Jul 282008

Batman PosterWith the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to destroy organized crime in Gotham for good. The triumvirate proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a rising criminal mastermind known as the Joker, who thrusts Gotham into anarchy and forces the Dark Knight ever closer to crossing the fine line between hero and vigilante.

Genres: Action/Adventure, Crime/Gangster, Adaptation and Sequel

Release Date: July 18th, 2008 (wide); MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and some menace

Cast: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman

Director: Christopher Nolan

We mistakenly went to see this last weekend, but it was, of course, sold out. We went this week on Thursday in the early evening, so we were able to see. The theater was full but not packed.

This is certainly one of the better films of the year. Nolan has done an outstanding job of creating an atmosphere with his Gotham City. It’s a dark place in dire need of batman. Nolan lets the film’s spectacular action scenes seem like the natural consequences of the conflicts between characters, conflicts that build until Gotham becomes less a setting than a stage for an operatic conflict between good and chaos. Bale does a fine job as Batman, but I have to tell you that Ledger is as good as everyone says he is. He makes a comic character absolutely frightening. What the Joker lacks in transparent motives he makes up for with enthusiasm. Playing a self-described “engine of chaos,” the late Heath Ledger treats the iconic comic-book villain as a man who sees life as a dark joke, but takes care to tailor his punchlines for maximum impact. It’s an unnervingly thorough performance, from the character’s serpentine habit of licking his lips to the hitch Ledger throws into his stride.

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