Christopher Nolan’s new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight,” has had more than just a veil of buzz surrounding it, and for good reason. This movie is amazing. It touches base with so many different emotions that to place it in just one genre would be a crime.
That’s right, this film may be an interpretation of an action-packed comic book, but matching pace with all of the explosions and shootings is a deeper plot and one hell of a cast.
We find ourselves amid the grime, on the streets of Gotham City where organized crime sets the tone. Stealing and killing monopolize the calm of the atmosphere, and no one is safe from harm, perhaps not even Gotham’s celebrated hero, Batman (Christian Bale) himself.
Things aren’t pretty in the city, and it seems the only hope for salvation comes in the form of newly-elected district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). With a can-do crime-stopping attitude, Dent is hungry to put an end to Gotham’s problems. Teamed up with headstrong Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal) as his assistant and love interest, the two make an intimidating power couple.
Batman has become part of the police force it seems, due to his close collaborations with Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman). Gordon is hesitant to let Dent meet Batman, but inevitably they do, and find that their desires run parallel. Dent doesn’t want to see Batman give up being the hero, and Batman thinks Dent should assume a new role as the hero “with a face.” Both want peace.
Every superhero story needs a villain, and this time the master behind the mayhem is undoubtedly the gem of the film. The Joker, played by Heath Ledger, is truly a performance you must see on the big screen. He is electrifying, terrifying, horribly twisted, darkly humorous, psychotic and mesmerizing. Everything about him, from his menacing cackle to the pancake makeup grin covering his mangled face, will make you squirm.
As horrible as the Joker is, he is not without his charms. He is at times truly comical. He incorporates sarcastic wit and rambling nonchalance to his wreckage which partners beautifully with his physical creep factor. He is alone in the world, and at times, it is regrettably easy to feel compassion for him.
Somewhere in the middle of him lighting things on fire and killing countless people, it becomes clear that the Joker is a multidimensional madman, and his motives are not rooted in money, wealth or prestige. He simply wants to disrupt order, in no particular way. He cannot be swayed, bribed or bargained with, and that is what makes him such a powerful villain. He “chooses chaos.”
Chaos is what you get with this movie, and if you love special effects, there is no shortage here. Prepare to be amazed by plenty of explosions, but brace yourself to see an action film take a step beyond the usual violence and cheesy repertoire. Batman and the Joker may cover their faces, but their eternal struggles become visible as the movie progresses.
This film challenges the limits of human nature, and will force you to ask yourself the question, “Hmm.what would I do?”
It is a classic battle between good and evil taken on an emotional roller coaster ride. Get ready to be scared, excited and enamored by this whopping two-and-a-half-hour action extravaganza.
Don’t be diverted by the lengthy runtime; it’s worth every minute. As the Joker says, “What doesn’t kill you. makes you stranger.”