Except for maybe people my grandparents’ age, most everyone has heard of The Dark Knight, the sequel to Batman Begins and almost all of those people have seen it.
Because of such other popular movie characters as Spiderman, Hulk Hogan and Iron Man, superheroes are really, really popular, right now. Moviegoers really love seeing criminals get beaten up by people with supernatural or magical abilities and Batman is no exception. With his super human strength and ability to fly, Batman has come a long way from his humble beginnings.
Batman started as a comic strip in 1939 (there was even an animated cartoon on television, in later years) and, although some kids enjoyed reading his adventures in the Sunday comics, he never reached the status of being really popular among most people. Not until Batman Begins, that is, when Christian Bale and a director brought Batman to the big screen. From then on, there was no stopping the Caped Crusades!
The Dark Knight actually starts off kind of cute with a group of clowns riding in a car. But, these clowns aren’t circus clowns, at all. They are bank robbers who are going to rob a bank of its money. There is a big shootout and only one clown is left: The Joker. Upset and alone because his friends are dead, The Joker leaves the scene of the crime in a bus.
Meanwhile, Batman returns from Japan and begins to wonder if being Batman is even fun anymore. Crime makes him sad, so maybe he should just stop and move on to something else, he wonders. His ex-girlfriend Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal taking over for Tom Cruise’s wife Katie, which was weird because they totally look different, so it was hard to get past that because it is obviously a totally different person) is dating Harvey Dent, a lawyer. Harvey Dent is running for District Attorney, so Batman decides to let Harvey fight crime with lawsuits, instead.
Meanwhile, The Joker asks a group of bad guys to hire him to kill Batman. This starts a long series of explosions and people getting hurt because The Joker wants Batman to tell everyone who he really is. To make matters worse, The Joker tries to kill people that Batman likes like Detective Gordon and Harvey Dent. He succeeds in killing Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character Rachel *SPOILER* which makes Batman pretty sad because he loved her. An equally upset Harvey Dent gets so enraged by Maggie dying that his face actually catches on fire. What?! Anyway, so now Harvey Dent becomes a bad guy named Two Face *SPOILER* and decides to start killing people, too.
Meanwhile, the whole town of Gotham is scared of The Joker, so they get on boats to leave, but The Joker has put bombs on the boats and waits with Batman for the bombs to go off. To his horror (and my joy!), the bombs don’t go off because the people in the boats don’t press the detonators to blow themselves up. *SPOILER* But, then, why would they, right? The Joker starts to fall off a building, but is saved by Batman. It is then he realizes that Batman is a good guy and that maybe they can be friends once he gets out of jail.
Meanwhile, Two Face tries to kill Detective Gordon’s family, but Batman uses his body of steel of stop the bullets. He and Two Face fall off that building and Two Face is knocked out cold. *SPOILER*
Everyone is talking about how amazing Heath Ledger was and I will be no different. He was amazing. Whether you liked him or not, you have to admire the fact that any actor that finds out he’s dying and decides that his last role will be a bad guy is pretty brave. I found it sometimes hard to watch The Joker, like when he was hunching over and his mouth was dry (anyone who has taken medication knows about the dry mouth), because it was so obvious that Heath was really sick, but kept going and that is what a true actor does who is dedicated to his crafts.
The character of The Joker is incredibly scary, at times. I think the writers should have given him a name like The Exploder or The Terrorist because calling him The Joker suggests that he will be funnier than he really is. Just my two cents.
As scary as The Joker is, I kind of felt sorry for him. First, his dad got drunk and cut a smile into Joker’s mouth. *SPOILER* I don’t care what state you live in, that is still child abuse and totally wrong! Then, after his scars healed and he was an adult, his wife had plastic surgery and was worried about her scars, so Heath re-cut his mouth into a smile himself in order to show his wife that he loved her no matter what. *SPOILER* Kind of romantic, right? Apparently not enough for the wife because she decides to divorce him because he’s ugly! It’s no wonder that The Joker was so mean to people. All he had ever had his whole life were people being mean to him and, after a few years, that makes people turn their sadness into meanness. That’s just my two cents, though.
Christian Bale was handsome, so I enjoyed his scenes. At first, I thought someone else was playing Batman because Christian Bale actually changes his voice when he’s in his Batman costume. Which leaves the audience to wonder: which voice is the real Batman? The Batman voice or the not Batman voice? It is little things like that, however subtle they may be to the average viewer, that add to the mystery of the character and the complexity of his dark past.
Hollywood is abuzz with the rumor that there might even be a third Batman movie. If I had any say in it, I would say “OMG! Yes, Please!” After researching Batman, I was reminded that Batman had a sidekick named Robin. I know the movie hasn’t been cast yet, but I really think Christian Bale should consider Shia LaBeouf as Robin. Not only is he an amazing actor, but he would also appeal to a younger audience of people in their 20’s who might not relate as well with the other actors in the movie. Again, JMTC.
I give The Dark Knight 5 out of 5 winks!
NOTE: Do not read spoilers if you have not seen the movie, yet!