Film #17: The Dark Knight

As a predecessor to The Dark Knight Rises, there will be plenty to talk about in today’s review of The Dark Knight. I was unsure about whether to do a review on The Dark Knight Rises, as I have already seen it, but I found it difficult to do without giving a whole lot away. I’ll tell you what…I will finish the review and make it available to those who have seen the movie by password protecting the blog post. The password will be the name of the ‘true’ identity of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Pay close attention, they reveal it in a conversation between himself and another women near the end of the movie. (If you saw the movie and are still having trouble with the password, let me know in the comments with your email and I will give it to you.)

The Dark Knight is still amazing, I have to say. It got a bit old when everyone was raving about it and saying that it was ‘perfection’ in film, but after a few years without seeing it. Wow, I just looked, and it has been 4 YEARS since this movie came out! I am shocked at how long the gap between these movies is. Usually it will be one or two years, but four is just really long.

Anyway, DK (Dark Knight), is very, very good aged. I mean, watch it with a good amount of time between viewings. You will find that this film shows you new and interesting things with each time you see it. DK is excellent at exposing the human condition and how people will act when given a moral dilemma. The Joker, played by the fantastic Heath Ledger, acts as a moral tester, a devil on the shoulder so-to-speak. The Joker is driven by the “fun” moral decisions that humans will make when the pressure is on. Examples include 1.) placing loved ones in mortal peril and making the person decide who lives (or who they love more), 2.) telling the citizens of Gotham that a hospital will blow-up unless a reporter, who is threatening to stop The Joker’s plans, is killed, 3.) putting convicts on one boat and citizens on another boat giving both boats a detonator to the explosives attached to the boat–you can either blow up the other boat and live, or get blown up in a half an hour.

I don’t necessarily love the fact that The Joker is doing any of this to anyone, but I absolutely love the conversations that can spawn from even one of these situations. Christopher Nolan does a fantastic job with the close-ups at just the right times, and the score of the film driving shivers right up your spine. Additionally, The Joker provides one of the most interesting and diabolical villans to be brought to life on film in many, many years. I don’t at all think that Heath’s death had anything to do with how well The Joker character was. I am relatively unbiased in saying that Heath’s performance was excellent even if he was still alive today.

In conclusion, this film has MUCH to be said, and this is why I am going to cut this short and simply say that DK was a treat to see again. I recommend seeing Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight before seeing The Dark Knight Rises, as the two films do a great job setting the scene for the third (even though the DKR story takes place 8 years after DK).


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