After all the usual Hollywood hype has died down, I decided to go and see The Dark Knight and decide for myself if it could live up to the high expectations generated by the media campaign.
The vision of Batman created by director Christopher Nolan is for me the most authentic committed to film, and that includes the highly popular Tim Burton movies.
Since the backstory has been dealt with in Batman Begins, this movie gets straight into the action with a set piece bank heist which sets off the whole chain of events.
Christian Bale carries on from where he left off in Batman Begins managing to make the title character dark but with a believably human element. As predicted before the movie’s release Heath Ledger’s turn as The Joker is compelling without ever eclipsing the hero (Jack Nicholson anyone?), although I felt the media response to Ledger’s sad demise was a little over the top, this is a fine last hurrah for the actor.
Aaron Eckhartt is very impressive as district attorney Harvey Dent who is determined to clean up Gotham City and his election heralds a new optimism for its citizens after the shady politics of Batman Begins, however his path is not an easy one. Michael Caine is inspired as Alfred the butler who acts as Bruce Wayne’s confidante and when required comic relief.
With a running time of just over two and a half hours this could easily have become overblown and bombastic but the plot keeps the viewer engaged all the way through.
The special effects throughout are excellent particularly the “Batpod” (not Batman’s MP3 player but a very cool motorcycle), and the shots of Batman gliding over cityscapes are superb.
Overall I would give this movie 9/10.