A darker Knight | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

A darker Knight 

click to enlarge Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight - PHOTO COURTESY OF WARNER BROTHERS
  • Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers
  • Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight

Nowadays, you can throw a dart at a newspaper movie listing and hit a film with some post-Sept. 11 import. But, while 2005's Batman Begins was director Christopher Nolan's indictment of society's fear of terrorism, its sequel is a nuanced, occasionally convoluted examination of the consequences of the Bush Doctrine.

The Batman (Christian Bale, again) we meet in The Dark Knight is regarded both as a savior and reviled as a vigilante. Moreover, he has embraced the mantle of preeminent superpower, indulging in variant forms of wiretapping and bounty hunting. This superhero believes that the end justifies the means.

Enter The Joker (Heath Ledger), a homicidal psychotic who trains his sights not so much on the Caped Crusader as much as newly appointed District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). Indeed, Dent is Gotham's white knight, embodying an (American) ideal that Joker strips of his innocence and deforms into a conflicted, savage husk who jettisons his principles for the sake of vengeance against foes both real and collateral.

While terrific, The Dark Knight is not the masterpiece many would proclaim. The storyline is at times bloated and meandering as director Nolan tries to squeeze too much into an overlong 2 1/2-hour running time. However, Ledger's performance is so mesmerizing that it transcends the real-life tragedy surrounding his final bow: He emotes equal parts menace, humor, eeriness, melancholy and even charisma. And Nolan's visual aplomb and expert action sequences are tremendous, especially in the IMAX version, which includes several minutes of footage filmed using special IMAX cameras.

At the core of the zeitgeist allegory is the realization that the way to win the war on terror is not just brute force but also robbing—even by self-sacrifice—your opponents of the grandeur they crave. Stripped of their masks of evil, they all just look like a bunch of crazy jokers.

Comments (11)

Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

It is a very good film.I really liked it.The film is visual treat to the audience.Suraj Sharma nailed the role …

by Fermin Johnson on Life of Pi is a touching fable (Film Review)

Much as I hate to be that guy, I must nonetheless point out a minor error in your review. The …

by Just Another Malcontent on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

It is a very good film.I really liked it.The film is visual treat to the audience.Suraj Sharma nailed the role …

by Fermin Johnson on Life of Pi is a touching fable (Film Review)

Much as I hate to be that guy, I must nonetheless point out a minor error in your review. The …

by Just Another Malcontent on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

I loved the movie but I'm curious about the Japanese version. Will it be translated or subtitled? I assume they …

by Neil Robertson on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

Lurid and Trashy? Clint Eastwood is a true pioneer of cinema-in front of the camera and in the directors chair.For …

by jde on In Her Remake of Clint Eastwood's Lurid, Trashy The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola Probes Deeper Rhythms (Film Review)

Americans are really good at watching movies and everyone knows that they spend a lot of money on watching them, …

by Anil Sharma on The Average American Sees Five Thousand Movies in a Lifetime. Half of Them Come Out This Week. (Film Review)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation