After leaving the theater in 2005 nearly wiping tears from my eyes after watching the genius of Batman Begins, I said "part of me wishes they would never make another film because there's no way they could come close to the perfection of this movie".
I was wrong.
For the past 2 years I have been awaiting The Dark Knight with more excitement than any other movie in my life. Searching the net daily for new information, watching the trailers around 500 times (no exaggeration) and following the genius viral marketing plan online, I knew that The Dark Knight would be an amazing effort and my expectations were through the roof. I expected a nearly perfect movie and my expectations were EXCEEDED.
To avoid spoiling this work of genius, a short recap is all I will provide. After the events of Batman Begins the city is in chaos and a new threat emerges in the form of the psychotic Joker. Wanting to inflict anarchy and disorder, the Joker has no real ulterior motives other than to cause trouble and misery for the residents of Gotham. With the help of Lt. Gordon and newly elected DA Harvey Dent, the Batman faces his toughest nemesis ever as he tries to saved his beloved city so he can one day take off his mask for good and Bruce Wayne can be with his true love Rachel.
Cast/Production Opinions ------------------------
Heath Ledger - Ledger's performance as The Joker quite simply is THE definitive take on the clown prince of crazy and a genius display of acting. All the hype that has been directed at Ledger is not without merit. Not only does Ledger give the greatest villain performance I have ever seen, he LIVES The Joker. The little nuances, walks, grunts, etc. is absolute CANDY for the viewing audience. If you have wanted a menacing Joker that cares about nothing and just wants to cause mayhem, this Joker will become THE Joker forever. So much more than just a character, Ledger gives one of the great performances in film history.
Gary Oldman - The 2nd best performance in the TDK and another amazing performance as Lt. James Gordon. For anyone that is a fan of Batman Year One and the comics, you will appreciate Oldmans work nearly as much as Ledger. Quiet, subdued, and wonderful, you CARE for Lt. Gordon and you are happy when things go his way. This is an amazing work and can't be ignored.
Location - Chicago really was a perfect place to film these movies. The city looks amazing and you really feel like you are in Gotham.
Christian Bale - Fantastic Bruce Wayne, perfect as Batman, obv the movies don't work if he doesn't. On par with the greatness of his work in Batman Begins. I don't think it's better work here, I think in both movies he is amazing equally.
Michael Caine - Wonderful as Alfred as per usual.
Christopher Nolan - Another wonderful job directing. The IMAX shots really add to the film and the opening shots in IMAX make you go WOW. Is Nolan capable of making a bad movie?
Writing - Great script which is very dense. This might not be for everyone but having a dense story done right only adds to the longevity of the film over time.
Gadgets - The new Batpod and other cool stuff are still realistic and not over the top. Any technology that is introduced in the movie serves a good purpose and makes sense.
Aaron Eckhart - Great performance that makes you CARE about Harvey Dent and what he is trying to do for the city of Gotham. At the end of the movie when he's not the same person that he was at the beginning he still gives a great performance
Morgan Freeman - Such a great actor and he builds on his character from Batman Begins, very solid
Maggie Gyllenhaal - This is one of the only weak parts of the movie. I never criticized Katie Holmes in Batman Begins because I thought she did a fine job acting and her baby faced innocence I thought was a good match for Bruce Wayne. I just thought she was too young. I think Gyllenhaal was in a tough spot with this role. She comes into TDK with a character already created and she doesn't seem sure how to act accordingly. Does she be Dawes as Katie Holmes or a new version? I think she's good in the movie but I would have rather had Holmes return. She could have done so much more but I felt she was lazy in this role.
The Dark Knight is THE definitive "super hero" movie but it is so much more. You don't have to like Batman or super heroes to enjoy this film and it will be the quickest 2 1/2 hours of your life. Any time Ledger is on the screen it's pure candy and he's on the screen just enough, making you yearn for more.
Great story, incredible directing, amazing/great performances and the genius of Heath Ledger make this not only the best film of 2008 but one of the great movies of all time. In terms of sequels it might BE the greatest sequel ever (I would put Godfather Part II and Aliens right up there as well) and it DOES live up to the hype.
See The Dark Knight in IMAX if you can to enjoy the scenes filmed in this format, but make sure you see this movie over and over again.
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 … more
By now, The Dark Knight is known to be the best of the best when it comes to super hero movies as well as Heath Ledger's final Oscar winning performance. What some people fail to realize about Christopher Nolan's masterpiece is that it is also the best crime drama of the decade. Forget that Batman is in this movie for a second. Without him you have a movie that focuses on the Mob, dirty cops, inner city politics and a mad man watching all of this unravel as he adds his own breed … more
Wow, what a summer. Its only halfway over and already I've been treated to two incredible super hero films, The Incredible Hulk [Theatrical Release] and the masterpiece Iron Man (Special Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] which, to me, is one of the top three super hero films of all time along side the likes of Spider-Man 2 (Widescreen Special Edition) and Batman Begins (Widescreen Edition). From deeper then expected films like Wall-E [Theatrical Release] to the resurrection of the Indiana Jones franchise … more
We've all been there. Sitting in the theater regretting spending $9 on a movie based on a childhood superhero. Thankfully, The Dark Knight is not one of those superhero movies. Christopher Nolan, the man behind movies like Memento and Batman Begins, took Batman and Gotham city to a place that most superhero movies dare to go. Reality. Nolan made The Dark Knight gritty, realistic, and... well dark. This wasn't just a popcorn movie, this wasn't just a superhero movie, this was … more
The sequel to the 2005 Batman Begins is even better than its predecessor. Much different than the earlier comical Batman series, this one is much darker, much tragic, and portrays the Batman that you read in comic books. Batman with his fears and values refuses to cross the line that all the villains cross. He uses his head to combat villains. He tries to prevent bad things from happening to others that he has experienced himself. He's an icon of yin … more
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.