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-The Dark Knight (PG-13)

by Dr. D ~

image Warner Brothers Pictures, July 18, 2008, Directed by: Christopher Nolan, 152 minutes, Cast: Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Heath Ledger (The Joker), Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent), Gary Oldman (Lt. James Gordon), Michael Caine (Alfred Pennyworth), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Rachel Dawes).

This is not only the major blockbuster of the year, but is probably going to become the largest $ grossing film of all time–Titanic here comes The Dark Knight!

There is some remarkable acting in this sequel to Batman Begins. Christian Bale holds his own, Gary Oldman does a remarkable job as Lt. Gordon, Aaron Eckhart adds interesting dimension to the part of Harvey Dent as hero and villain. The small parts played by Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman are icing on the cake.

However, the real show stopper in this film is the Joker played by Heath Ledger. One can’t imagine a more chilling presentation of a truly diabolical character than the one created for us by Ledger. A performance that will go down in the history of film as one of the greatest and most remarkable villains of all time.

The Heath Ledger character forces Batman to choose between the normal life he was seeking and his continuing roll as savior of Gotham City. In the midst of the battle, he forces Batman to make choices that end up being unpopular with regular folks.

However, the most diabolical choice that he puts before the Dark Knight is to force him to choose between what is best for the city or the life of the one he loves. Batman is forced to make the ultimate choice here–a no win situation–and in the final analysis it is all for nothing.

Batman in this film goes from being everyone’s action hero, to becoming a lawless uncontrollable benefactor who acts on unpopular choices that no one else is willing to do for the good of all.  In the process he sacrifices part of himself for the salvation of Gotham.

It is an interesting film on a number of different levels, one that delivers at the theater, and powerfully impacts the observer long after the popcorn has been eaten and the credits have rolled.          *Top

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