The Dark Knight (12a)
Dir. Christopher Nolan
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
“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.” And the world of Batman burns in blazing style thanks to an incredible reimagining of The Joker in The Dark Knight. Director Christopher ‘The Prestige’ Nolan follows up 2005’s excellent Batman Begins with a powerhouse epic based on the iconic comic book hero’s greatest challenge.
The Dark Knight sees Batman having brought his own brand of extreme justice to the mean streets of Gotham, he’s tamed the mob and put real fear into the hearts of the underworld. But just as Harvey Dent the new crusading District Attorney (Aaron Eckhart) is appointed and looks to cement a crime free future, the criminal elements are about to be galvanised by a psychotic madman / criminal genius named The Joker (Heath Ledger).
"you will believe too..."
So the stakes are raised for Batman / Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) – how do you fight an enemy with an irrational lust for chaos? Welcome to a world without rules where the gloves are off and no one is safe. This is bleak, dark material, a million miles away from the camp knockabout of Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin, and so much the better for it. The Dark Knight is grim, violent and unsettling in places (certainly not a family movie) but equally wildly exciting and thought provoking too. Who’d have thought that a comic book tale could deliver potentially the best film of 2008? I have to note Ledger’s performance as The Joker as it is the stuff of legend, he even blows Jack Nicholson’s performance from Tim Burton’s Batman away and he will be very sadly missed.Are there any weaknesses in this fantastically assembled masterpiece? Well, if you want to be picky it is a bit long but that’s not really much of a grumble. My only real disappointment was that Maggie Gyllenhaal's Rachel 'didn’t quite work as well as Katie Holmes' (never thought I’d be writing that).
Her only memorable moment comes when she lands a kick in the Joker’s privates – he quips:
“A little fight in ya. I like that!”
But is immediately upstaged by Batman who appears and adds:
"Then you're going to love me…”
delivered whilst punching him full in the face!?
DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM (all ratings out of maximum 10 but '-' is bad whereas '+' is good):
Endorphin Stimulation: ööööööööö (9)
+ The Dark Knight delivers...
Tasty Action: ööööööööö (9)
+ Batman has never rocked so hard
Gratuitous Babeness: ööööö (5)
+ Gyllenhaal is cute but not stunning
Mind Blight / Boredom: ööööö (5)
+ Not much padding but could have been a bit sharper
Comedic Value: öööööö (6)
+ Some nice dark humour
Arbitrary final rating: öööööööööö (10)
Kapow… this is an altogether awesome film, see it as soon as you can (and it looks absolutely stunning in IMAX too).
Liable to make you:
"fall for the big black bat"
DM Poster Quote:
“cross the line..."