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The Dark Knight
Year:
2008
Country:
USA, UK
Genre:
Crime, Drama, Thriller, Action
IMDB rating:
9.0
Director:
Christopher Nolan
Christian Bale as Batman
Heath Ledger as Jack Napier
Aaron Eckhart as Two-Face
Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth
Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes
Gary Oldman as Commissioner James Gordon
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox
Monique Gabriela Curnen as Detective Anna Ramirez
Ron Dean as Det. Michael Wuertz
Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow
Chin Han as Lau
Nestor Carbonell as Mayor Anthony Garcia
Eric Roberts as Salvatore Maroni
Ritchie Coster as The Chechen
Storyline: Set within a year after the events of Batman Begins, 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. Batman's struggle against the Joker becomes deeply personal, forcing him to "confront everything he believes" and improve his technology to stop him. A love triangle develops between Bruce Wayne, Dent and Rachel Dawes.
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Reviews
The Batman of our dreams! So much more than a comic book movie
I got to see The Dark Knight on Wednesday night, the reason though why I'm writing this movie comment this late is because I didn't wanna just jump and say this movie was awesome, I wanted to think it through, still today, I can't stop thinking about this movie! The Dark Knight lives up to it's hype and goes beyond it, this is the Batman movie that goes where no other Batman movie has gone before. It gave us a real sold story, we are finally told why the villains are the way they are, how all the injustice in the world can get underneath Batman's skin, how you have to believe that people still have faith in good on Earth. Heath Ledger, I absolutely loved Jack Nicolson's performance in the 1989 film, when I first read that Heath was signed onto The Dark Knight, I was like "What are they, kidding?", once you see The Dark Knight... Heath was incredible! I'm not going to compare Jack and Heath's performance, because they were two different versions of the Joker, but Heath's Joker was definitely the more scary and intense of the two nominations. You didn't know what he was going to do next, he was so crazy, he was also so charismatic to the point where you could relate to his character, and the worst part is not only that he's crazy, he's driving Gotham crazy and treating everyone like little puppets on strings that he can control, and guess what, he is doing it so well with a smile on his face.

This was so much more than a Batman film, this was so much more than a comic book film, The Dark Knight truly delivers with drama, action, romance, horror, dark humor, the study of a psychopathic killer, a detective story. The force behind this epic movie is Christopher Nolan, who's previous film, Batman Begins, didn't really thrill me, but his incredible film making is truly shown in The Dark Knight, the shots that he got of Gotham City were absolutely fantastic and made you feel part of the city, part of the Batman story. One of the things that I absolutely loved about The Dark Knight is that normally with a comic book movie, you know it's not real, people don't dress up in costumes, and save the day, villains don't name themselves crazy names and dress in make up or crazy costumes, but The Dark Knight actually makes it seem incredibly real, like it could happen.

Bruce Wayne is still learning how to be in his double life of Batman and himself, he has lost Rachel to the new district attorney, Harvey Dent, he's inspiring others who are dressing up as Batman and are trying to take on the villains of the city themselves. But things are much worse when the Joker waltzes into town, and he's going to bring Hell upon Gotham City. Constantly playing with Gotham's mind and trying to get Batman to reveal himself, Batman has never dealt with such a psychopathic genius before. The Joker has named himself as the "Classy Villain that Gotham needs", he also has brought a new thought into Batman's head of them actually being more alike than different, that Batman completes him, the Joker would be nothing without him. But Batman is relying on Harvey Dent, who is Gotham's "White Knight" trying to put all of Gotham's scum in jail. But when the Joker plays Batman and Commissioner Gordon, Harvey and Rachel find themselves in very horrific position and Harvey must discover if he will die a hero or live long enough to become a villain.

All the performances are dead on in this movie, now everyone's going crazy over Heath Ledger's performance, but one performance I would also love to credit is Aaron Eckhart who plays Harvey Dent/Two Face, his performance was just as great as Heath's and made Two Face a human villain. You could understand his hatred and vengeance on what happened to him and why he became Two Face. I know that everyone is saying this but I truly mean when I say this is one of the best movies I have seen in a very long time. We had some great movies these past few years, but I think The Dark Knight is seriously something special, but I don't wanna build it up too much since some people go to the theater expecting my words to be the same as your own. In my opinion though this is not a great movie, I can't come up with a word describe how incredibly powerful this movie was, to be honest I would go above a 10 rating if I could; this is the Batman film that we have been waiting for. I've seen it twice in one weekend, I'm going to see it three times this upcoming week, I don't mind one bit. I can't wait for the sequel and I would just like to say RIP to Heath, wish he could have seen his breath taking performance as The Joker.

10/10
2008-07-20
The Most Overrated Over Bloated Batman movie ever!!!
After the excellent Batman Begins, I expected this sequel to be so much better, instead we are left with one big mess of a movie. Don't get me wrong, all the actors do a splendid job with their roles especially Heath Ledger (RIP), however the film itself is just not very entertaining at all. In fact, this is hardly a Batman movie itself, the film focuses more on cops and corruption, which is fine so long as you remember that your supposed to be watching a comic book hero.

The problem here is there is too much going on, and with little explanation, the film starts to get very confusing, as you start to wonder who is really the hero and who is the villain. Batman's Gotham City now looks more like New York City, and his Bat cave is absolutely horrendous, not to mention his irritating voice.

In its defence, the actors perform well, and some of the special effects are quite good, especially the opening scene where Batman kicks butt, only trouble is, its well too brief. If your going to watch The Dark Knight in terms of action, then you will surely be disappointed as there really isn't much action at all, only about fifteen minutes at the most.

If you want a proper comic book superhero movie, I recommend Iron Man (a far more entertaining movie), or even the second Hulk movie with Edward Norton. Its just a shame, that this second Batman movie was not what I expected, and after the brilliant Batman Begins, The Dark Knight is a big disappointment. Take my advice; stick to the excellent Tim Burton classics, they are far more entertaining and faithful to the comics. Or just watch Batman Begins and skip the sequels.
2016-06-22
Bold without ever being especially great, and which progressively gets less-interesting; the film is a wild concoction of ideas that just about treads water.
Some of the very first words Christian Bale utters as the eponymous role of 'soon-to-be-Batman' Bruce Wayne, in the preceding Batman film to this entitled Batman Begins, are to a thug in a remote prison located in the Far East: "you're not The Devil, you're practise" he hisses. The feeling's that 2008's The Dark Knight is where the practise ends and the fight with The Devil begins. This is my second crack at writing something up about the film, and while what I said initially was a little unfocused and targeted the wrong areas; I stand by the initial grade I gave it and similarly retained that similar sense of feeling underwhelmed when it finished. Even if it is deemed that The Dark Knight is one of the better comic book adaptations ever made, this is not saying a terrible lot given the bulk of entries in said film canon.

That old problem of dealing with the war genre and doing one's very best to document war as a horrid, gut-wrenching thing whilst maintaining sequences of war that cannot help but carry a sense of spectacle anyway, rears its head here. The Dark Knight documents a war on terrorism and sees Christohper Nolan attempt to echo a greater sense of things in the real world as he unleashes a character known as The Joker (Ledger) amongst the inhabitants of Gotham City, The results of his terrorist 'acts' in bringing down entire buildings allow Nolan to shoot the wreckage of said act with firefighters in the foreground and smoking rubble in the back, clearly calling on immediate 'post' imagery of the 9/11 New York attacks. Incidentally, and as one source which escapes me suggested, Joker's videos of captives held and forced to talk into video cameras evoke the actions of overseas terrorist cells, and their own methods of getting the message across to The West; while most of his scenes in which he is seen pottering around an area trying to intimidate carry an odd, distorted and erratic hand held aesthetic suggesting danger, distortion and chaos. Later on, semiology linked to fire fighting will be used again in the briefest of fashions, when a certain character, who's under threat from The Joker, is being transported in a police van: a burning fire truck is used as a blockade, and Nolan cleverly instills a further sense of victimised anguish into the audience.

In addition to biting all of this off, Nolan does his best to render the film a gangster film-come-neo noir whilst operating under this banner of a low MPAA/BBFC rating as the film additionally attempts to draw on parallels between The Joker, Batman and a third piece to the triangle in district attorney Harvey Dent (Eckhart). Indeed the film opens with an audacious robbery of mob money, as perpetrated by The Joker; his menace established by the fact his cohorts contribute varying perspectives of the man whilst we perceive him to still be off screen. The robbery itself carries a clever twist in that each member kills the other when his job is done, a small but highly affecting twinge to proceedings as dreamt up by The Joker thus cementing his personality and mindset in being able to cook up something such as this. As a fighter of crime, Dent lacks the physical strength Batman does but talks a good talk and is able to place a number of criminals in jail after some hard work as he adopts his own stance on the front line of crime. Shortly afterwards, it is Gary Oldman's police lieutenant Jim Gordon whom refers to him as Gotham's "white knight", suggesting the man shares a similar overview to Batman's "dark" but is just different in technique and characteristics.

Joker's parallel with Batman sees the film establish such a relationship by way of two accompanying scenes, one seeing The Joker and a handful of representatives from Gotham's gangs occupy a kitchen and talk of certain issues. Annoyingly, the representatives are your more generic bling-wielding African-Americans; well dressed Italian American mobsters and gruff, greasy haired eastern European criminals. Cut to Gordon, Batman and Dent beside the bat signal doing the exact same thing but whose discussions and ideologies obviously differ; a later pairing of sequences seeing The Joker deal with a black criminal, whom he feels ought to be working with him, in a blunt fashion just as Batman does the same to a Chinese businessman named Lau whom he feels similarly towards in this sense, thus suggesting a more intrinsic link between the two. As is the rule of thumb in films such as Heat or American Gangster, Joker and Batman share a sequence in which they sit opposite one another at a table; on this occasion, and as other sources have stated, right before contemporary issues on the treatment of terrorists once in custody have arisen.

Where the film falls apart is its want to cater to an audience with superhero sub-genre frills, an interesting parallel drawn up between Dent as a frothing at the mouth monster named Two-Face seeking revenge and Batman, as two people differently channelling anger born out of injustices towards people they love plays out, but getting bogged down with out of sorts fight scenes and ridiculous sequences in 'sonar vision' which does nothing but juvenalise adult content. Most of the second unit stuff is nowhere near as interesting as the talk and studious observations on identity and personality; a chase through a tunnel which spills onto the streets involving a police van; a large truck and a bat-bike rather underwhelming. The film relies on rife corruption all too often to further its narrative so as to send it down another avenue of twists and turns, ultimately a story which is not as interesting as all the aforementioned character studies and power play going on as binary opposites supposedly attract and everybody's linked to each other. Ultimately only fleetingly interesting, and all too often feels bogged down.
2008-07-25
If not 'the dark knight'....then nothing
I feel regret of seeing this film lately.This movie is a mixture of incredible performances and absolute photography and incredible direction.If credits are to be given for this movie heath ledger is on first row.His performance was never before and never after.coming to batman,bale is as usually outstanding.Christopher Nolan handled the story with some emotions,some action in perfect way.He is absolute genius and a perfect director with wide knowledge on all movie aspects.This is master piece of Nolan's art.I am amazed with the jokers performance his body language his confidence and his attitude and the list goes on......heath ledger kept his soul on this movie and he provided life to the joker.if u still haven't seen this movie,then what the hell are you waiting for....
2012-04-13
One of the Best Superhero movies EVER!!!!!!!
I saw the dark knight about three years ago when I was in the 8th grade. And I was blown away at how beautifully done it was, the camera work, the acting, the story, it all took me by surprise. It is to this day one of the best movies I have ever seen or will see. No other movie can impact you in such an intense way than The Dark Knight. It is a movie worth seeing due to the fact that the workers put so much time and effort into this one film and they did not want to waste money putting up garbage. So Christopher Nolan, thank you for not wasting our time, instead earning our time with this film. To this day I still am anxious to see the movie at home. I recommend it to anyone who likes action movies in general. To anyone who doesn't, don't waste your time write bad reviews about this film.
2012-01-15
Film surpasses the hype
We've been subjected to enormous amounts of hype and marketing for the Dark Knight. We've seen Joker scavenger hunts and one of the largest viral campaigns in advertising history and it culminates with the actual release of the movie.

Everything that's been said is pretty much spot on. This is the first time I can remember where a summer blockbuster film far surpasses the hype.

For as much action as there is in this movie, it's the acting that makes it a great piece of work. Between all the punches, explosions and stunt-work is some great dialog work. All the actors have their moments.

Bale's Batman is the definitive Batman because we see everything in this character finally on film. Martial arts skills, cunning, great tactical thinking, forensic application, technological genius to advance or improve Luscious Fox's inventions/technological breakthroughs, intimidating personality, and even a little swashbuckling.

As for Heath, yes he gets credit for his performance as the Joker. But you have to also recognize Jonathan and Chris Nolan for the writing and treatment of the character. It's not just the fact that Ledger makes the Joker so menacing, but the Nolans have given the character this great manifesto that drives its actions. The Joker's stance on chaos, order, anarchy, the morality of the average modern human being make the character so interesting psychologically. The Nolans drafted a complex character and only a perfect performance could've pulled something like this off. That's how difficult of a role this was, and that's why Ledger's performance is so great.

This isn't an action movie. It's a film that explores literary themes of the hero and villain, as well as order and anarchy. Yes, listen to the dialog because it's all in there.
2008-07-09
good but overrated
Normally I would give this a 7.5 out of 10 but since I cant' I'll give it a seven. How anyone could rate this title that high on IMDb.com is amazing to me. It's mostly fanboys that believe this is the best movie ever and the best thing since sliced bread but what most fanboys fail to notice because they lack objectivity is that while the movie is a good one, it is quite flawed and nowhere near as perfect as many of the fanboys have rated.

A couple things I noticed when I watch this movie, the movie goes on way too long. Even my friends agreed and they are huge Batman fans. There are about 3 or 4 points in the movie where it seems like it will end but goes on for another 30 minutes. And while Heath Ledger's performance is top notch and Bale as Bruce Wayne is pulled of quite flawlessly, his Batman persona is a bit weak. The voice is annoying, and many times throughout the movie, he seemingly plays second fiddle.

I can't know Eckhart's casting as Two Face but Maggie Gyllenhall just doesn't seem to fit and just seems to be a standalone piece of eye candy.

There are many things I can harp about but I'm not here to knock the movie. There are good points, cinematography great, Joker and Two Face played excellently by their counterparts, mood was effective and story flowed quite well albeit a bit too long.

BUT this movie doesn't even belong in mention to some of the greats and shame on many movie fans that had this movie rated higher than such classics as The Godfather. Obviously the fanboys bought way too much into the hype.
2008-08-25
The Knight is Dark and He is Far (sort of) From Home
It takes a ton to put this plot into words. (As we see in so many printed for this opportunity.) Complicated / Complex won't even suffice for starters. The theme has plenty going for it. The film is maybe 33 minutes too long so that the point or points are nearly drowned. And what does the job is overdone special effects. AGAIN! When will we learn to fore-go that stuff, which is to please the juveniles of any age in the seats, so that an idea can gain traction! Somewhere down the line of years someone will edit this for the smaller home screen, if any of those remain when advertising has once again sold us too much for self-gratification. Then the mind will be able to concentrate on the paradox of ideas in The Dark Knight, and we might be the richer for that good deed.
2011-09-15
Let's be realistic.
I settled on a 5/10 for The Dark Knight. I appreciated the story structure and all the notes they hit... I just don't think they played them loudly. I don't like re-casting, and the replacement of Katie Holmes/Rachel and the original Barbara Gordon actress (yes, her too, didya notice?) is awkward and distracting. The lack of ANY blood in the film to complement the multitude of beatings and killings (to sustain a PG-13 rating) nullifies the tension that should be present in some brilliantly conceived scenarios. I didn't believe for a second that the victims of several hostage situations (mass or otherwise) would actually lose their lives, because it's blisteringly apparent from the onset that this film is a PG-13, and would never disturb its audience beyond the minimum necessary plot points.

The Joker is actually underwritten. Ledger was game and his performance solid, but honestly: Throw the makeup and stringy hair on 75% of capable actors out there, and you have the same product. I think Jack Nicholson's output is ultimately more interesting, and I think that Tim Burton's original film, although imperfect, is still the most entertaining in the pantheon.

I realize that to hardcore Batman fans, this is a wet dream having the grittiness of the graphic novels transposed to the big screen (if they say so; I say it came close), but riddle me this: If the same script was fashioned into a non-superhero flick, let's say Heat II, and had the same strong performances and production values, would the lack of Batman fan loyalty still rocket it to its current position on the IMDb Top 250?
2008-07-22
So overrated!
So this is the movie that created one box-office record after the other. I really expected quite something, but was left disappointed. It's definitely not a bad movie. There are many things that are good entertainment and worth watching and definitely one of the better movies this year, but come on it has so many flaws. If you think that a movie like matrix which is more original, more intelligent, better from its action-sequences and so on and so on just didn't earned that much at the box-office.

The most disturbing thing is probably the amount of realism they tried to put in a comic book story. Which always confused me as a viewer. That doesn't work for me. I think there was a hype created in America that pleased the hardcore comic book fans but i think the main reason why it was so extremely successful in America is it's dealing with Americas 9/11 Trauma.

The whole movie was kind of a propaganda movie for the government and its actual foreign policy.

When you see Batman standing in the ruins of an exploded building together with the firemen it evokes images of 9/11. And America's desperate yearning for a hero. Someone who will clean up with this scum. But what made "it" a scum isn't really told. A super-villain like the joker is just mad in a comic book. But in real life who is mad and who is not is often just a matter of the point of view.

The prisoners in the one boat evoke images of Guantanamo. And it justifies their illegal and often unjustified imprisonment of innocents with the words of the people of "other boat" . Why shall we have mercy with them. They blew their chance. But still we give them much more than they deserve. It still was a nice gesture giving them some kind of redemption by letting tiny lister throwing the detonator outside.

In the end Batman stand for me as a symbol for "W", because he is blamed by the people even though he is doing it seemingly just for them and sometimes they don't appreciate it or even understand it.

Next thing was how often and illogically they let the joker get away. I mean come on. The just cut to another scene and he is free. Thats so cheezy.

Batman hits him up like nothing and the man doesn't even bleed a bit. Other real people he just hits once and they are K.O. I thought the Joker had no superpowers but here he seems invincible.

Then you wonder how quick he has everything planned without ever getting a touch of an recruited army behind him , even though he seems to have tons and tons of toy soldiers. I a comic book it works but in a movie where they try to put a lot of realism in it it feels weird. First he is in prison but he is so foreseeing everything. Maybe i need to see it again. But it felt weird.

The action sequences felt not really thought trough. The whole chase tunnel sequence was so unrealistic. i mean first the police somehow never hits back. And joker just shoots and shoots and shoots. And it felt unreal.

Maggie Gyllenhall felt miscast. She maybe a favorite in art-house productions but here you need someone with obviously more sex-appeal. I never bought it that they fell for her.

The the totally unrealistic wounds of Harvey dent turning into "two-face". Come on. No one would have such an open wound. Isn't "Two-Face" a mad scicophrenic in the books. Here he never feels mad, just like a guy trying to get his revenge. Thats what I mean, with the amount of realism. Here a mad character from the books is explained in his madness, but the main character the joker which is a synonym for any terrorist threatening America isn't explained a bit. Yeah better that way. One might get scarred that one self turned that man into a terrorist. So they better leave that explanation out.

Then the much hyped about heath ledger (r.i.p.) performance. It was good but not that great. For me it was just an update of the Nicholson joker. He even talked much like him and his facial expressions also resembled Nicholson's expressions. So whats all the hype about. He is still performing very good but not legendary. I have seen better villains.

Then it seemed like there were many points in the movie that resembled of "L.A. Cofidential" One scene in the end where they let Harvey dent die as a hero is one of them but there were others too which i forgot.

So after all. Worth watching. Good movie. But too overrated. And i still don't understand the enormous box-office-records.
2008-08-24
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