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The Dark Knight
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Reviewed on 2008-07-18
Received[4]  out of 4 stars
GenreAction / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
Note: Two Movie Reviews submitted below for "The Dark Knight" by Jolene Mendez and Keith Cohen.

Review by Jolene Mendez

You all have been waiting for it, and it is finally here. The Dark Knight debuts in theaters tomorrow and it is guaranteed to not disappoint. Starring as Batman/Bruce Wayne is Christian Bale from Batman Begins. The plot opens with an intense bank robbery, planned by the Joker, who is portrayed by the late Heath Ledger. Opening sequence of events is sure to grab your undivided attention and sustain it to the final credits. Following the chaos from the robbery, Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and Gotham’s new District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), call on Batman for his assistance with tracking the Joker and putting a stop to his madness.

Dealing with the Joker’s menacing antics is not the only problem plaguing the city, bringing down the mob is another priority for the new District Attorney and Batman. Harvey Dent is being assisted in the take down of the crime bosses by the beautiful Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal). It does not take long for the Joker to take front and center while the mob is set aside. As the Joker’s psychological mind games intensify, and the death toll in his path rises, it becomes a priority to stop him. As Batman begins to tackle with this new villain, we see him come to life improving his tactical skills and martial arts fighting. Superheroes always offer an explosive ending and this film is no exception. Will Batman be able to restrain the Joker and return Gotham to order after the community is in chaos and ruins?

The Dark Knight is a true villain versus hero film. The special effects and stunt work are some of the best produced this year and possibly from the previous year. Definitely the finest work brought to the big screen all around with impressive performances offered by the full cast. Christian Bale really settled into the Batman character this time around and has found his niche portraying the character. Aaron Eckhart offered a pendulum performance, going from the dutiful District Attorney to the disorderly “Two Face”.

Ultimately, as we all know, this films prized performance goes to Heath Ledger, outshining the previous Joker portrayed by award winning Jack Nicholson in 1989, a feat made to look so effortless. Ledger definitely steals the spotlight and possibly earns an Oscar nomination with his intense and marvelous performance of this complex and disconnected character. Sure to break box office records this weekend, noting sell outs of the midnight showings having added on two and four in the morning show times in some local theaters, this film is sure to surpass your wildest expectations. This is the summer film that is sure to be unforgettable and leave you craving for more.


Don't miss action-packed 'Dark Knight'
4 Stars (Out of four)

Review by Keith Cohen, "The Movie Guy"

After watching this intense and suspenseful crime drama, you will be thankful for our system of law and order.

This sequel to “Batman Begins” is as much a psychological study as an action-packed thrill ride. The gripping story written by Christopher Nolan (who also directs) and his brother, Jonathan, never lets up on the accelerator.

The movie is precisely timed and flawlessly edited. It passes by so quickly that it never seems like a running time of more than 2 ½ hours.

The movie is a masterpiece and the frontrunner for best picture of the year. It exceeds all the advance promotional hype. It takes comic book characters seriously. It falls short of “The Godfather,” but warrants comparisons to “The Untouchables,” “Goodfellas” and “Heat.”

The movie opens with a bank robbery in Gotham City (Chicago does the honors) by criminals wearing clown masks. We are introduced to the mastermind ringleader known by his calling card as The Joker (the late Heath Ledger). He is one of the greatest villains in cinematic history.

He has stringy blond hair and cheap-looking facial makeup. This malevolent psychopath enjoys creating havoc and chaos. He pushes civilized people to the limits and tests their codes of morality.

Batman (Christian Bale), Lt. James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) join to combat this evil and elusive madman.

A romantic triangle between Bruce Wayne (Bale), Dent and Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal replacing Katie Holmes) is a peripheral subplot.

The movie hits the jackpot in the “wow” category. It has one of the greatest chase sequences through an underground highway ever captured on film.

Other strengths are the breathtaking stunt work, expertly choreographed martial arts fight sequences, neat gadgets, pyrotechnic fireworks, Batman’s new flexible suit and the two-wheeled “Bat-Pod.”

The acting is outstanding. Ledger deserves posthumous Oscar consideration as he commands the screen in the same way that Javier Bardem did in “No Country for Old Men.” Old pros Morgan Freeman (as corporate director Lucius Fox) and Michael Caine (as the butler Alfred) are great in supporting roles.

The dialogue is filled with quotable lines and pearls of wisdom. The movie is serious and dark with very little humor. It eliminates the cheese and campiness of the television show.

The film may require repeat viewings since it moves so fast and has many complications. It has a rip-roaring musical score that sometimes drowns out the dialogue.

Half a dozen scenes constituting about 20 minutes, including the three biggest action sequences, were shot in the IMAX format that is available exclusively at AMC Studio 30. This is the summer movie you can’t afford to miss.

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