Jack Nickleson. The original Joker from Tim Burton’s Batman warned Heath Ledger not to do the role of the Joker. Not heeding his warnings, he went and did the greatest performance i have ever seen on the big screen from any actor to date. Right at the beginning of the movie, we see the Joker and what kind of tone he is going to set for this film, not entirely sombre, but madness. Robbing a bank is the most typical thing for a villain to do. Take money from the people and upset the status quo. Now what the Joker does, is turn the robbery against not only the bank, but his fellow criminals. Money is taken, and every robber is assigned to kill another after they finish their respective jobs. As it turns out, he ends up stealing a hefty sum of about 60 million not from the people, but the criminal organizations themselves. The Joker starts the movie off with exactly what it needed; a little anarchy.
Step into Batman’s world next, and we see that he is continuing his mission to control crime and corruption in Gotham. What better way to show that Batman is out in the thick of things, then him beating on drug dealers and a former cast member from the previous film. Who gives a short appearance and is never seen again. Now we see Batman getting tired. Bruce Wayne confides in Alfred that Batman has no limits, and cant ever afford to know them. But Bruce Wayne does, and they are starting to show. It is here that Harvey Dent steps forward. Bruce knows that Batman cant go on forever as the true face of justice, he needs someone to eventually take the reins, but without the mask. Batman seeks council with his trusted friend, Officer Gordon. The man who will always be on Batman’s side, because he knows what Batman is, and what the man under the mask must sacrifice in order to do what he does.
I really like Dents character in this movie, for a couple of reasons. He is Gotham’s white knight, shining in all his glory as he takes on any crime family in open court. He shows that he is not afraid, but that anyone who fears Batman at night, can be very afraid of Dent during the day. Dent also makes a great change in this movie. I remember going into the theatre in great anticipation for Two Face and what they had done with his character. The movie starts, and the acting amazes, making me forget that Harvey Dent was Two Face in the end. He shows such good in him, ultimate good. As Batman says “he was the best of us” and he was, until the Joker got a piece. With Rachel’s death, Harvey goes mad. Everything he ever loved, in one person, taken away from him forever by the Joker. Revenge is all that surrounds him as he goes about his goal of killing every last person who had anything to do with Rachel’s death. The Jokers “ace in the hole”, the White Knight of Gotham, brought down to our level, to madness, corruption and hate. This ultimately leads to his death at the end of the movie where Batman purposely takes the blame for killing Dent and all of the people he killed along his way to vengeance.
I love monologues, when a character takes time to just talk about a story, event, impending doom or anything they feel someone needs to know in a solo speech. In this movie, the ones im sure stand out to everyone, are the scar stories. The Joker takes time to frighten and terrorize the people of Gotham, even if its one by one. He tells two completely different versions of how he became the mutilated always smiling Joker. Superbly acted is one thing to say about a role, but to call his rendition of the Joker perfect, well if anyone deserves perfect, its him. A lot of credit needs to be given to Christopher Nolan and his brother for writing the most alluring and hypnotizing script that just never fails to impress.
The story itself is perfectly paced, and good writing really helps the message of this movie sink in. Can Batman overcome the psychological aspects of pure good vs pure evil. What do you have to become to fight pure evil? Should you sit there as Bruce did watching people die, trying to save them but in the end falling short. What Batman does in this movie is overcome the evil of the Joker. Forget the characters for a moment and look at how fragile Gotham is. Its people have been ravaged by too many things. That is why Batman is so important to them, in a great many ways. As the movie comes to its close, and Dent is dead on the ground after dropping a good three stories. Police Commissioner Gordon tells his son, and the audience, why Batman has to run. Its all very well said in the movie, but i will repeat it. Batman becomes Gotham’s Dark Knight, not the White Knight that Dent was, but a silent guardian. A creature of Fear that watches over Gotham, becoming everything and anything the city needs him to be. It just so happens that they need Dent to have his reputation kept as the White Knight, not as Two Face. So the lie saves Gotham for the time being. Until Batman is needed again.
Also, i will be seeing The Dark Knight Rises tomorrow, and will have a review up for it when i get the time. Hopefully tomorrow after the movie, or the following day.