Rewatched Jul 19, 2012
Josh Keown’s review:
"Wanna know how I got these scars?"
-The Joker (Heath Ledger)
After Christopher Nolan basically reinvented everything a superhero film could be with Batman Begins, the hype and anticipations for this sequel were astronomical. It’s a rare and brilliant thing when a film not only meets, but actually exceeds all expectations, yet somehow Nolan manages it with one of the greatest sequels since Aliens (1986). Once more, we return to Nolan’s breathtakingly realised image of Gotham, where Bruce Wayne teams up with District Attorney Harvey Dent to tackle crime in the city. Only this time round, they are forced to confront Batman’s greatest Arch-Nemesis, Clown Prince of Crime himself, The Joker.
Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a massive superhero fan, but this film doesn’t go far wrong in any department. From a purely critical perspective, it’s certainly one of the most well made films of the decade. Everything that made Begins so excellent is increased a thousand fold this time round. The Zimmer score is beautifully composed, the cinematography is spectacular and the script is nigh on pitch perfect.
Once again, most of the stellar cast from the original reprise their roles in this instalment, bar Katie Holmes (No real loss there, then). Christian Bale really hones his already marvellous performance as Batman, whilst the supporting cast, including the likes of Cane, Oldman and Freeman, offer terrific performances as before. However, it’s really the new additions that shine in this entry. Aaron Eckhart makes for a brilliant, conflicted Harvey Dent.
Commendation and respect is really due with Heath Ledger, though. In what was sadly to be one of the last performances in his life, Ledger creates one of the most iconic and terrifying villains ever committed to celluloid. His delivery of the Joker simply cannot be overstated. He is scarily believable as a complete psychopath, with a performance that accurately embodies the unpredictability the role demands. Although it doesn’t entirely stay true to source material, love it or hate it, it’s undeniably one of the most memorable depictions of any character in the history of film.
I thought it impossible for Nolan to replicate the pure brilliance and success of Batman Begins, and yet he does so in impeccable style. An almost flawless film, both in terms of the skill with which it is made, and in its enjoyment factor.
VERDICT; Nolan’s vision of Gotham is one that sweeps you up in its corrupt beauty. These are characters you care about, in a city you can believe in, at once an action-packed superhero flick and realistic, tragic drama. Put simply, Nolan’s Gotham is a place I would happily revisit again and again.
4.5/5 or 9/10