The Dark Knight Review

I went to see The Dark Knight on Friday night and was not disappointed at all. Actually, this movie has to make my list as one of the best I’ve seen, and I do not throw around those types of compliments lightly. For a summer blockbuster, this movie is exceptional in every way (USA Today has a review that I wholeheartedly agree with). Here are a few thoughts and then I give an overall perspective:

  • Heath Ledger stole the show as The Joker. He will go down as an acting legend. If he does not win an Academy Award for Best Actor, then they should discontinue the award (they probably should anyway, actually).  As I stated in my previous post, on January 24 I asked a question about Heath Ledger: "Did playing the Joker role lead to his death?" Some speculated that the role of the Joker affected Heath deeply and led to depression and insomnia. After watching his performance, I would not be surprised if he opened himself up to a darkness that ended up consuming him.
  • All of the acting was superb. The directing, cinematography – everything was amazing. It was a very well made movie.
  • I had no idea what was going to happen next. The movie was full of surprises and plot twists. While intense, it was not exhausting. It gave you room to breathe, but every scene was important.
  • Overall, The Dark Knight was much better than Batman Begins (a movie that I loved). I would hardly even call it a sequel as it stands on its own quite nicely. 

Overall Analysis

This movie was an intense morality play of good versus evil. Heath Ledger, playing The Joker, emulated Satan better than any movie character that I have ever seen. Yes, he was creepy and strange. The make up and his voice gave you the chills. But, what I mean by emulating Satan is that he acted the way that the Devil acts. He was deceptive and evil only for the sake of being evil. There was no motive. He was evil just because he was, well, evil. The rest of the criminals and residents of Gotham were shown in a more human light. Their evil was always because of self interest, greed, or self preservation. Not The Joker. Like Satan, he delighted in evil for the sake of evil. His desire was to throw the whole system of society out of whack so that anarchy would rule for no other reason than to enjoy the anarchy and to show people that they were not in control like they thought they were. He hurt people just because he could. The only way for this type of evil to be truly combatted was through self sacrifice, and you find that occuring from unlikely sources as well as Batman.

As I drove home, I naturally thought about the ultimate cosmic battle of good versus evil. The human sin that we see around us, while wrong, is still human – it normally works according to self interest and self preservation. There is a much darker, more sinister source that lies behind it all and seeks to manipulate, deceive, and destroy, however. Yes, Satan entices us according to our own sinful desires and he exploits the corruption that lies within us. But, the most rank evil is not flesh and blood – it exists in the powers and principalities; the demonic forces around us that seek to destroy just for the sake of destruction. If there is any reason at all, it is to mar God’s creation and attempt to diminish His glory. Jesus conquered the sin that lies within us as well as the evil of Satan through laying down His life in self-sacrifice, which is the only way that evil can ever be truly conquered. Faith in Him provides freedom from our own inner corruption as well as freedom from the evil of Satan. The Dark Knight tells portions of that story in a very surprising way and because of that, it points to something bigger than itself.

This movie is not for children, but at the same time, it was relatively clean by Hollywood’s standards. The subject matter was gruesome but real. It dealt with issues of good and evil, morality, sacrifice, perception, courage, and what lies in the hearts of men. If you like movies that deal with these types of issues, then you will enjoy The Dark Knight. But, it is not for the faint of heart.

Marty Duren wrote an excellent review HERE.   

7 Responses to The Dark Knight Review

  1. Alan,
    Interesting that you and Marty both looked at the Joker as an accurate portrayal of Satan. I wonder how this might be used to help communicate that to others?
    Don’t mean to nit pick… No, I actually am nit picking so I suppose I do mean it… Wouldn’t Ledger be up for Best Supporting Actor? Or would they say that he was the star of this show?

  2. Good question, Art. I have seen reviewers say both. You could hardly call Ledger a supporting actor in this movie, in my opinion. Make no mistake, this movie was all about The Joker, even though Batman is the central character of the series. Can there be two lead actors in a movie? I would think so.

  3. I think Ledger can be put up for Best Actor. Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Gary Oldham are supporting actors in this movie.

  4. I saw the movie also. I do think Ledgers’ death was related to this character. He went in to deep. His part was so natural looking. I felt weird at first seeing a dead man play such a good part.
    He was the best actor for me too. No doubt!

  5. The more I read about this movie the more interest I have in seeing it. The Good vs. Evil theme gives it considerable merit but I think as viewers we need to be prepared. Prepared for what? Prepared for it to affect our minds much like it did Heath Ledgers. We may find ourselves suffering from some insomnia also as well as paranoia knowing that there are real live people in society like this lurking about. So see it yes, but prepare yourself for the aftermath.

  6. I was reading about Heath Ledger’s role in this movie.
    To prepare for the role, he locked himself in a hotel room for a month (hardly ever came out) where he perfected the character. He worked for a month to get the “sinister-ness” of the voice just right, and he kept a journal called “Joker’s thoughts” where he journaled AS the joker in order to better understand the character he was portraying.
    I can’t imagine reading “Joker’s thoughts”. I can’t imagine morphing myself (for a month!) into a Satan-figure, “pretending” to write what he would think.
    No wonder he was on medication. It is perhaps one of the great examples of dedication and achievement–he nailed the part no doubt because of these experiences. It is so sad, however, that he was getting into the mind of “Satan”.

  7. How profound? When a human intellect, even one as intelligent as Heath Ledger trys to portray evil incarnate,(aka Satan) the role engulfs him and ends him. So the point being? Is humanity deep down good?, or deep down it is evil?, and how will we prove it? Time will tell.