Hello SWRNN, readers! As you probably know, the highly-anticipated final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy, “The Dark Knight Rises” hits theaters this week, so I thought I’d give you something other than a review today. Instead, here are my thoughts on 2008’s masterpiece, “The Dark Knight.”
I saw “The Dark Knight” four times in theaters back in 2008, and I remember each time vividly. The first time that I saw it was with my dad. It was not only a great film, but one of the best bonding experiences I’ve had with my father.
There is another reason why I loved “The Dark Knight” so much. Whenever I put “The Dark Knight” into my Blu-Ray player, it felt like an escape from reality. I completely forgot about all of my problems for that two hours and 32 minutes and felt like I was part of the film.
Now let’s delve into the genius that is “The Dark Knight.”
The film opens with the Joker and his goons robbing a bank. This stands to be one of the best opening scenes in any film ever made. The sheer excitement and suspense that the scene gives you is 100 percent genuine.
In my opinion, the best scene in this entire film is the “Joker Interrogation” scene that starts with Commissioner Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) interrogating the Joker.
When Gordon walks out the door, the lights switch on and Batman appears behind Joker, smashing his head onto the table in front of him.
As the scene draws to a close, you can really feel what Batman is going through. His one and only rule is never to kill someone, and you can also tell that the Joker is trying to push him to his limits here. He wants Batman to kill him, because then he will have won.
The Joker isn’t a man who cares for power or women unlike most other villains. As Michael Caine said earlier in the film, “Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
These lines were not only brilliant, but they also defined the Joker and his motives.
The best thing about the Joker is how much sense he makes. While visiting Dent in the hospital he says to him, “You know… You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go ‘according to plan.’ Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all ‘part of the plan’. But when I say that one, little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!”
I believe that this single line is often overlooked. If you really think about it, Joker puts a mirror up to society’s face and shows how ugly it really is. He does truly terrible things, but you can understand just why he does them — to prove a point. A point that makes perfect sense.
However, there is a scene in this film that puts the Joker said to shame. The scene I’m talking about is the “Boat” scene.
Amongst the chaos happening in Gotham, two boats leave its harbor –- one filled with inmates from Arkham Asylum, and the other filled with innocent civilians. What the passengers aboard don’t realize, however, is that the Joker rigged both boats with explosives.
The Joker announces that each boat has a remote to blow up the other. He makes it clear that unless one vessel blows up the other, he will blow both up at midnight. Everyone on the two ships freaks out.
Ultimately, each of the ships’ passengers refuses to destroy the other and when the clock strikes midnight and the Joker is about to blow up both boats, Batman knocks the remote out of his hand.
This shows that even though society is very flawed, it still has some goodness in it.
As you could probably guess, I’d give “The Dark Knight” a very strong 5 out of 5. This is about as close to film perfection as it gets.
Thank you so much for reading this opinion piece and I hope you’re excited to read my upcoming review of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Adam Rolseth is a teen movie review and regular guest contributor to SWRNN.