From the time Batman Begins ends to where The Dark Knight starts, you see Gotham on its way out of the gutter. Batman's presence has made police more confident and criminals more cowardly. Gotham has a new beacon of hope in District Attorney, Harvey Dent. Though things are looking up, you need a spark to start a fire. Enter: The Joker.
This movie is more than the battle of good vs. evil. It's order vs. chaos... how to choose right from wrong when the line is so blurred and how can you put your trust in someone from an untrustworthy environment. It's kinda like playing the trust game as a kid, but getting stuck with the little jerk that wouldn't catch you. Only... it's like 17 times worse. Bring on the Breakdown!
Here's the story in its most basic form:
Now along the way, this is what we get:
If you ask me what the best "comic book" movie of the summer was... no doubt... I'd say Iron Man. If you ask me what the best movie of 2008 is, flat out... it's The Dark Knight. The Dark Knight is one of those movies that is SO good it transcends the label given to it. Forget the superhero history of Batman. It's the story of a guardian trying to save his city and its people while battling a man who just wants to see it burn. With several lives caught in the crossfire, of course. For Batman fans (like myself)... we waited for YEARS to watch a Batman that's as dark as the comic we read today. In 2005, we got it with Batman Begins. But, we wanted to see a Joker that doesn't dance to Prince while he draws fake mustaches on the Mona Lisa. The Joker we knew was a psychotic, homicidal maniac that thrived on chaos. That is what we got with Heath Ledger's performance. Overshadowed in the hype was Aaron Eckhart's performance and his descent from the uncouruptable Harvey Dent to the vengeful Two-Face. The beauty of both performances was that Ledger dove head first into making a creepy Joker with all sorts of weird ticks like the constant licking of the chops, while Eckhart kept walking the fine line between right and wrong until he fell on the wrong side. Christian Bale's Batman was – at times – a little over done on the growling, but he does a good job of showing us that "Bruce Wayne" is a part he plays, while Batman is who he is. If there is anything to fault this movie for, it's that there's no way you could make a better Batman flick. The closest thing I can think of when it comes to villian on par with Joker and Two-Face would be a Riddler fashioned after Jigsaw from Saw.
The Dark Knight is a cinematic masterpiece and more than worth the price of admission.
5 out of 5 stars. (By the way, when I reviewed the movie on The Ace Burpee Show on Hot 103, I gave it a 7 1/2 stars out of 5. But that's mostly because I'm bad with numbers.)