From Left Morgan Freeman and Christian in The Dark Knight
Considering how well done its predecessor Batman Begins (2005), was The Dark Knight is it’s superior both intellectually and with its over-the-top action sequences. The Dark Knight questions if Gotham city’s crime fighting symbol, Batman (Christian Bale), is worthwhile to keep around or should he be taken from power? The people believe in Batman, and even dress up like him to try and help with the war on crime.
However, there is a new DA in office, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), who wishes to clean the streets of scum and immediately joins forces with Commissioner Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and Batman himself. This alliance is ironclad and leads to an arrest of more than five hundred men that worked for Salvatore Maroni (Eric Roberts) whom took over when Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson) was locked up and considered insane. Harvey is also seeing Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal replacing Katie Holmes whom reportedly turned down the role) despite the fact that she said she would wait until Gotham no longer needed Batman.
Heath Ledger plays the Joker, the most complex villain in the Batman universe, Ledger’s once in a lifetime performance not only gained him a post-humus Oscar, but nearly convinced director Christopher Nolan to never do another Batman movie. Ledger’s death was too hard on him, because they became good friends while filming this phenomenal film.
The Dark Knight is filmed both 35mm and IMAX and is frustrating to watch, because of the ever changing aspect ratio. The film switches between 1:78:1 and 2:40:1, which means that when we see the IMAX its full screen and when we see the see the normal 35mm scenes it has those wonderful black bars across the screen. Which crush the depth of field and make you watch for detail. The average viewer may not notice this, but if you do then good for you, you’ve discovered how Nolan cheapened this film and made up for it in its story.
There is a wonderful scene in The Dark Knight where Alfred (Michael Caine) explains to Bruce Wayne the Joker’s logic or lack thereof. He tells Bruce an old tale of his in which he was searching for diamonds in Africa and that some kid found the diamonds he was looking for and upon finding this kid that he had taken the diamonds and hidden them again. The jist of what Alfred was saying is that “not all men do things logically, some just want to see the world burn”. Unfortunately for some people in the world, this is indeed the case.
The Dark Knight is definitely one of those movies you don’t want to miss, it made movie history with not only how well its story was developed, but it is one of the top grossing movies of all time. It’s unfortunate that Heath Ledger passed shortly thereafter its release, but his performance will certainly not be forgotten.