Movie Review: “The Dark Knight”

This past weekend, I saw The Dark Knight.  I absolutely LOVE Christian Bale’s work, and I hadn’t seen Aaron Eckhart for a while.  I do agree with the reviewers who said this film is dark! 

It is a movie about pairs- “the dark knight” could refer to billionaire businessman Bruce Wayne (Batman) and to DA Harvey Dent (who becomes Two Face after a tragic incident).  The Joker (Heath Ledger’s last role, sadly) is also looking to become part of a pair- he’s a “freak” who wants someone else to play with- Batman.  The audience also doesn’t know who will pair up with ADA Rachel Dawes (the always capable Maggie Gyllenhaal)- Bruce or Harvey.  It’s a very entertaining film; you can expect SOME surprises in this film!

Near the opening of the film, Lt. Jim Gordon (the multi-talented Gary Oldman) is waiting for Batman, but it seems like he’s taken some time off.  Bruce is overseeing a BIG deal with a Chinese company; he feels that there will be a time “when Gotham no longer needs Batman.”  The new DA Harvey Dent (the usually indie actor Aaron Eckhart) is the “kind of hero the city needs”; he is a righteous, determined lawyer who has put away MANY criminals.  He says he won’t stop until he cleans up the city.  Bruce truly DOES believe in Harvey Dent, even though Harvey is dating his old friend/true love, Rachel.   He throws a fundraiser for Dent, but there is an unwelcome guest…

The Joker is nothing like Jack Nicholson portrayed him!  As the ever-loyal and wise butler Alfred (Michael Caine) points out, “some criminals can’t be bought” and do things “just because they can.”  These men CAN’T be understood!  Heath Ledger makes The Joker PRETTY scary- he’s like a force in Gotham.  (If Ledger DOES get the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, it’ll be WELL deserved!)  The make-up, clothes, walk, and especially menacing tone he has will get your attention.  He has varying stories about how he got the scars on his face.  What is his motivation?  (Does he even have one?)  And WHO is he really?  Even Batman is perplexed this time!    

This film has new stunts, gadgets, and social questions (surprise!) to address.  In some scenes, the action (fights, explosions, punches, etc.) is non-stop.  Wayne Enterprise’s top scientist Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) has created a more flexible Batman suit; it is easier to move around in (but also makes our hero more vulnerable).  As for the social issues… 

Can a police department function when some of its cops have been corrupted?  How far will people go to preserve their lives (or the lives of their family)?  The Joker creates an experiment involving two ferries, but I won’t give it away.  (It was the MOST interesting part of the movie for me!)  Check out “The Dark Knight” if you’re in the mood for a dark, fun, and intelligent action movie!

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