The Dark Knight (2008)
At the end of Batman Begins, Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) hands Batman (Christian Bale) the “calling card” of a new villain in Gotham City. It was the playing card of the Joker (Heath Ledger) and that is what they are calling the madman who is running loose on the streets. Batman is the hero of the night, taking down bad guys for Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Gotham’s new DA and “white knight” to prosecute. He also just so happens to be dating Bruce Wayne’s old crush, Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal). When the Joker kidnaps both Rachel and Harvey, he give Batman the bad news of telling him he can only save one due to a bomb set to go off at the same time. Batman quickly rushes to Rachel while the police go after Harvey, but the Joker gave locations backwards and Batman barely saves Harvey with only a bad burn to his face while the police failed to save Rachel. Harvey, with a chip on his shoulder and a little push from the Joker, goes on his own rampage of violence that Batman feels he must take the blame for.
Director Christopher Nolan (Inception, Insomnia, Memento) returns with his Batman series to bring us one of the biggest grossing and high rated movies of all time in The Dark Knight. Between the very deep, action-packed story and its in well developed characters , it takes everything Batman Begins was and made it bigger, better and darker. The Dark Knight was not only darker on the big screen but it came with the weight of the death of Heath Ledger just 6 months before it’s release. It’s hard to say if The Dark Knight would have been as successful if it hadn’t been for Ledger’s death (since his performance was still top-notch and much anticipated) but the talk of his death brought out even the casual action film fans to see Ledger’s last and most impressive performance. The performance was so great that the Academy honored him with the no-brainer Best Supporting Actor award in 2008. Speaking of awards, there was plenty of controversy surrounding the absence of The Dark Knight from the Best Picture list that year (not to mention it is a much better movie than the actual winner, Slumdog Millionaire). Sometimes the Academy just can’t go with the popular vote! Appearing on my personal top 100 list, The Dark Knight is one of the best superhero movies ever made with one of the best villains ever portrayed. Co-starring Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts, Nestor Carbonell, and Cillian Murphy.
10/10 Stars – Even with a movie starring Christian Bale, Health Ledger + Christopher Nolan + the script = 10+
Click below for links to IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes