It was a beginnning where the Joker creates chaos for Gotham. For the Joker he wanted Batman to give himself up for the benefit of Gotham city or else people will die. Well that was what Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) had in mind. He wanted to retire as a well known vigilante because Gotham's District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), who's dating Wayne's close friend Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal), had more success in fighting off crime when's not the Caped Crusader. But when Joker comes in, he started playing games with people. Dangerous games. Instead of targeting the Batman, he target Dent, Dawes, Gordon and all the authorities of Gotham. With the help of his keeper Alfred Pennysworth (Michael Caine) and Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), the Batman would do whatever he can to keep the Joker in hand along with Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman).
For almost a second, The Dark Knight begins to look terrific. And whenever there's a scene involving the Joker or Batman, it might be the greatest. When the joker comes into a mob's meeting, it's almost pivotal. But the most pivotal moment involving the Joker was either scene where he is confronting Batman when the Joker's interrogated. This confrontation is almost great and robust, there's no way that any other superhero flick with a scene featuring the hero and the villain together could challenge this.
Ledger's performance as the Joker is almost scary. I have to admit, my 7 year old sister was so scared of this movie. The Joker's character had made what Jack Nicholson's character look so old. As you know, Ledger pulls off the greatest comic book villain in style of what Malcolm Mcdowell's character Alex Delarge in A Clockwork Orange had been executed. Ledger also adds in the psychology into the Joker where in two scenes, he explains to himself that his tyrannical past had made him into a psycho. But apparently it's his character that drives him to play tricks on people doing for no logic. Not for money or for power. As Pennyworth explained "he just want to see the world burn".
However I believe that the whole cast was so underrated. Christian Bale is still good as Batman, as he is still dark and believable as caped anti-hero. More characters from Batman Begins are given some important roles in The Dark Knight as they weren't in the first film. Gary Oldman who I think was there for like half an hour has more screen time in this film where his purpose was to keep things in place in Gotham. Maggie Gyllenhaal is a great replacement for Katie Holmes (who was so bad in Begins) as Rachel Dawes. She's given more to do in here and acknowledges that even though the character has an important role, she's the damsel in distress. But Aaron Eckhart stands out as Harvey Dent who is almost a conflicted character. Most of his relastions with Gordon and Batman are so conflicted it turns him into a dark man. He say his lines very well that I think would be memorable of the film's status. Lines like 'either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself becoming a villain'.
Christopher Nolan was assigned to direct the Batman films after they were so mind null with its toyetic approach (remember Batman & Robin) and in both films, he directed it and wrote the screenplay for both films magnificently. Nolan's style of filmmaking always plays games with people and gives the audience a reason to think in his movies.
Every action is neatly directed. It goes far off from being over-editted or being shot on hand held camera. The explosions are almost neat but kept to the minimum because Nolan wanted to use minimum CGI and more practical effects. Each action sequence are brilliant and almost thrilling. And the best thing about The Dark Knight is its dialogue. It's amazing, it's 0% cheesy and cliche and has such idealism.
The Dark Knight comes to many concepts. You know there is a meaning in this movie. It comes to beliefs of law and order. Many characters are all corrupt people. Police, criminals, lawyers everybody who could be involved in the game. How we are trying to improve from a nasty rate of crime and whether it's right or wrong to take laws into your own hands. As far as Eckhart's character goes it makes us feel sorry for what he is going through that he ends up a changed person.
The Dark Knight is not only a superhero flick or a comic book movie. It's a film noir (as Wikipedia suggested but I agree), it's a real drama and if there is any more I could think of, I would have listed and The Dark Knight had turned a comic book movie into a real fine form of art.
The Knight is at his best and I am looking forward to the next film The Dark Knight Rises released in two years also directed by Nolan.
It is in my DVD collection and this is by far a modern classic