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The Joker: See, this is how crazy Batman's made Gotham! If you want order in Gotham, Batman must take off his mask and turn himself in. Oh, and every day he doesn't, people will die, starting tonight. I'm a man of my word.
"Welcome To A World Without Rules"
The sequel to Christopher Nolan's superhero masterpiece, Batman Begins, is my favorite movie of all time. The Dark Knight is the perfect movie in my opinion. I just can't see movies coming any bigger or better than this one. From the opening plunge of Zimmer's score to the finale confrontation between Batman and Two Face; this is a nonstop action film, that has more than just a brain, but a sense of humor and a sense of menace. All the little stuff that was great about Batman Begins is again or display here. The cinematography, the score, the acting, the sound, the choreography; are all great. There's not much to say about the greatness of this film that hasn't been said a million times over already.
Batman is still trying to take down the organized crime syndicates that plague the city of Gotham. The new DA, Harvey Dent, seems to be right with Batman on how to clean the city up. Then comes The Joker, who is laughing in the faces of all authority as he robs banks, plays with the mob, and kills at will. He's a villain that is more then just crazy; he's smart. A smart, crazy man can be the hardest to break down. There's a couple of times in this long movie when you think it's about to hit its climax, but no, Nolan just adds more layers, more plot arcs, and more character details. This movie is filled with detail.
Heath Ledger deserved his Oscar very much and it kind of angers me when I hear people say the only reason he got it was because he died. His performance as The Joker is up there with Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector for the best supporting performance ever. Ledger embodies pure evil and chaos with his character, and couldn't have nailed it any better. I've seen this movie countless times, and I am still blown away by his performance each and every time I watch it. I already know it's amazing, yet when I start watching it again, I go, Damn he's good in this movie. He's also helped by an amazing cast that kept Bale as Batman, Oldman as Gordon, Caine as Alfred, and Freeman as Fox. New additions were Gyllenhaal as Rachel, subbing in for Holmes from the last one. Also Aaron Eckhart shows up as DA Harvey Dent.
Like I said, this is my favorite movie ever and I highly, highly doubt that will ever change. I have extremely high hopes for The Dark Knight Rises, but to top this one; Nolan has to be the second coming of Christ as a filmmaker. But if anyone could do it, it would be him. His skills have been with him since Following and Memento, but it seems like he just keeps getting better and better. His eye for detail and his interest in character as well as action is fascinating.
The film has spoken for itself over the years, and as it has I've eagerly waited for July 20, 2012 to come as quickly as possible. Now, it is almost here and I couldn't be more excited. The way the events of The Dark Knight ended just left all of us wanting more, and we're about to get just what we want. What I want is a movie that is worthy of the first two. To ask for another perfect movie to end the trilogy is a lot to ask. The Godfather couldn't do it. Back to the Future couldn't do it. Spiderman couldn't do it. Superman couldn't do it. But hey Star Wars and Lord of the Rings did it, and so could Nolan with Batman.
The Joker: I took Gotham's white knight and I brought him down to our level. It wasn't hard. You see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push!
There really is no reason for me to write a review for The Dark Knight, as everyone has already given it enough praise, but it is my favorite movie so here we go. The cast is up there with the best casts of all time. Bale, Eckhart, Caine, Freeman Oldman, and Ledger. There are three of them who in my opinion are perfect in their roles and that's not to say the others weren't great because they were. Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Gordon, and Heath Ledger as The Joker were all in my opinion perfect in their roles. Christopher Nolan, with his first two Batman films breathed new life not only into Batman, which was coming of the devastation of Schumacher movies, but into Superhero and action films alike. The movie is non-stop action, but it's also smart. Nolan also brought a lot of darkness into a genre that loves being campy and quirky. Nolan is obviously one of the best, if not the best director going right now and before it's all said it done, he will probably go down as one of the greatest directors. The score of this movie is simply amazing. It really sets the mood for The Joker and Two Face violence. Nolan has a lot to live up to with the third movie and if anyone can it's him.
Bane: Calm down, Doctor! Now's not the time for fear. That comes later.
"A Fire Will Rise"
I can't describe the experience of finally seeing Nolan's trilogy come to end. I've been waiting for this movie for years; tracking casting decisions and who the villains were going to be. So when I finally sat down in the IMAX theater to watch this spectacle take place; it was a moment of pure joy. And every single person around me was feeling the exact same way. People gave high fives and let out screams when the movie finally began. The moment we had so eagerly waited for was here.
Now, we all know that Nolan was going to absolutely bring it with his first scene, and brought it he did. The raw excitement of the first scene of this movie is enough to give me goosebumps thinking about it. It's just as good as the beginning to The Dark Knight. I could never begin to say which opening scene is better. After the excitement of the opening scene, Nolan slows it down for a little bit, which was a terrific idea. We need to be shown what exactly has happened in the eight years since Batman took the fall for Harvey. We're also introduced to many new characters, each of them as important as the others in getting Nolan's themes across.
I'll talk about the villains a little bit here. When I was first hearing the rumors on who the villains would be, I had my heart set on The Riddler. I saw what they did with Joker and thought they could do it again with The Riddler. At first, the choice of Bane seemed a little off for Nolan's world, but that's because the only glimpse of Bane I had seen was when he was in the hands of Schumacher. Nolan's explanation for using Bane made since though. Batman had never had to fight a villain that was physically superior to him, and Bane is definitely that. When I finally got to see Bane on screen, it was clear that was the perfect decision. Tom Hardy is amazing as Bane. We've all heard people whining about the voice of Bane, but I thought it was excellent. I had no trouble making out his dialogue and it just added to the atmosphere of the movie. I was skeptical about the use of Catwoman as well, but the way Nolan used her was great. Also, Anne Hathaway was a perfect choice. She was sexy, athletic, and she delivered an all around great performance. I'm not going to go in depth on how she's used as it would ruin the film completely. There's also a surprise villain that I won't name as it would completely ruin the movie. It won't surprise some, as it didn't surprise me, but for those not reading every article on the movie; it will. Scarecrow also makes a brief appearance.
Production wise, this is just as good as you'd expect. The cinematography is great, the sound quality is amazing. The movie just looks explosive and the effects bring out the explosiveness of the film. Nolan's action scenes are, simply put, intense. He knows just when to up the speed of the film and when the action comes, it will not disappoint. It's hard to describe how big this movie is. It's so epic, it is ridiculous. It's definitely Nolan's biggest film to date. He doesn't skimp on nothing. There's a huge cast, huge plot developments, huge scenes, huge everything. When you come out of this movie, you will be left with so much to think about. And the ending, just makes you want more.
I've read some critics who whined about it being overblown and too long, but if you are as big a fan of the first two movies as I am; that isn't a problem. At 2 hours and 45 minutes, this movie ran by so quick, I thought the ending was a false finish. The length of the film could have been another hour and I would have been fine with it. True fans of these movies will want every second of Nolan's movie and wouldn't want it any shorter.
If I were to describe this in as short a way as possible, all I would say is, "It's fucking epic." That's the best way to describe it. From the plane scene to the final minutes when we see that Nolan has been playing with characters and what we thought about them; it's epic. Nolan knows what diehard fans expected because of the inclusion of some of the characters and he uses that against us in clever and well developed ways.
I don't know exactly where I'd put this in the series. I think I need to watch it like 10 more times to decide, but if I had to say today, I'd put it just slightly behind The Dark Knight and in front of Batman Begins by a hair. Their all so good that ranking the three doesn't even matter. Christopher Nolan gave me exactly what I wanted and expected from him with his last Batman movie. God help whoever tries to take the franchise over because there are giant shoes to fill.
Bane: When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die.