THE DARK KNIGHT (2008)
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Written by: Christopher Nolan & Jonathan Nolan
Music by: Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard
Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Chin Han, Nestor Carbonell, Anthony Michael Hall, Michael Jai White, Cillian Murphy, William Fichtner
(Favorite Film: #7)
One of my all time favorite scenes in film is the Interrogation between Batman and the Joker in The Dark Knight. It showcases the brilliant writing that the Nolan’s brought to this sequel. First off it caps off what was a fantastic chase scene involving the Batcycle and a freight truck. What I love about this scene between the characters are two-fold:
1) The balance in power shifts almost without notice. At first Batman has the upper hand because….well he’s Batman. But the moment Joker isn’t giving him anything and Batman tries to use muscle in the conversation we realize quite clearly that he has no leverage. As Joker mentions at the end he has nothing ‘to threaten him with’ even as he is repeatedly getting his ass kicked.
2) It’s a wonderful performance by Ledger in an entire movie showcasing how brilliant he was as Joker. His calmness for the majority of it is unnerving, his care free attitude of getting beat up is also disturbing, and the glee when he proclaims he has two of Bruce’s friends in peril with that maniacal laugh is just…..God it’s just fantastic. Also a shout out to composers Zimmer and Howard for timing/composing the best cues for this scene. The moment where Batman says ‘Them?’ and Joker’s theme starts still gives me chills.
Look I could go on for ages on why this is the best comic book film of all time. You know it, I know it, and even the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences knows it because they gave this eight nominations at the Oscars. (Winning two with Ledger clearly deserving the win for Supporting Actor despite the naysayers claiming his death made him win. Bullshit on that argument.) I could list all the scenes that make this movie great and how everyone that isn’t named Heath Ledger are wonderful in this. But I know that would be repeating something that’s been discussed to death for the last six years. The Dark Knight, thanks to the Nolans, proved that a comic book character and/or franchise can go up with the big leagues of cinema and be regarded as one of the best period. If Warner Bros, or any other company including Disney, could remember what this film did in 2008 for the genre I think we would be seeing much better outings than simple cash grabs. Cause this clearly is not a cash grab; The Dark Knight is a work of art.