Posts Tagged ‘stunts’

Director: Christopher Nolan

In 2005, Christopher Nolan relaunched Warner Brothers’ dormant Batman franchise with “Batman Begins”, an exceptionally well-made film that took a realistic, detailed approach to the origins of DC’s biggest hero (arguably the most popular hero in the world). Now, three years later, Nolan and his star Christian Bale return to the property, and they deliver what is perhaps the greatest superhero film ever made (and a great film, besides), one that will become the model all others will look up to.

Nolan and his screenwriters draw on several different comics sources to create their vision of Batman, the Joker, and Gotham. The most obvious among these are Alan Moore’s “The Killing Joke” (perhaps the seminal Batman vs. Joker story) and Jeph Loeb’s “Batman: The Long Halloween”, which involved Harvey Dent and the struggle between Batman and the mob. Moore’s Joker was conceived of as having no fixed origin, and Nolan follows through with this: the Joker has no origin, though he offers several different versions to different people.

The performances are as spectacular as many had expected and/or hoped. Bale returns in fine form as the titular character, and can’t be faulted too much. Aron Eckhart debuts as District Attorney Harvey Dent, and the storyline effectively revolves around him and his war on organised crime in Gotham. There are fine supporting performances from the returning Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine, as well as the newcomers Eric Roberts, Nestor Carbonell and Maggie Gyllenhaal (who thankfully takes over from Katie Holmes as Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend Rachel Dawes).

That brings us to The Joker. Just about everything you have heard about his portrayal is true. He is a complete psychopath, and is totally unrecognizable in the role. You may laugh at some of his shenanigans, but then will take them back when you see the horrifying things he says and does. He spits and slobbers through his lines with such quirk and filth you feel nasty watching him. There are evil, little sadistic moments that tinge and stain this film, dramatically stirring discord, melancholy, and angst inside of you until the credits roll. Yes, Ledger is that good. This brilliant performance is even better than I could have hoped, and is enough to see the movie alone. I thought I’d never say this but, make way Nicholson, Ledger has arrived!

The very loyal screenplay is written very well by Jonathan Nolan, who has done a masterful job. The characters are rich in character and the story has not a flaw in it. For a comic book film adaptation, this film is not at all fantasy-like. It is quite realistic in a way and this is what gives the film more credibility. Also, the fact that the script is realistic is unbelievable, as you expect a superhero film when you walk in the cinema, and walk out realizing you have just seen an epic crime saga. It deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence with “Goodfellas”, “Heat”, “The Untouchables” and even “The Godfather”. I kid you not, this film has the power.

Wally Pfister’s cinematography is simply stunning. Gotham has never looked so good, so big and deep. His wide shots purvey a dirty aura and contribute to the feel of the film. Without it, it may not have been the same. Another Oscar worthy portion, THE MUSIC! With Hans Zimmer AND James Newton Howard at the helm, how could it go wrong? The score sets the mood in every scene, giving an epic and thrilling tone. During action sequences it really ups the adrenaline. And on that topic of action, The Dark Knight succeeds in have the best fight sequences and car chases in a comic book adaptation yet. With no obvious or over-use of CGI, the explosions and accidents are the real deal. Thrilling, edge of your seat and violent, this is brutally awesome stuff.

But of course, none of this is possible without the genius that is the other Nolan, director Christopher. As per Memento, he knows how to direct a film. The dramatic scenes are engaging and the action sequences are crisp, thrilling, and will blow you out of your seat. Nolan’s direction is tense, whip-smart, kinetic and smart. All of the action sequences are realistic and CG is used only when necessary. The new vehicle and some gadgets look cool and stylish and do not take away the film’s credibility and realism. There are a lot of action sequences to boot, some of them combining themes from above. You will have to see them to believe them. The Nolan Brothers have done it again.

What else is there to say? The Dark Knight just flat out rocks hard. The fight scenes, the explosions, and the big car chase are nothing short of amazing. The performances by everyone involved are well above par and Ledger’s Joker is a comic book movie villain that will likely be remembered forever. Chris Nolan has crafted an epic superhero movie that just might be the best ever made.

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