Movie review: ‘The Dark Knight’ shines
Vail CO, Colorado
This is not your daddy’s Batman. This is a Batman for a generation of fear and cruelty, where the good guys of the world are, more often than not, bad guys with really good PR.
It’s safe to say that The Dark Knight is the most anticipated movie of the summer, if not the year, and it lives up to all the hype ” and then some. Director Christopher Nolan has done the impossible: Taken a mainstream comic book movie and turned it into high art. With the help of one of the brightest casts ever assembled on a movie set, he managed to meld the modern gangster picture (think “Heat”) with the classic serial killer suspense film (think “Silence of the Lambs”) and come out with something even more bleak and twisted than the sum of its parts.
Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) must don the mantle of the bat once again as he strives to make Gotham City a safer place for everyday citizens which becomes a real problem when the Joker (Heath Ledger) comes to town. Heath Ledger’s Joker is the embodiment of terror and terrorism. A sadistic, chaotic sociopath, the Joker may or may not kill you, but there will never be a moment when you don’t think he will.
“Some men just want to see the world burn,” says Bruce Wayne’s butler and confidante, Alfred. And that’s the best way to describe the Joker, as someone who just wants to show the world that there is no justice, no order, no safety.
The Joker is Batman’s reflection, in a sense. During one face-off between the two the Joker quips “You complete me.” Each gives the other a purpose. His tactics go beyond normal criminal conduct into a realm that mirrors Batman’s fight for justice in that both go to extremes to achieve their goals. The difference is Batman draws lines, the Joker doesn’t.
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The rest of the cast bring their own light to “The Dark Night.” Aaron Eckhart is excellent as Gotham’s crusading district attorney Harvey Dent while the delightful Maggie Gyllenhaal replaces robotic Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes, Wayne’s true love and stability.
The high expectations you have going into “The Dark Knight” are probably accurate, but there’s plenty going on here that you won’t or can’t expect. Political subtext, religious symbolism and existential commentary are all used in the film to create a world that seams all too realistic. This is easily Nolan’s masterpiece, something that will be hard to beat ” even by himself.
High Life Writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.