Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy to date is often considered one of the best trilogies of all time. However, ‘The Dark Knight’ is generally seen as the best film out of the three and sometimes – of all time.
‘The Dark Knight’ was released on the 18th July 2008 in the USA and the 25th in the UK. The iconic film stars Christian Bale (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Heath Ledger (The Joker), Gary Oldman (Commissioner James Gordon), Michael Caine (Alfred Pennyworth), Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent/Two Face), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Rachel Dawes) and Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox).
The film is to date fondly remembered for Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the iconic comic-book villain, whom tragically passed away before the film’s release. Ledger’s portrayal of The Clown Prince of Crime encapsulated the darker and grittier tone of Nolan’s trilogy in comparison to previous incarnations of the character such as those by Jack Nicholson and Mark Hamill. However, if anything this made the portrayal all the more terrifying and convincing, despite perhaps being perceived as ambitious before release. The beauty of this performance is how Ledger fully embodies the persona of The Joker which again makes the character seem so real and truly crazy. The performance and the script together have formed some of the most distinctive quotes in all of cinema history. Therefore it is no surprise that Empire Magazine have ranked Ledger’s Joker as the 2nd best movie villain of all time whilst Maxim ranked the performance as the best movie villain.
Although Heath Ledger’s Joker is often the standout performance of the movie, convincing and complex performances are equally delivered from the rest of the cast. In particular, Aaron Eckhart delivered a layered and spotless performance as the charismatic and heroic lawyer Harvey Dent, as well as his twisted and chilling performance as the tragic Two-Face. Both sides of the character were portrayed perfectly. Christian Bale reprises his role as Batman and Bruce Wayne well against the arch-nemesis Joker. Although Bale’s Batman voice has become a novelty, the performance is effective as the brooding caped crusader. Not only this, Bale plays a compelling role as the billionaire socialite in juxtaposition to the Dark Knight, both plagued by the same demons.
‘The Dark Knight’ had a budget of $185 million and grossed over $1 billion at the box office, therefore ranking it at the 35th highest grossing film of all time. ‘The Dark Knight’ has also been ranked as the 3rd best film of all time by Empire Magazine who said that:
“The Dark Knight is spectacular, visionary blockbuster entertainment: pretty much everything you could hope for.”
‘The Dark Knight’ won 103 awards in total. A lot of these were won by Heath Ledger for his performance which included the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award and BAFTA. The film also won an Academy Award for Sound Editing, Empire Awards for Best Movie, Best Director and Best Actor (Christian Bale). It also won Best Superhero Film at the National Movie Awards and People’s Choice Awards for Favourite Movie, Favourite Action Movie, Favourite Cast, Favourite On-Screen Match Up (Christian Bale and Heath Ledger) and Favourite Superhero (Christian Bale).
Rest In Peace Heath Ledger.