The Dark Knight
This page is dedicated to the late Heath Ledger (1979 – 2008)
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero crime drama film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Featuring the DC Comics character Batman, the film is the second part of The Dark Knight Trilogy, starring Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Considered one of the best films of its decade and one of the best superhero films of all time, the film received critical praise for its screenplay, visual effects, musical score, themes, performances (particularly Ledger), cinematography, action sequences, and direction. The film also set numerous records during its theatrical run.
In December 14, 2020, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
Ever since Batman began his vigilante activities in Gotham city, criminals have become too scared to commit crimes. With Harvey Dent, the new security deputy, passing laws that give police officers more power to prosecute criminals as well as him working alongside Batman to capture them, the crime lords are becoming more and more desperate.
At the same time, a mysterious clown calling himself "The Joker" appears and launches a series of terrorist attacks against Gotham and is always one step head of Batman. Batman and Joker become deadly rivals, as Joker continues to put more pressure against the Batman to surrender otherwise he'll keep launching more attacks and killing more citizens. Commissioner Gordon also seems to die during one of the attacks.
Unable to stop the Joker, Bruce Wayne considers giving up on the Batman and letting Harvey Dent be his successor as the figure of justice against the wrong doers of Gotham, also remembering that Rachel cannot be with Bruce as long as Batman exists. However Harvey Dent turns himself in claiming to be the Batman much to Bruce's surprise.
The Joker attempts to assassinate Dent, giving Batman the chance to defeat the Joker and Gordon, who had faked his death, captures him. Unfortunately however, Dent and Rachel are captured, and the Joker had planned to let himself get captured. Joker sets up a trap where Rachel dies and half of Dent's face is horribly burnt. Joker then corrupts Dent into taking revenge against everyone who led to Rachel's death, Harvey goes insane and becomes the vigilante "Two-Face". Two-Face murders multiple authority figures while Joker continues to cause more chaos.
Joker launches one more attack where he'll blow up two ships full of citizens and criminals, but this time Batman is able to get ahead of the Joker's plans and captures him once and for all. His victory is short-lived however, as Joker's ultimate plan was to turn Harvey Dent into Two-Face and prove that even the most noble of people can become evil scum.
Two-Face takes Gordon's family hostage and has him at gun point. Batman tries to reason with Harvey but Two-Face refuses to listen, forcing Batman to knock Two-Face off a ledge to his death. Gordon fears that once the public finds out of all the crimes Harvey committed they'll lose hope, but Batman takes the blame for all those murders so that Dent can be a martyr of justice. Gordon reluctantly agrees, with that Batman is labeled public enemy Number 1 of Gotham City.
Why It Rocks
- One of the most successful attempts to make a superhero movie appear realistic.
- While a majority of blockbusters fail to stand the test of time for a number of reasons, one thing that makes this film timeless is that things were dark in 2008 for America, with two tough wars and natural disasters (such as 9/11 and hurricane Katrina) on people's minds and a massive economic collapse just a few short months away. And while movies that directly addressed the issues amd its effects usually bomb at the box office, the people still had some serious psychological issues to collectively vent. This film's able to address several serious topics like organized crime, corruption of politicians, vigilantism, terrorists, and even the heroes losing without having to get too serious, as it's masked as a Batman superhero movie (who in general tends to reflect with the mood of the times) to appeal to common audiences.
- Great scenery.
- It does update the bat-suit closer to the logo symbol.
- Scarecrow makes a brief re-appearance.
- Rachel's death was an unexpected moment that majorly affects Batman for the rest of the trilogy.
- Excellent fight scenes.
- Excellent score composed by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard.
- Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker was arguably the best and greatest incarnation of the Joker character to date. Ledger make a fantastic job portraying the Joker as insane and unpredictable yet utterly terrifying and menacing. He got an Oscar for the role, making him the first comic-book movie actor to do so.
- Two-Face was also a good villain.
- The film's dark and gritty tone was done right.
- Maggie Gyllenhaal is a big improvement over Katie Holmes as Rachel.
- Amazing cinematography.
- Great editing.
- Awesome dialogue.
- The lack of blood in the scenes when the Joker shoves a man into a pencil and when Batman punches Joker during the interrogation, which are clearly continuity errors.
- Two-Face's death was rather anti-climactic.
- The infamous and unintentionally hilarious scene when Harvey Dent doesn't recognize the Joker dressed as a nurse until the Joker removes his surgical mask, even if his white and black make-up and greenish hair were still perfectly visible.
The film was met with Universal Acclaim and many people consider it to be better than its predecessor and one of the best superhero films off all time. Currently, the film has a 94% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 332 reviews with an average score of 8.6/10. On Metacritic, it has an 84 out of 100, based on 39 critics.
Seven weeks after its worldwide opening, the film became the fourth ever to cross the billion dollar mark in total box office receipts worldwide.
In 2009, at the 81st Academy Awards, Ledger posthumously won Best Supporting Actor while Richard King won Best Sound Editing.
- Katie Holmes was planning to reprise her role as Rachel, but chose instead to star in Mad Money with Diane Keaton and Queen Lafitah.