Tuesday 18th January 2022

The Dark Knight (12A)
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz
He's The Joker! I get it.
He's The Joker! I get it.

Following on from where Batman Begins left off and continuing the reboot of the franchise, The Dark Knight is Christopher Nolan's second Batman film and it's set to be one of the biggest films of the summer. In the wake of Batman's appearance in Gotham, vigilantes and fake batmen are springing up all over the city, much to the annoyance of the police and Batman alike.

Hand in hand with this, there are also a number of misfit villains emerging, the most dangerous of whom calls himself The Joker. He doesn't have much power to begin with, but he uses his ruthlessness and reckless disregard for his own life to get the backing of Gotham's largest organised crime syndicates. Although the Joker sweet-talks the mob with promises of ridding them of Batman, his real motive seems to be to terrorise the public and play games with the Dark Knight.

Gotham has a new hope, however, in the form of their new District Attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), who is not only intent on cleaning the city up, he actually seems to be doing a good job of it. Batman fully supports this "white knight" through his alter-ego Bruce Wayne, even though he is dating Bruce's oldest love, Rachel Dawes.

With so many plot threads to weave, it's no wonder that this film is over two and half hours long, and yet it flies by. I wouldn't say that I was left wanting more, but my attention didn't wander either – undoubtedly a sign of a good director. However, it's still apparent that Christopher Nolan cannot direct action scenes well – whether it's car chases or hand-to-hand combat, it's very difficult to see what's going on. In contrast to the great action scenes of Wanted, The Dark Knight comes out very poorly.

In style, Nolan continues on very much as he did with the first film – it's a dark tone like the original Batman, but more realistic than Tim Burton's approach of the early nineties. However, it's not as dark as you may have heard.

Ledger's Joker is a nasty piece of work for sure, but he isn't the sinister character I was expecting. He is still very much a comic book villain and executes most of his crimes with some sort of cruel twist that he finds amusing. There are a few scenes of violence that are nastier than we've seen in a Batman film before, but that doesn't make Ledger's performance ground-breaking for me. I do like the way the Joker carries himself physically – in a kind of hunch at all times, but I can't say it's a stand-out performance, so if Ledger gets a nod when the Oscar nominations come out, I'd have to say it was more due to the untimely death of a very good actor than for this performance alone.

Still, there are good reasons that this film is doing such incredible business at the box-office. It's a well-known franchise and it has a lot of hype surrounding it. It's just about good enough to live up to the hype, but I don't think this film is that spectacular. It's pretty enjoyable, it has some great moments and it's better than Batman Begins, but it's simply not as good as Iron Man, which really is an entertaining and well rounded film.

Click here to rate this film!
Length: 152 minutes
Certificate: 12A
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 24th July 2008

Top Five Rating: 80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0%80.0% (80.0%)
User Rating: 44.3%44.3%44.3%44.3%44.3%44.3%44.3%44.3%44.3%44.3% (44.3%)

E-mail this review to a friend
  All material ©