The Dark Knight (12A)



Action (2008)
152mins US

Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Eric Roberts, Cillian Murphy, Anthony Michael Hall, Chin Han
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer(s): Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Millionaire Bruce Wayne continues his crusade against crime in Gotham City in his guise as Batman, aided by Lieutenant Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, who is romantically involved with Bruce's old flame, Rachel Dawes. Crime figures soar when criminal mastermind The Joker declares war on the police and on Batman. As the battle between good and evil becomes increasingly personal, Bruce turns to his loyal butler Alfred and to Wayne Enterprises technical genius Lucius Fox to keep his winged alter-ego from plummeting into the abyss.

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LondonNet Film Review
The Dark Knight

With a record-breaking opening weekend in America tucked under the utility bat-belt, Christopher Nolan's dark, brooding sequel swoops onto these shores amidst a storm of hype and feverish anticipation...

TM &  DC Comics.  2007 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures action drama The Dark Knight, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. No film could live up to such expectations but The Dark Knight soars tantalizingly close, probing the inner demons of Gotham's favourite crime-fighter as he duels with his most famous adversary.

The death of Heath Ledger from an accidental overdose of prescription medication casts a long shadow over Nolan's gloomy picture, adding a tragic dimension to The Joker. Ledger's powerhouse portrayal of the demented clown with an unquenchable thirst for anarchy is being tipped for an Oscar. Certainly, it's a dazzling performance; a far cry from Jack Nicholson's camp trickster in Tim Burton's Batman. However, he is not the film's most intriguing or affecting villain: that honour belongs to Aaron Eckhart as the fatally flawed District Attorney Harvey Dent, whose metamorphosis into vengeful Two-Face is riveting.

TM &  DC Comics.  2007 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures action drama The Dark Knight, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. Nolan builds on the solid framework of Batman Begins to deliver even more eye-popping action sequences including a high-speed chase on the Bat-Pod through Gotham, which reaches a crescendo with an 18-wheeler flipping end over end. The director shot many of these set pieces with IMAX cameras - a first for a major feature film. On the gargantuan canvas of these special cinemas, The Dark Knight leaves you breathless.

Having vanquished The Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy), millionaire Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) continues his crusade against crime aided by Lieutenant Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent, who is romantically involved with old flame Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Crime figures soar when deranged criminal mastermind The Joker declares war on the man in the cowl. As the people of Gotham turn against their saviour, Bruce relies on loyal butler Alfred (Michael Caine) and Wayne Enterprises technical genius Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) to stop him falling into the abyss.

TM &  DC Comics.  2007 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures action drama The Dark Knight, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The Dark Knight opens with a nerve-shredding bank heist that introduces the character of The Joker and steadily cranks up the tension. Nolan and brother Jonathan, who co-wrote the script, don't waste a single second of the 152-minute running time; this is a lean, muscular and extremely violent battle between good and evil. The Joker's opening trick (making a pencil disappear) sets the grisly tone for the rest of the film. Casualties are high, even among the principal cast, interspersed with terrific confrontations between an increasingly conflicted Batman and his adversaries.

Bale is somewhat squeezed out of the frame - there could have been more scenes of Bruce wrestling with his conscience - and a pivotal action sequence involving Batman's new sonar-imaging lenses is horribly disorienting thanks to strobing computer effects and Lee Smith's hyper-kinetic editing. However, these are minor blemishes on an otherwise thrilling adventure that echoes Harvey's prophetic words: "You either die a hero... or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."

- Sam Cannon


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