Dubby’s dvdiscussion: A superhero movie for all times?
The Dark Knight grossed more money than any other superhero movie and did so well it came
second to Titanic as an all time money-spinner. Perhaps one of the reasons is that besides an incredibly great cast and fantastic movie story-telling, The Dark Knight asks us to dwell upon its title.
Batman is seen to question the difference between good and evil, often has to be reassured he is a crime fighter, not a vigilante out for blood, and in so doing he lives up to his creators late Bob Kane and Bill Finger describing him as Gotham City’s hooded icon who is
‘dark’, ‘brooding’ and ‘Dracula-like’ and not even a hero. A knight who questions his quest.
Says critic Pete Hammond, “The Dark Knight is extraordinary, an amazing piece of filmmaking that rockets the Batman legacy to heights never imagined, fuelled by Heath Ledger’s amazing re-invention of The Joker. Director Christopher Nolan again tweaks the superhero movie genre and turns it on its ear with this rivetting and brilliantly executed sequel. Joining a triumvirate to eviscerate crime in Gotham City, Batman (Christian Bale) teams with Lieutenant Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and crusading DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) to triumph over evil. But as a true anarchist, The Joker (Ledger) is unleashed by the mob and determined to cause holy bat terror for no apparent reason other than his own enjoyment. The film explores the extreme damage one determined person can have on an entire society, an apt analogy to the real world where local terrorists can create havoc beyond human belief. Things also get complicated when a love triangle develops between Batman’s alter-ego Bruce Wayne, Harvey Dent (who truly has a dark side) and Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal).
Bale is back in a role that fits him like a glove. Fans can also take comfort that Morgan Freeman as scientist Lucius, and Michael Caine as loyal butler Alfred, are both back along with Oldman whose role as Lt Gordon has been beefed up for the better. Eckhart’s complex turn as Dent is the most intriguing of all, as his eventual predicament sums up the film’s most salient point: There is a fine line between justice and revenge. But as good as this cast is, The Dark Knight is Ledger’s film, a fitting finale for an all-too-short but enormously impressive career. The late actor took on the daunting task of filling Jack Nicholson’s shoes but makes his Joker one of the most memorable of all previous Batman baddies (that includes Jack’s). It’s a fearless performance, bitingly alive and ironic — a clown on crack, as it were. This is a movie villain that might even scare Hannibal Lecter.
Nolan has created a dark, creepy Gotham City where anarchy reigns, justice is confused and the criminals and the crime fighters are seemingly interchangeable at times. Ultimately though, Nolan, who co-wrote the screenplay with brother Jonathan Nolan, has more on his mind than mere gadgets and movie mayhem. The Dark Knight’s true power comes in the way this darkest of knights puts a mirror up to society and shows us we are all potentially on the eve of destruction — unless we summon the elusive will to stop it.”