The Dark Knight
|The Dark Knight|
David S. Goyer
|Release Dates||AU: July 16, 2008 |
NA: July 18, 2008
UK: July 24, 2008
|Running Time||152 minutes|
|Sequel to||Batman Begins|
The Dark Knight is a 2008 movie based on the famous DC Comics' graphic novel series Batman, created by Bob Kane. The film was co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan and is the direct sequel to the 2005 blockbuster hit Batman Begins. The movie follows the story of Batman (Christian Bale) and Distric Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) as they struggle to keep Gotham City safe from the mob and a new criminal called "The Joker" (Heath Ledger).
Prior to the film's release, The Dark Knight had already sold more pre-sale tickets to first day showings than any movie in history. It also became only the second movie to gross over $500 million in the United States. Hype surrounding the movie was at an all-time high as it was being fueled by a very creative and unique viral marketing campaign.
The film opens with The Joker and some of his henchman robbing a bank in Gotham City that is controlled by the mob. The Joker is able to escape with millions of dollars after his men are all killed. That night, Batman drops in on a meeting between Scarecrow and The Chechen, who is upset over the side effects from Scarecrow's Fear Toxin. Batman is able to capture Scarecrow (as well as a few Batman posers) but the Chechen gets away. After the encounter, Bruce Wayne has Lucius Fox re-design his batsuit to be more flexible and lightweight. Then, while having dinner with Harvey Dent and Rachel Dawes, Bruce Wayne decides to host a political fundraiser for Harvey Dent in order to boost Dent's public image.
Mob Boss Salvatore Maroni, Gambol, and the Chechen have a meeting with other Gotham mobsters to discuss the issue of Batman and their missing money. Lau, a Chinese business man who is working with these men, assures them that their remaining money is safe after he had it moved and hidden because the police were moving in on the rest of it. At this time, Lau is flying back to Hong Kong to avoid being interrogated within the states. Meanwhile, Joker shows up at this meeting, and after killing one of Gambol's men who tries to capture him, offers his assistance in capturing Batman for half of their money. James Gordon tells Batman of Lau's departure and he ends off to Hong Kong to capture him. Once returned and given to the Gotham City Police Department, Lau gives up the name of the men working for him in exchange for his eventual freedom. Maroni, along with his accomplises, are taken into custody.
After Brian, one of the men posing as Batman, turns up dead, Joker releases a video over the air declaring that unless Batman reveals his true identity, more people will die. The Joker then ambushes the fundraiser for Harvey Dent, but Batman is able to protect the patrons, along with Rachel Dawes who gets thrown out of a window by The Joker. During this time, Judge Surillo is killed after her car blows up with her in it, Commissioner Loeb is poisoned, and James Gordon gets shot protecting the Mayor. After realizing he is at fault for these incidents, Batman intends to reveal his idenity to the city of Gotham, but before he can, Harvey Dent holds a press-conference declaring that he himself is Batman. It is part of his plan to draw the Joker out so Batman can capture him, and his plan is successful.
While The Joker is in custody, James Gordon is appointed the new Commissioner of the city after it is revealed he faked his death. Batman then interrogates Joker and finds out that both Rachel Dawes and Harvey Dent are being held captive in seperate buildings, each rigged with explosives. After Batman leaves to save Rachel and Gordon after Dent, Joker is able to escape from his cell and uses a cell phone from one of the cops to trigger a bomb to go off within the building. Joker then lets Lau out of his cell and takes off with him. Meanwhile, Batman arrives at the address given to him by Joker only to find Harvey Dent tied up instead of Rachel. Batman is able to save Gotham's district attorney but Rachel Dawes isn't so lucky as the building she is in blows up, killing her. During their escape, Harvey Dent's face got burned from the explosion.
Joker is then seen in abandoned building with the Chechen and some of his men. Lau is handcuffed sitting atop his entire sum of money. Joker then burns the mountain of cash, killing Lau in the process. Joker insists that criminals these days only care about money, and that he intends to give Gotham a better class of criminal. Afterwards, Joker releases a video declaring that unless Mr Reese, Bruce Wayne's attorney who has found out his secret identity and plans to go public with it, is killed within a certain period of time, he will blow up a hospital. During an evacuation of Gotham General, Joker visits Harvey Dent and convinces him Batman and Gordon are the ones to blame for Rachel's death. Both men escape the building as it blows sky high.
With the city in a panic, Joker broadcasts staying that citizens of Gotham are not safe tonight. Tunnels and bridges are closed down in Gotham, forcing citizens to evacuate via ferry. Two in particular have been rigged with explosives, with one of the ferries containing ordinary city folk, with the other full of inmates from Arkham Asylum. Joker says that both ferries will be blown up at midnight, unless one of the ferries blows the other up. Each ship captain has been given a detonator.
Batman tracks down the Joker's location with the help of his friend Lucius Fox. After getting rid of his henchman and saving some hostages, Batman and Joker engage in a hand to hand fight. Batman is soon pinned down by Joker as midnight strikes, but neither ferry has blown up. Batman tells Joker that the people of Gotham City aren't as pathetic and selfish as Joker believed. Batman then stuns Joker and ties him up, leaving him for the police.
Commissioner Gordon gets a call from Harvey Dent, and he tells him that he has his family (wife and two kids) held up at the place where Rachel died. Batman finds out about this and goes to the location, finding that Dent has them all held at gunpoint. He wishes to exact revenge on them for letting Rachel die. Dent flips his coin to decide the fate of himself and Batman, afterwards shooting Batman in the stomach and sparing himself. Just as he flips his coin to determine whether Gordon's son lives or dies, Batman dives at Dent and knocks him out of the building. Batman is able to break his fall, but Dent is killed upon impact with the ground. Earlier in the night, Dent had killed a few dirty cops who were aligned with mob, but Batman didn't want him to take the fall for it. He wanted Gotham to remember Harvey Dent for being a symbol of what is right in the city, so Batman tells Gordon to send the cops after him. Batman then takes off on his Batpod with the police chasing behind.
Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale): The current owner of Wayne Enterprises, Bruce is a young, successful, and charismatic billionaire who spends his nights patrolling the streets of Gotham as Batman. He is highly athletic, proficient in the highest level of jujitsu, and is an excellent detective, sporting a new suit that is lighter and more flexible allowing him to be more agile. Batman continues his partnership with Lieutenant (eventually commissioner) Gordon, and then forms a partnership with Harvey Dent, the new district attorney. In spite of all he has done to assist in purging Gotham of its most dangerous criminals, Batman realizes that Gotham's true heroes are people like Harvey Dent, who managed to incarcerate a vast majority of the mob without assuming a secret identity.
Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine): Bruce Wayne's trusted butler, Alfred has served the Wayne family for several years. After Bruce's parents died, he became Bruce's legal guardian until Bruce became self-sufficient. Alfred now serves as more of an adviser to Bruce, often counseling him about the decisions he makes and about life in general. On more than one occasion, he has helped Batman whenever he found himself in a predicament.
Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhall): Bruce Wayne's childhood friend and love interest, Rachel spends most of her time finding ways to exploit and apprehend criminals who are involved in organized crime as the assistant district attorney. Having rejected Bruce, she begins to spend more time with Harvey Dent and eventually develops a close, however ephemeral relationship with him. Nevertheless, she maintains a strong friendship with Bruce Wayne, who is still pursuing her as a love interest.
Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman): The current commissioner after Loab's death, Gordon continues to actively fight criminal activity which has taken a turn for the worst with The Joker on the scene. He maintains positive relations with Batman, even saving him at one point from The Joker when he was temporarily incapacitated. He also gains assistance from district attorney Harvey Dent in combating organized crime. However, their partnership is short-lived as a Joker orchestrated incident involving Dent resulted in the death of Rachel and the permanent disfiguration of Dent's face.
Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman): The new chief executive officer of Wayne Enterprises, Lucius is a well educated man who assists Bruce with his job as a businessman and as Batman. As CEO, Lucius oversees all of the company's operations, sometimes seeking assistance from Bruce. He also becomes more actively involved in assisting Batman, developing various new gadgets for him and even redesigning his suit.
Harvey Dent/Two-Face (Aaron Eckhart): The current district attorney, Dent plays a crucial part in stymieing organized crime in Gotham City. His unrelenting passion for justice makes most of Gotham's criminals weary of him and has thus made him a target of several assassination attempts. Unfortunately, he is involved in an incident orchestrated by The Joker which leaves him with terrible burns that permanently disfigures the left side of his face (why he then refers to himself by his nickname Two-Face) and results in the death of his would be fiancee Rachel. His passion for justice is quickly replaced with vengeance as he plots to eliminate all who were involved, directly or indirectly, in Rachel's murder. His quest for revenge would (ironically) result in his own death, however, Batman vows to secure his reputation as Gotham's "White Knight."
The Joker (Heath Ledger): The Joker is described as a murderous sociopath who delights in the suffering of mankind. His dark nature is revealed early on in the film when his team of five henchmen robs Gotham City Bank with an order to systematically kill one another for a larger share of the loot. Nevertheless, The Joker is largely treated as a common criminal (albeit with strange tendencies) until, to many people's dismay, he eventually proves to be far more of a threat than even Batman himself predicts. As time progresses, The Joker begins to display a more violent disposition--orchestrating the murder of several people, primarily government and law enforcement personnel, and purposely instigating a citywide state of pandemonium, all to his own amusement. He expresses no sympathy or compassion for others, enemy and ally alike.
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