By Sandra Kraisirideja
While it may be based on a comic book character, it really doesn’t do “The Dark Knight” justice to say it is just another comic book movie.
That would be like saying “The Godfather” was just another gangster film. Just as the first two “X-Men” pictures raised the bar for what a comic book could be, “The Dark Knight” sets a standard that transcends its genre. This is action, drama and stunning visual effects rolled into one picture, which happens to star a super hero.
Director Christopher Nolan has achieved a rare thing, making a sequel that is even better than the first. The action is fiercer and the cinematography breath-taking, thanks in part to an IMAX camera that was used to film a few sequences (the first time this has ever been done).
The story flows seamlessly from “Batman Begins,” deepening Batman’s saga and creating richer character relationships. The movie’s premise shows the efforts by Batman to clean up Gotham have been working, but there is still corruption and crime taking place. As the criminal overlords feel the pressure brought on by Batman’s actions, they turn to a rogue villain to get rid of Batman once and for all.
“The Dark Knight” introduces two new characters to the franchise in the form of District Attorney Harvey Dent and arch-villain The Joker, played by Aaron Eckhart and the late Heath Ledger, respectively. Ledger is untouchable in his portrayal of The Joker, bringing a new level of creepiness and insanity to the character.
Ledger’s scenes are electrifying and the performance is mesmerizing. There is talk of an Oscar nomination, which would not be unjustified. Ledger’s acting is so noteworthy that it would be easy to forget the impact of Eckhart’s performance, but it is also first class. To inhabit the world of Gotham City with dramatic ease is no small task. In fact, all of the actors’ performances are terrific and help ground this movie in reality, which contrasts well with Batman’s superhuman feats.