Masand's Verdict: The Dark Knight, spectacularly intellectual [pic]
Rajeev Masand / CNN-IBN
[pic]Published on Sat, Jul 19, 2008 at 00:51 in Entertainment section
[pic]Tags: Now Showing, The Dark Knight , Cast
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THE JOKER IS KING: Heath Ledger has delivered a text book performance which is hard to forget.
Keywords: The Joker, Batman
Cast: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Maggie Gylenhaal, Michael Caine
Director: Christopher Nolan
Watching The Dark Knight on a big screen is an experience comparable to few other pleasures one can think of immediately. I honestly can't remember the last time I felt this satisfied coming out of a film. What's genius about director Christopher Nolan's latest Batman installment is that it's not only a spectacular comic-book movie, but also one with an intellectual heart. It's not all chases and explosions and action scenes -- although there's lots of that -- it's also a really smart film about characters with edge and a plot that actually seems to make sense.
Christian Bale slips into the batsuit once again to play the Caped Crusader who thinks of hanging up his boots when he becomes impressed with District Attorney Harvey Dent's crime-fighting resolve. But when clown-faced psychopath The Joker shows up, Batman realises retirement is a long time away.
In addition to new characters like Harvey Dent (played superbly by Aaron Eckhart, by the way), all significant characters from Nolan's previous film Batman Begins return for this new adventure. Police lieutenant Jim Gordon (played by Gary Oldman), Bruce Wayne's faithful butler Alfred (played by Michael Caine), Wayne's go-to guy for fancy gizmos Lucius Fox (played by Morgan Freeman) and assistant DA and Wayne's love interest Rachel Dawes (played this time by Maggie Gylenhaal) are all back and have respectable roles to play here, but The Dark Knight is...