If you're as big of a Batman fan as I am,you've been waiting for this movie since the end of Batman Begins in 2005.You wanted so badly to see the Joker come into play and cause chaos.And if you were like me,you were a bit sceptical about Heath Ledger playing the Clown Prince of Gotham.As more and more screens and footage was released of Joker,people really really started to see that this was going to be something completely mind blowing and unheard of.The movie had so much hype,and not just because of the tradgic death of Heath Ledger(RIP),but because it promised to be better than Batman Begins.But the question is,does it live up to the hype?And the answer is,yes,it does.Not only does it meet expectations,but it exceeds them as well.Stop reading from this point on if you can't stand spoilers.
If you haven't figured it out by now,Heath steals the show.He is the greatest comic book villian(if not the best villian in general) I have ever seen portrayed on screen.He plays the Joker exactly how he should be portrayed;a dark psychopath with a twisted sense of humor.He is an absolutly unstoppable force of nature in this movie,and he truly does deserve an Oscar for his last role.From the moment you hear him say "I believe whatever doesn't kill you simply..makes you stranger!",you know this is going to be a role that will go down in history as one of the greatest.He causes so much pain and damage to Gotham and the people that live in it.He kills a judge,Commissioner Loeb,and he even makes you think that he killed Gordon.But the pain doesn't stop there.The people that he kills is just insane.And the part where he made the pencil "disappear" was brilliant.He causes both Harvey Dent and Bruce Wayne so much pain by killing Rachel Dawes.You don't get to see much of Bruce's feelings towards her death(most likely because he uses his pain to drive himself in his goal) but you can tell that it really affected him.As soon as you see Batman standing on a pile of ruble just staring at his feet,you know he feels responsible.This is also voiced when he asked Alfred if he had brought this upon her.Of course,Joker doesn't stop there though.He gets out of jail,blows up a whole hospital(another amazing scene that proves Heath's acting skills),and sets bombs inside two seperate boats.The speech that he gives at the end makes you realize that he truly is unstoppable.
Surprisingly enough,Bruce Wayne is not the next most impressive character.It is in fact Harvey Dent/Two-Face.Aaron Eckhart was amazing in this role.He managed to pull off a man who was pure of heart who wanted nothing more than to make his city better,to going completely insane and psychotic.Eckhart makes you want Harvey to win,to clean up the streets of Gotham and make it a better place,even though you know his fate is tradgic.He shows just how far he is willing to go to achive his goals,and this remains until the very end.I loved how they showed that Harvey believed in Batman so much so that he was willing to claim he was Batman just to actually keep Batman on the streets.His descent into madness is done so well that you feel sorry for him.The death of Rachel,who he was planning on marrying,sends him spiraling downwards.The reason his face gets scarred so bad is even done well and ties in perfectly with the movie.When you see Two-Face for the first time,I promise you that if you don't gasp out loud then you will be silently amazed on the inside.He looks horrifying.The Joker is the one who truly causes the birth of Two-Face though.He causes Harvey to blame not only himself,but Batman and Gordon as well.And to all you Batman fans,he does use the coin everytime we see him and he never flips twice.His plan is to make Gordon feel as much pain as does by killing his family and you really do believe that he was going to.He actually probably would have if Batman had not shown up at the last minute.Harvey Two-Face made Batman break his one rule,that is all I will say.
Of course there is Bruce Wayne/Batman.While not on the level as Harvey or Joker,Christian Bale still pulls off both The Dark Knight and the billionaire playboy perfectly.Christopher Nolan was nice enough to explain why he has a new suit this time roud,and it makes sense.This movie really shows just how far Bruce is willing to go to save Gotham and some of it is brutal.This really shows in the interregation scene where Batman basically kicks the Joker around to get information out of him.The scene that takes place in China was well done and actually has a lot of action in it.Bruce Wayne himself is extremely extremely well done in this movie.Bale really makes you believe that not only can Bruce dress up in a costume and fight crime,but smile through his pain and play playboy.You even get to see Bruce,not Batman,get into some action.From knocking out a Joker goon,to destroying his Lambo to save someone else's life,he knows what he's doing and still makes it seem like he doesn't.The Batpod was actually explained and made sense in the movie.I personally liked it over the Batmobile,but that's just my opinion.The black tank doesn't last long after an encounter with the Joker and the Batpod ejects from the car itself.As I said,the Batman character may have not been on the level as the other two main character's were,but he was still just as well done as he was in Begin.The fight at the very end when he is trying to save the hostages while fighting off the cops is great and it really does show just how far he will go.In the end,he takes responsibility for Harvey's deeds,making him the villian in the public's eyes.The most surprisingly emotional scene to me was Gordon destroying the Batsignal.Trust me,it has more meaning than it seems.
Gordon,Rachel,and Alfred are all very good as well.Gary Oldman once again proves that he is Jim Gordon in this movie and he is just as much of a hero as Batman is.Maggie Gyllenhaal breaths life into Rachel taht Katie Holmes lacked in Begins.Her death was surprising and emotional,making you really feel for the loses of the characters.Michael Caine is once again enjoyable to watch as Alfred.While his role is not as big as it was in the last one,he is still humorous at moments and serious at others.He proves that he is the best Alfred to date and just like every other actor in this movie,will probably be the only person in history to pull off the role so well.
So is Dark Knight better than Begins?Yes,in so many ways.It's dark,dramatic,action packed,and is easily the best movie of the summer if not the year.The Dark Knight proves that comic book movies can be done seriously yet be fun at the same time.It proves that Heath Ledger was one of the greatest actors of our time and just how much he will be missed.If nothing else,Dark Knight is a thrill ride filled with drama,suspense,action,and even a little romance if you want it.