day dreamer (never_frugal) wrote,
day dreamer

the dark knight: "good evening, ladies and gentlemen! we're tonight's entertainment!"

A review where I use “me” and “I” whilst also trying to sound pretentiously cool and intelligent by using big words. Sorry about how ridiculously long this is too.

You know how people always talk about sequels and say how it’s darker then the one before it, for The Dark Knight “dark” is by far an understatement. This film spews black toxicity from the mind of the Joker.

As if the first appearance of the Joker at the bank robbery wasn’t marvellously cruel enough:
Gotham National Bank Manager: The criminals in this town used to believe in things. Honour. Respect. Look at you! What do you believe in? What do you believe in!
The Joker: I believe whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger.

The second appearance of the Joker when he is in front of the mob bosses was probably one of the best introductions to a character ever. Teeming with lip-smacking brutality he walks in and sets the perfect tone for the rest of the film
(paraphrased because I can’t remember the lines exactly)…

The Joker [walking into the room]: HeHe HoHo HarHar HeHeHe HarHarrr
Mob Guy: What? Who is this freak? I’m going to…
The Joker: How about a magic trick? I’m going to make this pencil disappear.
Mob Guy: Oh yeah and how…
*The Joker slams the pencil into a guy’s skull*


It is undeniable that Heath’s performance as the Joker is the best thing about The Dark Knight. It is also hard to escape the fact that Heath’s death plays a part in the eeriness and haunting nature of the Joker character. Even so, as sympathetically and plainly as I can say it, even if Heath hadn’t died the Joker still would have been as creepily menacing. HOWEVER, the death has added an extra intangible element which somehow intensifies the seething uncontrollable mind of the Joker. 

The Joker: I use a knife because guns are too quick. Otherwise, you can't savour all the emotions. You know who people are in their last moments.

The Joker: You see, I’m a guy of simple taste. I enjoy dynamite, gunpowder, and GASOLINE!

Every time the Joker was on screen it was mesmerising. It came to the point when it was almost difficult to watch his character. There was too much going on in Heath’s performance to follow every detail (lines, voice, laugh, expressions, posture, costume, actions). Not to savour every detail felt like you were going to miss something too gratifyingly amazing about the Joker character.

The Joker pulsated every human capacity for evil. Good ol’ Alfred summed it up best:
Pennyworth: “Some men aren’t looking for anything logical. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
Cruelty combined with cleverness make a freakishly scary combination. If it wasn't obvious before the evil side is much more interesting because they appear to be having more fun. Like the Joker says, “why…so…serious?” just before sadistically carving smiles on people’s faces. No doubt about it but the Joker achieved what he set out to do: make Gotham interesting.

The Joker: Introduce a little anarchy... Upset the established order... Well then everyone loses their minds!

This needs to be said again, this was the Joker’s film. He was manically mesmerising no matter what he was doing like storming a party, going to remembrance parades to shoot Lt. Gordon (NO!), sitting in a prison cell, clapping when Gordon was appointed Commissioner (hehehe!) dangling from ropes on the top of a skyscraper or stumbling around in a nurse’s uniform (possibly one of the funniest yet creepiest images ever created). The eeriest line, character wise, was when the Joker said to Batman, “you complete me.”

The Joker/Batman relationship definitely needed more until the film hit the half way mark. The film took a sudden turn into brilliance. Batman confronted the Joker in the interrogation room. One of the best scenes. Ever.

Haha, just put Christian on the last slide there because his expression is funny. :D

Batman: Why do you want to kill me?
The Joker: I don't want to kill you. What would I do without you?

The Joker [to Batman]: This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.

The Joker [to Batman]: You've changed things... forever. There's no going back. See, to them, you're just a freak... like me!

The Joker [to Batman]: And tonight, you're gonna break your one rule...

Oh yeah, and Christian Bale is in this film too. Haha will the real Batman please stand up?

Firstly let’s get it out there that this man is quite possibly the sexiest man alive. Now that that’s done can we focus on the fact that anytime Batman arrived somewhere and wanted to talk to somebody, anybody who got in his way were ANNIHILATED. No special props, no kung-fu moves, no digital stuff, just Christian Bale walking in and punching anyone till he got to the man he needed to get to. HERO!

Also let’s not forget how much of a hero Bruce Wayne is too:

Bruce [in the restaurant]: How about we put these two tables together?
Harvey Dent: I don’t think they do that here.
Bruce: Oh I’m sure they do since I own the place.

And Rachel’s death! Oh my…I think it was brilliant and added the perfect dramatic turn in the film. It was certain... so certain, that Batman was going to save her but when he arrived at the place with Harvey instead! It’s disappointing in the sense that Maggie Gyllenhaal was a great Rachel and seeing more of her character would have been awesome. However her dying prematurely for the Gotham cause is what made it so heart breaking! It made Batman/Bruce more real too, it grounded Batman in reality because he never is going to save the day because he can’t. When Batman arrives all you can think now is, “oh at least Batman is here to help,” but you can NEVER think, “it’s all going to be fine because Batman is here!”

I love this take on the super-hero genre which is ultimately Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman. Unlike other super-hero films out there, the genius of Batman is that he isn’t treated like a comic-book superhero. Everything feels realistic both visually and emotionally and I think this is helped by the fact that Batman doesn’t have any “powers”.

Not to say super-hero movies have been bad. Iron Man was thoroughly enjoyable, Spider-Man was good entertainment and I’ve heard the recent The Incredible Hulk wasn’t bad either. However there comes a point where because of these comic book style plot lines the audience is constricted to the teenage market who doesn’t mind plot flaws. One reviewer said this about Iron Man, “Terrence Howard's character (best friend, confidant, high-ranking military officer, rescuer) had at least two plot functions too many. And the way Gwyneth Paltrow was put in harm's way at the climax was far too contrived -- the SHIELD agents never would've allowed her to accompany them.”

This is what followed about The Incredible Hulk: “it was a comic-book movie -- as predictable and formulaic as the genre has become. Must the hero have endless, spectacular battles with a bigger, stronger villain (whom he, nevertheless, improbably defeats)? Must the girlfriend stand gawking just near enough to be put in danger at the right moment?”

This is my point. Batman is realistically and psychologically grounded which makes it better then the rest. The only other movie of the same genre that I think comes close to the way Batman presents itself is Bryan Singer’s first X-Men movie. Another reviewer said this though, “Nolan wants to prove that a superhero movie needn't be disposable, effects-ridden junk food, and you have to admire his ambition. But this is Batman, not Hamlet. Call me shallow, but I wish it were a little more fun.”

Well Mr. Reviewer firstly thank you for paying attention to the film because I think the last two Joker monologues proved that this film could have been Hamlet. Secondly however I believe this film is Batman because the narrative of The Dark Knight isn’t shaped to lead to a gigantic satisfying climax or an ultimate battle between good and evil. Instead the whole movie was a constant climax with the action happening continuously. This equals blockbuster.

How else do you make a film like this “fun” with its given characters; like a man wearing a bat suit and a guy walking around as a joker and not make it gimmicky? Do  you want Batman to maybe find a black substance from out of space, dye his hair black and start doing bad like robbing banks with the Joker and his buddies? No thanks…I think seeing Bruce Wayne smash up his Lamborgini for a good cause was enough heart-wrenching “fun” for anyone.

I love how Christopher Nolan took the Batman comic and put it into a film universe just to see how much reality it could take. Approaching the Joker as a real human being in this world produced the best Joker there could be. The character could have easily become a caricature like we’ve seen before (ala Jack Nicholson). However Heath’s Joker was  a chilling sadistic killer who possessed the sickest sense of humour imaginable whilst being an “agent of chaos” beyond belief. The point is this guy could exist. That’s what is magnificent about this Batman film and the same can be said for Batman Begins.

One thing that I found disappointing about The Dark Knight compared to Batman Begins was that somebody seemed to have given Gotham a wash and polish during the past few years. Batman Begins was undeniably cool compared to other super-hero movies because it wasn’t pristine and things looked dirty and gritty. Gotham looked like it really needed to be saved. However Gotham was visually polished up for The Dark Knight and I think this is because Gotham’s darkness was now represented by its criminals (the Joker and Two-Face). Off on another tangent: TWO FACE LOOKED AWESOME. Taste for the theatrical indeed. The Joker appears to have been successful in corrupting the soul of Gotham by transforming Harvey into Harvey Two-Face. His struggle is compelling too, why be decent in an indecent world?


The Dark Knight was excellent because it had intelligence, complexity and credibility. *And let’s be honest, as if I haven’t said it enough, this was Cillian Murphy’s film. Possibly three seconds of screentime? Good stuff buddy!  *end sarcasm

Final thought part 1: It got to the point where the Joker reminded me of Jack Sparrow as he was always about three steps ahead of everybody else.

Final thought part 2: Christian Bale HOTTTTT.

Final thought part 3: I want more Joker! :(

I know I’ve missed too much in this review like the whole sonar thing throughout the film = BATS, but you know shows you the complexity of the film really.

THOUGHTS? Everyone?
Tags: movies are my playground love
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