It’s been ten years since The Dark Knight came out, and pretty much not long after became a brilliant, classical standard for superhero films. Might as well take a minute then, to reflect on what it meant to me, and why it’s so amazing!
For starters, Christopher Nolan pulled everything off with a style that satisfies you as a blockbuster, but in quite a different way to something like the recent Marvel films (generally upbeat and “mainstream”, even if each one’s different genre-wise and great). This way results in something more “classical”, where you get enough OTT stunts, you get more than enough humour with Heath Ledger as the Joker, and so on, but everything feels grounded, without any feeling really you might have from something like a Marvel film, Fast and Furious, I could go on haha.
Christian Bale, returning as Bruce Wayne/Batman, leans into all this as an increasingly conflicted, but determined character who faces increasing questions about his limits and durability. Meanwhile, Heath Ledger as the aforementioned Joker could almost be in his own movie, such is the curiosity he gives off with his performance!
What do I then have to say about Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/Two-Face? He’s one of the film’s most conflicted characters and an appropriately tragic villain that comes from the territory, especially when faced against the duality of Batman’s and the Joker’s ideals. So even though his character probably most obviously strains credibility (most people caught up in a fire aren’t just left with half their face burnt off after all!), the tone and pace otherwise feels so consistent you don’t really care.
There’s much more I could say, whether about Gary Oldman being amazing again as Commissioner James Gordon (because Oldman’s always amazing), or Wally Pfister’s amazing cinematography. But I’ll wrap it up here by admitting that while there’s something a bit clinical about this film that probably comes as a side effect from the sheer ambition on display everywhere, The Dark Knight deservedly earns a 4 and a 1/2 out of 5 from me. Watch this if you haven’t already, or rewatch it!