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The International Writers Magazine :Film

The Dark Knight
Starring: Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Heath Ledger (RIP), Maggie Gyllenhal
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Reviewed by Stephen Doyle

I am a self-confessed ‘geek’ and comic-book fan, so I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of the new Batman movie ‘The Dark Knight’ on the big screen. Naturally, this was only heightened by the media attention given to the unfortunate death of Heath Ledger before the films’ release, and the subsequent churnings of the rumor mill.

I had previously seen Batman Begins, which began this new ‘reboot’ of the Batman on the big screen, following the camp excesses inflicted on the character by Joel Schumacher (rubber bat-nipples, anyone?).

Like all superhero movies, it is very hard to treat the idea of a grown man who dresses up in a funny-looking costume to go out into the night and terrorize people seriously. However, as with the recent Iron Man movie, the Dark Knight manages to pull off the idea with some class, wit and smarts.

Heath Ledgers’ Joker is a figure that steals the screen every time he appears on it with his energetic insanity, which is a good match for Christian Bales’ portrayal of Batman who is driven only by his battle against Gotham Cities’ corruption. On the flipside, we also see some humor from Bruce Wayne and Michael Caine’s excellent Alfred, which come as a refreshing blast of fresh air amongst all the fighting, plotting and counter-plotting.

The movie also introduces Harvey Dent, who becomes another of Batman’s enemies, Two-Face. As with the Joker portrayed by Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckheart makes a fairly convincing performance as goody-goody two-shoes Harvey, but becomes much more exciting after he becomes a villain.

The most difficult hurdle for both characters is to replace audiences memories of Jack Nicholson’s Joker in Tim Burtons’ Batman, and Tommy-Lee Jones as Two-Face in Batman Forever. Thankfully both actors turn in performances that create new and much darker and more exciting images of the characters.

If I have any complaint about the film, it is that there are several parts of dialogue between the big events that seem to be re-treading the same ground of moral ‘colour’ and dilemmas, and points and ideas that are repeatedly emphasized in case we have forgotten them between all the explosions and fist-fights. As such, some parts of the film drag a little, but not enough to bring down this second successful outing for Bales’ Batman on the big screen.

©  Stephen Doyle <>

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