With Begins finally watched, I thought I may as well re-watch The Dark Knight before I dig into The Dark Knight Rises. There is a certain order in the world that must be accomplished; you can’t just watch 1, skip 2 then go onto 3. Order keeps the mind at ease, and The Dark Knight is a film which shows what happens when a man with no order appears. I bet The Joker would watch them backwards. Brr.
The Dark Knight contains the chaotic life and menace Begins missed. With the origins firmly set up, things can finally go to hell and they do so spectacularly. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is still doing his thing by dressing up as Batman at night and defeating thugs, but his crime fighting days get a whole lot tougher when The Joker (Heath Ledger) steps into town. The Joker has no rules and just wants to watch the world burn, and each of his plans quickly increase in threat. And while Batman has to deal with the clown, there is also the birth of Tw0-Face (Aaron Eckhart) to add to the roster, half man, half biscuit. Half burnt to hell I mean. The characters create the destruction, which almost makes you forget the fact Gotham looks to have gone under a huge renovation since Begins. What of the rail trains and slums?
The plot powers along and there is always an uncertainty thanks to The Jokers actions. While Batman seemed to tackle the League of Shadows and The Scarecrow with little difficulty in Begins, this time round he can barely keep up with all the chaos. Heath Ledger steals the show thanks to his schizophrenic and ghastly looking Joker, the praise garnered at release was certainly not just because of his untimely death. The opening heist scene is just a taste of what crafty plans he has up his sleeve and his video recordings with people he’s caught are chilling. It’s just a shame Two-Face doesn’t get quite the same treatment. There is a great story with Harvey Dent as a white knight descending into anarchy, but little time is spent on his new unruly nature. His plot line is cheaply wrapped up in the rather scrappy ending, as if Nolan ran out of time and had to quickly wrap everything up. It doesn’t ruin the brilliance of the prior acts and still delivers the potent messages on heroes and the good in people, but it isn’t the grand finale The Dark Knight deserves, just one it has to put up with.
The Dark Knight is possibly the greatest superhero film of our time. Sometimes it lags, sometimes it stumbles, but it never falls.