The much-anticipated Batman: The Dark Knight lives up to the hype – and what is being lauded as an Oscar-winning performance by the late Heath Ledger.
The movie takes one on a dark journey into the minds of the Batman and his nemesis, The Joker, exposing the underbelly of a violent society mired in chaos. As the second of the Batman films directed by Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight continues the dark mood. Stellar performances by Michael Caine, as the butler Alfred, and Heath Ledger, as the Joker, add a level of depth to the film. Bale has certainly made the role his. Ledger’s portrayal is a stand-out performance.
Brace yourself, the movie’s long – over two hours – but despite some gratuitous scenes, the cast does hold this one together quite admirably. The Dark Knight returns to that style and Nolan makes a very decent fist of giving us a Batman with a realistic gloss, a Batman who could almost exist in the real world. This suits the figure of Batman himself, because he’s not really a superhero in the way Superman, say, is a superhero. Alone of the great comic-book heroes, Batman has no supernatural powers; his martial skills are painfully and laboriously acquired and then enhanced by some majorly futuristic technology.
Batman Begins and now The Dark Knight have some fun with using Morgan Freeman as the Q figure to Batman’s Bond. Freeman’s Lucius Fox makes the ultra-hard-but-light suit and the extra-super-Batmobile-cum-Batbike; he deals with the Batcomputer’s super-surveillance program and so on. This sort of techno-gumf can be fun. It adds something that we don’t usually get in comic-book-hero movies, where we just have the mysteries of getting superpowers from radioactive spiders and the like, or start feeling weak from kryptonite poisoning. It makes Nolan’s Batman feel a bit more as though he lives in the real world and not in some mythical parallel universe.
What helps that sense of realism, too, is the picture of politicians and policemen fighting a desperate battle against crime in a vast urban conurbation. Even the Joker, a real pantomime villain if ever there was one (only the Penguin beats him at that), is transformed here into a convincing psychopath. The characterisation is helped considerably by the fact that he’s played by a real actor, Heath Ledger — and there’s talk of a posthumous Oscar for his portrayal. Ledger’s Joker isn’t funny in the way Jack Nicholson’s was: he is simply very scary.
There are now six Batman films and I must say that The Dark Knight is the best out of all of them. The title is good because that is what Batman actually is. It has been 3 years for the adventure to continue from Batman Begins but that entire wait was worth it. Gotham city is very Gothic looking and is very haunting and visionary. The whole movie is charged with pulse-pounding suspense, ingenious special effects and riveting performances from a first-rate cast especially from Heath Ledger who gave an Oscar nomination performance for best supporting-actor. It is a shame that he can’t see his terrific work on-screen. The cinematography is excellent which is made so dark & sinister that really did suit the mood for the film.