Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Movie Time-Machine: The Dark Knight (2008)

Our final step in our preparation for the arrival of 'The Dark Knight Rises' was obviously re-watching what many consider the best superhero movie ever made. 

And what can I say? It really is. I really love this movie, it might as well be one of my favorite movies so it is hard to find something to say about it without just listing the things that are awesome about it. 

Now, unlike 'Batman Begins', this movie doesn't spend that much time with Batman himself, but also with the other characters in Gotham City. Obviously there is Heath Ledger's Oscar-winning performance as The Joker (our main villain), but 'The Dark Knight' is not exactly the Heath Ledger show as many people say it is. Sure, The Joker may be the flashiest character and have some of the best scenes and lines, but we also spend a lot of time with other many interesting characters. Gary Oldman and Aaron Eckhart are at the center of the story and give great performances to boot. 

The thematic line of 'The Dark Knight' is that of order vs. chaos. Batman is saving Gotham, but he has  also inspired a bunch of vigilante imitators that are distorting his message and the harmony he wants to create in the city. He concludes that the way to achieve his goals is to present a hero with a face, one that plays by the laws and people can look up to: Harvey Dent. Of course, the tension here is what happens when the rightful man meets the greatest agent of chaos (just in case, that would be the joker). 

In a way Batman is in the middle of this fight, trying to trip the balance as much as he can to Dent's side, and of course, failing. At the end of the movie Dent falls, but Batman decides to make a hero out of him anyway. Batman becomes an outlaw, because that is what the city needs. 

Apart from being a kick-ass movie, 'The Dark Knight' is a pretty good allegory for the age of terrorism and al-Qaeda. It asks how do you fight an evil like the Joker's, one in which ideology surpasses any kind of reason. And how far are you willing to go to defeat it. 

'The Dark Knight' has a lot of characters sacrificing something or other in order to stop evil and ends with Batman sacrificing his status as the symbol he wanted to create in the first place. The trailers for 'The Dark Knight Rises' have been telling us Bruce Wayne hasn't yet made the ultimate sacrifice for Gotham and after seeing the important role of sacrifice in 'The Dark Knight' it makes sense that's were our hero is going in its final movie.

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