The Dark Knight (2008)

Joker & James Gordon
Joker & James Gordon

IMDB has The Dark Knight as the #4 top rated movie on their list of… well, if we’re talking about #4, how long the rest of the list goes doesn’t really matter. This movie made a huge impact when it first came out, but does it hold up a decade later?

Yes! Of course it does! This movie is amazing!

Batman returns and faces a new foe: the Joker. Mr. Heath Ledger (RIP) brings a manic, threatening energy to the character, making him a truly frightening beast. His goal? To spread chaos and show how all it takes it one bad day to drive society crazy. He terrorizes the city and the mob, playing fourth dimensional chess while everyone else struggles to catch up. Along the way Rachel (now played by Ms. Maggie Gyllenhaal) dies and Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) becomes Two-Face. The Joker is foiled in the end, both caught by Batman and shown that there are still good people out there (the most unbelievable part of the movie, really). But Two-Face is still out for vengeance. In the end Batman kills him to save Gordon’s son’s life and is publicly branded a murderer so Dent’s legacy remains untarnished.

While Batman Begins takes notes from Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight pulls from The Killing Joke and The Long Halloween. The Joker’s desire to show what pressure is needed to turn normal people into monsters is the plot of The Killing Joke, while burning a warehouse of money and the phrase “I believe in Harvey Dent” are straight from The Long Halloween. But this movie, like its predecessor, has a predominantly new story, keeping us on our toes. Hell, we almost had enough time to consider that they may have actually killed off Jim Gordon before he makes his surprise return.

This is one of the more quoted Batman movies. Not to say that the other movies don’t have as great lines! “Where does he get those wonderful toys?” is superb, and Bane is great for memes, for example. But “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” is not just an amazing line for a superhero movie, but foreshadows Dent’s doom. And personally speaking, whenever a character in a movie asks someone to look at them, I usually call back with the Joker’s guttural, “LOOK AT ME!” In just about every aspect, this is a memorable and impactful movie.

Previous: Batman Begins
Next: The Dark Knight Rises

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6 thoughts on “The Dark Knight (2008)

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