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The second film in Christopher Nolan's Batman film trilogy released in 2008.

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Darkness only lasts till dawn: Gotham is in perpetual nightfall

  • Oct 2, 2009
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The Dark Knight.  Dark without charcoal colored buildings, dark without a miserable cast of lead characters, dark without low light shots.  From the story, to the outcome to the themes and everything else in between, this is a genuinely dark movie.  It snowballs from its bleak start, theres pain in the middle and the ending is bittersweet at best.  The best part is, it remains enjoyable without being completely ham handed and totally melodramatic and the characters remain likeable and magnetic even in what feels to be uncertain times.

Picking up a year after the events in Batman Begins has Batman continuing his war on crime and the streets have never been safer.  Gangsters are in hiding as news of Batman is out on the streets.  In steps The Joker a psychotic and chaotic loner who for a price, will rid the city of Batman and plans a crusade of terror and violence against the city for as long as Batman is in power and unidentified.  Batman uses everything he can in his inventory and any tactic he can think of and nearly comes undone, including selling out some moral fiber at trying to stop The Joker's terror spree.  This movie is dense and comes wrapped up with hardly any loose ends and I can't think of a scene that needs some kind of explanation as to why something is going on.

First off, the fact that The Joker makes the threat that "people will die" and we see little by little that people are dying and we see the fear in people and it's real effective.  Secondly they not only brought back The Joker but also Harvey Dent who will become Two-Face and it's a miraculous improvement over Batman Forever's interpretation as his gimmick of his coin to make his decisions is better utilized and upon seeing his scarred visage for the first time, it's a gruesome reveal.  The action scenes are better over Batman Begins and much like first movies in comic series, the origins are all out of the way. 

I used to think the movie got a little on the preachy and almost pretentious side which I can't stand but after seeing it again and watching the way the characters talk and the length of the scenes at which they talk it isn't nearly as bad as I remember.  Had the lines like "Living long enough to be what you hate" had been reduced to a twenty second conversation with said statement being the line going out it would have been worse.

Lastly I'd be committing a crime if I didn't mention Heath Ledger's Joker.  A twisted individual who is at least a step ahead of everybody else and gives not a shred of compassion for anyone while spreading chaos.  Personally I still perfer Jack Nicholson over Heath Ledger if only for my fonder memories of the character and that this Joker is more a re-imagining and not one of the traditional sense, still Jokers interogation of one of his victims over a camcorder is chilling, that and the pencil bit is great.  Gary Oldman is still great as Gordan whoes career continues to rise in this film and as mentioned above, Aaron Eckhart's Dent  is leaps and bounds better then the Batman Forever version.  Maggie Gyllenhaal is a nice improvement and has a more appropriate look for the movie over Katie Holmes, not that she was bad in the role of Rachael in the previous film, it's more a personal choice.

The only minor hiccup is Christian Bale.  There isn't anything wrong with his Bruce Wayne character at all but as Batman, theres two quibbles.  One is that voice you've always heard about.  Like Lawernce Tierney with laryengytis, Batman growls and horks his lines out through clenched teeth.  It wasn't quite as bad in Begins, but here it sounds forced and even worse, and that brings me to number two-Batman isn't quite as scary here.  Seeing his ninja like movements and the way he dispatched his enemies in Begins was cool and eerie, possbily playing up the fear angle that the movie was going for.  Here, he just doesn't feel as intimidating as he should and pouring on the phoney voice hampers it more.  Otherwise Bales good.

I can think of one other tiff with this movie.  How in the Holy Hell did Gotham get so CLEAN?!  Gotham looked like a rusting and graffitti tagged ghetto in the previous film and here, in the span of one year the city looks like someone really got to work with a mop and bucket.

The Dark Knight left me feeling bad for the way it ended but happy that I had seen a fantastic film but then I felt bad in another way, I have no idea how they can possbily out do themselves with another one as it's tough for a third film in the series to pick up the pace and thrill.  The best I can do is say that I can give it a chance, for a chance is similar to chaos:

It's fair.
Darkness only lasts till dawn: Gotham is in perpetual nightfall

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More The Dark Knight reviews
review by . July 26, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****    In "Batman Begins", Christopher Nolan brought an entirely new vision - a much darker vision - of Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) to the screen. We witnessed his origins and his even further beginnings as a crime fighter for the scum-infested city of Gotham. The same motive has driven the Batman to keep on fighting for the city all the way into this next chapter of the Caped Crusader's legacy. "The Dark Knight" begins with a heist involving the psychopath donning …
review by . November 29, 2010
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review by . March 27, 2011
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I love it when a filmmaker takes a well-known character and gives him a reinventing makeover. Director Martin Campbell found success twice giving James Bond the badly-needed breath of new life, first in Goldeneye and again in 2005's outstanding Casino Royale. It was also in 2005 that Christopher Nolan, best known for his cult indie film Memento, accomplished this same feat with Batman. Batman needed it. I admit I've always been fascinated with the Caped Crusader. But the movies tore him from his …
review by . February 21, 2011
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review by . July 18, 2010
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This movie was by far the best batman movie that has been made yet. The acting was really good on all points but Heath Ledger totally took center stage as the joker. Everything from his facial expressions to his voice and the way he moved was absolutely perfect! I was also surprisingly impressed with the costumes. The joker costume was perfect, it really looked more like the costume from the comic books than previous jokers did. And the batsuit was actually kind of sexy looking, it lacked the hard …
review by . July 07, 2009
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The Batman franchise got off to a great start in the 1980's when Tim Burton directed the first film.  Despite upsetting comicbook fans and pleasing other comic book fans at the same time, the movie was a monumental success.  Unfortunately problems arose afterwards.  While Batman Returns was not a flop by any means it was a lot darker and sexualized.  So much so that Warner Bros. gave Tim Burton the boot because they wanted a more kid friendly Batman.  See, at this time, …
review by . December 20, 2008
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Rarely has a film left me speechless, much less a comic book inspired film. Christopher Nolan's rendition of the DC comic character has. "THE DARK KNIGHT" may well be the best comic book film I have ever seen. Christopher Nolan, along with Jonathan Nolan has crafted a screenplay of nearly unbelievable proportions. The duo has taken the "Batman" mythos and has turned it into their own; what results is a film that captures the essence of the comic book and combines it to a …
review by . September 12, 2008
Finally, after what seems like an eternity of buzz, waiting, hype, and tragedy, what could easily be the biggest movie of 2008 is upon us: Christopher Nolan's second installment in his re-imagining of DC Comics' Batman, The Dark Knight. Does this mammoth two-and-a-half-hour superhero magnum opus live up to expectations? The simple answer is yes. With The Dark Knight Nolan has crafted what may be the greatest superhero film to date. In a summer where Marvel blew the doors wide open with the …
review by . December 19, 2008
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review by . August 29, 2009
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About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #5
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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About this movie


The Dark Knight is a 2008 American superhero film co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is a sequel to Batman Begins. Christian Bale reprises the lead role. Batman's primary conflicts in the film include his fight against his arch-nemesis the Joker and his strained friendship with district attorney Harvey Dent. For his conception of the film, Nolan was inspired by the Joker's first two appearances in the comics and Batman: The Long Halloween. The Dark Knight was filmed primarily in Chicago, as well as in several other locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. The director used an IMAX camera to film six major action sequences, including the Joker's first appearance in the film. The Batsuit was redesigned, with a cowl allowing Bale to move his head.

The film was released on July 18, 2008 in North America, and on July 21, 2008 in the United Kingdom. During its opening weekend, the movie brought in over $155 million, breaking nearly every box office record.
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Director: Christopher Nolan
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Release Date: July 18, 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: December 9, 2008
Runtime: 152 minutes
Studio: Syncopy Films, Legendary Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Studios
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