Daily Archives: January 3, 2009

movie log: The Dark Knight (2008)

Viewed last night: The Dark Knight directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale and Heath Ledger, and featuring many others including Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Nestor Carbonell, and Eric Roberts.

There’s not a lot for me to say here, because actually there is a lot — if I were to start down that road I might never stop. So I’ll just make a few basic comments. This is a followup to the excellent Batman Begins from 2005. That movie set a pretty high bar for entertainment, and if anything this one exceeds it. In this film Batman, Gotham city’s vigilante antihero of the night, starts to believe that the battle against lawlessness is nearing a point where he is no longer needed, and where the forces of law and order that operate in the open (in daylight, as it were) can take over. DA Harvey Dent appears to be a strong heroic champion who can lead the way. But along comes the Joker, an engine of chaos and disorder, who just might spoil this promising vision.

That capsule summary only touches on what there is to find here. This is not just a two-way battle between Batman and the Joker, between good and evil, order and disorder. There are many agents acting in this story, and they each tug it and move it along towards its end.

An excellent film; I look forward to seeing it again. By the way, everyone mentions Heath Ledger’s excellent performance as the Joker – and I can’t resist either, I agree. But I don’t believe that he carries the film: the film carries itself. Ledger’s performance is an added treat.