Time: 152 Minutes
Age Rating: Violence
Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne
Heath Ledger as The Joker
Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent
Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth
Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel
Gary Oldman as Gordon
Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox
Director: Christopher Nolan
Set within a year after the events of Batman Begins, Batman (Christian Bale), Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman), and new district attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) successfully begin to round up the criminals that plague Gotham City until a mysterious and sadistic criminal mastermind known only as the Joker (Heath Ledger) appears in Gotham, creating a new wave of chaos. Batman’s struggle against the Joker forces him to confront everything he believes, improve his technology to stop him and forces Batman closer to crossing the fine line between hero and vigilante.
The Dark Knight is one of the best sequels to an already great movie. This is up with The Godfather Part 2, Aliens, Terminator 2 and The Empire Strikes back for a sequel being as good if not better as the original. The film is much darker than Batman Begins, mostly because of The Joker but also because Batman is tested much harder by his new adversity. The dialogue between characters is very interesting and captivating, an example of this is one scene that is between Batman and The Joker. Most of the best things about this movie can only be seen, it can’t be explained. The first scene in The Dark Knight is one of the most surprising openings to a movie because of the soundtrack and the setup which I won’t spoil for those few people who haven’t seen this film yet. Once experiencing that first scene the first time I watched it, I knew that I was in for something special.
As in Batman Begins, Christian Bale is great as Batman. He again manages to portray both Bruce Wayne’s side and Batman’s side. I honestly don’t need to say much about Heath Ledger’s surprising performance as The Joker as it’s been talked about so often. But no one expected him to act like this. People already knew he was a good actor but the fact that he was going to be The Joker was looking to be one of the worst miscasts for an actor for a role. However he impressed everyone by going beyond the comic book. People compare his performance to Jack Nicholson’s in Batman (1989). For me Jack Nicholson’s performance was the first supervillian that translated from the comic book to the big screen. Heath Ledger is the perfect portrayal of a sociopath who happens to be The Joker. For me, both performances were perfect but I slightly like Ledger’s performance slightly more, only because his character seems more realistic as an absolute psychopath than Nicholson’s. As usual, the cast from the previous movie, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman returns. The only character who has had a new actor was Maggie Gyllenhaal replacing Katie Holmes as Rachel who was also really good here. Aaron Eckhart was perfect as Harvey Dent. I can’t really give examples of his best moments in the film as it may spoil things for the few people who haven’t seen this movie yet. I will say that Dent goes through some changes as a character.
Like the first film, Hans Zimmer composed the score to The Dark Knight and as usual does a good job. The action was filmed well, like in the first film; every action scene is made to seem plausible as possible. There are some scenes like the truck flip scene that weren’t CGI, Christopher Nolan actually managed to make that happen.
If you replaced the character of Batman with someone else, it is still a really good crime drama. That’s the best way that I can describe The Dark Knight: a great crime drama with Batman in it. One of the best comic book movies of all time manages to be a great movie on its own, not just as an action movie. The excellent acting by everyone, the immersion of the world and the interesting story makes it an essential movie for everyone to watch.