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movie review by David Blackwell

152 minutes, rated PG-13

STARRING Christain Bale (Bruce Wayne/ Batman), Heath Ledger (the Joker), Gary Oldman (Lt. James Gordon), Michael caine (alfred), Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox), Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Rachel Dawes)

WRITTEN by Jonathan Nolan (screenplay credit), Christopher Nolan, and David S. Goyer (story credit)
based on the character created by Bob Kane for the Batman comic book

DIRECTED by Christopher Nolan

STUDIO: Warner Bros. Pictures/ DC Comics, Legendary Pictures/ Syncopy
Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 7-18-2008

SYNOPSIS: Batman and James Gordon join forces with Gotham's new District Attorney, Harvey Dent, to take on a psychotic bank robber known as The Joker, whilst other forces plot against them, and Joker's crimes grow more and more deadly.

ANALYSIS: To call THE DARK KNIGHT a better film than BATMAN BEGINS is a huge understatement. It plays out like HEAT just that it is set in the BATMAN universe. It moves the superhero film into the realm of serious crime drama. The film goes darker than the first film. Batman has his hand full as The Joker (Heath Ledger) wages a war of chaos against Gotham. District Attorney Harvery Dent (aaron Eckhart) looks to turn Gotham into a safe place. Batman and the Major Crime Unit lead by Lt. James Gordon (Gary Oldman) look to take down the mob banks and bring down the major crime outfits in Gotham. A leak leads Batman on a mission to kidnap the Mob accountant from Hong Kong (in one of many great sequences in this film). Things become more complicated as the major crime figues decide to hire The Joker to stop Batman. What no one counted on is The Joker in an insane force that no can control.

THE DARK KNIGHT is a very dark and complex character drama. The 2 1/2 hour running time sucks you in from start to finish. It has surprises, emotional depth, and great peromances including Heath Ledger (whose Joker makes Jack Nicholson's one look like Walt Disney). Heath's Joker doesn't care about money. He murders whenever it suits him. He is a force of chaos that clashes with Batman who is a force of order. They both make insane choices. Yet The Joker doesn't want to kill Batman because he nails it when he says to Batman that "You complete me". The Joker sees no purpose if he doesn't have someone to fight against and doing their best to stop him. He enjoys the fight too much. If you beat him up, he enjoys it. He pushes Batman to the edge.

Harvery Dent is a shining example of the best in people. Batman/ Bruce Watyne knows it and so does The Joker. One tries to defend him while the other wants to corrupt him to chaos. Then you have the strained relationships beteen Bruce and Rachel. Rachel wants a normal guy and knows Bruce will never completely leave Batman behind. She is seeing Harvey who loves her so much. Also everyone sees that Batman has the weight of the world on his shoulders he must make the hard choices and keep fighting the storm even when there are moments when he wants to quit or go over the edge. THE DARK KNIGHT shows the darkest parts of the soul while also focusing in on the good in those who make the hard choices to stop the people who want to bring fear. This film takes the BATMAN films to another level and I can't wait to see how Nolan can top himself if he decides to write and direct the third film.

this movie review is (c)7-19-2008 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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