Archive Review: The Dark Knight (2008)

Hands down my favourite Batman movie and one of my top 3 best Superhero movies ever made, this film is just an Icon and is still raved about 12 years later.

Certificate: 12A

Director: Christopher Nolan

Screenwriter: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart

Genre: Action, Superhero

Runtime: 152 Minutes

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

Set within a year after the events of Batman Begins (2005), Batman, Lieutenant James Gordon, and new District Attorney Harvey Dent successfully begin to round up the criminals that plague Gotham City, until a mysterious and sadistic criminal mastermind known only as “The Joker” appears in Gotham, creating a new wave of chaos. – From IMDB

“Madness is like Gravity, all it takes, is a little push.”

Well, what can I really say about this film that we all don’t know already.  This film takes the mythos established in Batman Begins, and improves on it in almost every way.  The plot is better, the stakes are higher, the villain is possibly the best super villain we have seen in comic book movies to date, (sorry Josh Brolin.) And yet, it manages to keep the little sparks of witty dialogue that I love so much, this film, just like the one before it, is sublimely quotable.  The characters are all developed nicely, even with Maggie Gyllenhaal taking over the role of Rachel Dawes from Katie Holmes.  I forgot how f***ing awesome this film was until I saw it again in the cinema.

Christian Bale had already proven that he makes a formidable Bruce Wayne, and I know a lot of purists will still say that Michael Keaton is the superior Batman, but to me,  this incarnation of the beloved DC character is the best yet.  And to play opposite him, probably the most outstanding performance in any comic book movie, is Heath Ledger’s Oscar award winning performance as the joker.  I always believed he deserved the Oscar, even when nay-sayers tried to argue that his death really clinched the deal.  It was an absolutely stunning performance and one that will go down in the history books.

“You either Die a hero, or live long enough, to see yourself become the villain.”

The action sequences are brilliantly shot, as are the car chases, even better when they include Batman’s new motorcycle.  It just feels like Nolan made everything bigger and better in this second film.  The city of Gotham is still enveloped in Nolan’s signature shades of grey, continuing to drive home the idea that this was a darker, less campy version of the characters than we had received previously.  And the jaw dropping soundtrack, heavy on the base of course, really needs to be seen in a cinema to be properly appreciated in all it’s glory.

This film is an absolute must for any Comic Book Movie fans, and a strong recommend for just…anyone in general really.  If you haven’t seen The Dark Knight yet, you really REALLY should.

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