The Dark Knight’s opening scene is a perfect piece of filmmaking. It’s always been one of my favorite scenes from the film, and even ranks among my favorites of any film. There is no better way that Nolan could have introduced the Joker’s character. The bank robbery and initial reveal of his face does an amazing job of showcasing his cunning and madness.
I’ve also always really enjoyed that this film takes place in Batman’s prime. In Batman Begins he is just starting to get his bearings as a vigilante, and in The Dark Knight Rises he is a legend from many years ago. In this film, however, his influence and mystique is at its peak. Criminals are afraid to be on the streets at night, and Batman’s relationship with Gordon is firmly established. It’s the perfect setting for Batman’s equal, his most famous villain, to take the stage.
Heath Ledger’s performance is the most commonly praised facet of this film, and for good reasons. Every quirk and minute detail contributes greatly to the Joker’s rich character. His acting is at its best in the scene where he shows up uninvited to the mobsters’ meeting. His performance is both subtle and highly impactful, and its a shame that we won’t get to see him in more films.
Upon its release, some criticized the film for it length and labyrinthine plot. I’ve never really found this to be an issue. Especially compared to some of Nolan’s other films, like Memento or Inception, The Dark Knight is relatively easy to follow. It’s a very long film, but I didn’t find any scene to be unnecessary.
This trilogy started the trend of “gritty” superhero action films, so I’m curious to see where Zac Snyder and Ben Affleck take the character in his first cinematic outing since The Dark Knight Rises.
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