Friday, July 25, 2008

Review of The Dark Knight

When you heard that The Dark Knight had earned over $200 million in just five days, you know it has to be good. The sequel to ‘Batman Begins’ has the intense Christian Bale as the caped crusader again under the direction of Christopher Nolan, and it is every bit as good as advertised.

However, the true stars of the film are the villains. Batman's arch-nemesis the Joker makes a return to the big screen along with Two-Face. The deceased Heath Ledger was good but and Aaron Eckhart as ‘Two-Face’ Harvey Dent was nothing short of great.

The film starts with the Joker robbing a mob-owned bank as Batman and Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) teamed up with the new district attorney Harvey Dent to eradicate the mob. Batman feels that Harvey Dent could be the public hero Batman cannot. However Batman's love interest, Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal replacing Katie Holmes), is dating Harvey. Protecting Gotham comes first for the Batman though as Batman, Gordon, and Dent take it to the mob.

Desperate, the mob bosses hired The Joker to kill Batman. The Joker tells all of Gotham that if the Batman does not turn himself in to the police, he will kill more and more people each day. When the Joker begins killing public officials, including the police commissioner and the judge presiding over the mob trials, Batman decides its time to turn himself in. However, Dent refused to do so, believing that doing this would mean that the Joker had won. Hoping to draw the Joker out of hiding, Dent announced that he is the Batman. The Joker attempts to kill Dent, but Gordon and Batman stopped and arrest him. Gordon got promoted to police commissioner due to the arrest.

However the Joker had hired a group of corrupt police officers to kidnap Dent and Dawes beforehand and they took them to separate warehouses rigged with explosives. The Joker revealed that Dawes and Dent have been taken to opposite sides of the city, and asked Batman to choose who to save. Batman decided to save Dawes, while Gordon and the police headed after Dent. However the locations were switched, sending Batman after Dent and Gordon after Dawes. With the help of a bomb planted at the police station, the Joker escapes from the police. Batman managed to save Dent, but Dent sustains severe burns on the side of his face. Dawes died. In the hospital, Dent went mad with grief over the loss of Dawes. The Joker frees Dent from the hospital and convinces him to exact revenge on the cops, mobsters and Gordon.

While Harvey "Two-Face" Dent confronts the corrupt cops and the mobsters one by one, Batman locates the Joker and defeats him. Defeated by Batman, the Joker reveal his ‘ace in the hole’, Harvey Dent. Batman finds Two-Face in the warehouse where Dawes died, along with Gordon and his family. After a shot fight, Dent lies dead after falling from the building. Batman and Gordon realize the fallout the city would suffer if Dent's acts of murder became known, so Batman convinces Gordon to blame him for all the murders.
As the movie ends, a manhunt is issued for the Batman.

Dark, grim and great, that is ‘The Dark Knight’.

Although called the ‘The Dark Knight’, I feel Harvey Dent was the star of the movie. The engrossing tragedy of the character was what made this movie tick. As I said earlier, Aaron Eckhart was nothing short of great. Christian Bale as the angst-filled hero and Heath Ledger as the crazy maniacal Joker were very good, but Eckhart portrayal of Harvey Dent was the extremely moving. When he went mad at the end, you can truly understand why. The Oscar nomination should go to him as I thought he overshadowed the rest of the cast.

Some parts of the movie are confusing, like Batman’s final fight with the Joker, but on the whole ‘The Dark Knight’ is a great movie which will haunt and move you. Watch it!

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