The Dark Knight (2008)
Reviewed on 2008 July 26
This was a 152-minute thrill ride, with good acting from everyone, enough chase scenes to keep the most fidgety and testosterone-fueled viewer happy, and a great, detailed plot as glue. To give you an idea of how good this thing was — we were all congregated in the back of the theater so we could watch the movie in all its jumbo-screen glory, and once the lights dimmed you could have heard a tissue rattle.
After a bank heist that goes horribly right, we rejoin Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), talking to the perpetually bemused Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine) and trying to resume his dual playboy/crimefighter existence. At this point Bruce has all but abandoned any semblance whatsoever of a normal life, and seems more comfortable with that and in his bat suit. Some of this can be attributed to the accomplishments of his D.A. friend, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart).
Dent is determined to put away the scum of Gotham City, and not a minute too soon. Gotham has a new criminal, The Joker (Heath Ledger). All that’s really known about him is that he’s a psychopath, he dresses like an Insane Clown Posse reject, and he wants to kill Batman.
This is the third movie this summer that lived up to its hype. Tim Burton’s concept of Batman was somewhat dark, and Jonathan and Christopher Nolan stepped it up to something downright bleak. There's also been a lot of hype about Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker, and it was warranted. Jack Nicholson was great in the 1989 Batman, but Ledger was amazing. He looked like a nightmare your hippocampus would punish you with after a three AM Taco Bell run. This movie was more than the sum of its parts, but it still wouldn't have been the same without him or Bale.
Four chocolate morsels.