The Dark Knight
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The Dark Knight begins the exposition where The Joker had hired a bunch of thugs to rob a bank owned by The Mobsters. As the robbery played part, it is revealed that The Joker plans the thugs to kill each other as each one completed his job and lefts him to be the one to take off with the money. On the other hand, there was a meeting held by gangsters in parking building but was interrupted by copycat of Batmen, who were vigilantes inspired by Batman.
The night after the robbery, Detective Jim Gordon checked out the scene at the bank where the robbery took place and not long after that, Batman showed up and joined the investigation. Now that Detective Gordon was able to identify the assets of Gotham’s mobsters, thanks to Joker, Batman and Detective Gordon the discussed about how to shut down mob banks. In order to do so, they needed warrants to the five banks from the new District Attorney who they did not know if they could trust him.
The next morning, the scene shows Bruce Wayne’s butlers, Alfred, helped Bruce’s with his injury from the previous night’s activities while Bruce’s monitor showed that he was keeping an eye on the new district attorney, Harvey Dent, who was currently dating Rachel Dawes, the woman Bruce could not be with in order to be Batman.
Later that day, it is shown that Harvey entered courtroom to prosecute the Mobster Maroni, the new head of the family after the fall on Falcone as they said. But later Maroni still won due to the lack of evidence that Harvey presented.
After the courtroom’s scene, Harvey went straight to his office room where it is shown that Jim Gordon had already waited for him outside his office. Jim asked for warrants to the Mobs’ banks and Harvey demands to meet with Batman. At the same day at the office, Bruce sleeps through presentation about the joint of his company and Mr. Lau’s. After the presentation, Bruce mentioned to Mr. Fox about needing him to upgrade his Batman suit.
That night, on Harvey and Rachel’s date, Bruce interrupted them with his own date, they talked about politics in Gotham city, batman, and gangster. By the end of the night Bruce decided to trust Harvey and even gave him a trust fund. He felt that Harvey and he were doing the exact same thing, except Harvey did not need a mask to be hero.
The next day, a meeting is held by Mr. Lau who was actually not the Mobster’s banker to discuss the money problem with The Mobsters. Mr. Lau explained to the Mobs that the money would be moved to one place that only he would know and then he went off to Hongkong. As the meeting took place, Joker shows up and interrupts them, he says that he came to give them a proposition that he would kill Batman if they gave him half the money. But one of the Mobs did not accept the proposition and threatened The Joker. The Joker then backed out.
So the next morning, Mr. Lau went off to Hongkong with the money which was fatal to Harvey, Batman and Jim’s plan to shut down The Mobs banks. That night, the three of them had a meeting which came to conclusion that Batman would go to Hongkong to bring Mr. Lau back and Harvey would make him talk. The exposition ends with the success of Batman bringing back Mr. Lau to Gotham city and delivered him to Rachel.
The rising action starts at the investigation of Mr. Lau by Rachel. Rachel asking about the whereabouts of the money but Mr. Lau refused to tell her, instead of giving the money; he gave Rachel his clients’ information in exchange for immunity. In one day, Harvey arrested 541 criminals including Maroni, and his thugs. This event gave the criminals realization that Batman indeed needed to be put away. So there went The Joker’s plan.
Harvey had a meeting with Mr. Mayor to justify his scheme of putting away that many criminals in a day. But the meeting was interrupted by Joker’s plan. While Mr. Mayor and Harvey were talking; a copycat of Batman appeared to be hung outside of Mr. Mayor’s window. Joker said through TV that every day that Batman did not reveal himself, someone would die. In here, we know that The Joker’s plan had changed from killing Batman to forcing him to reveal his identity.
A party was held at Bruce Wayne’s house for Harvey Dent for he had saved Gotham from criminals. While the party was ongoing, the DNA result comes back from The Joker card that The Joker left with the copycat of batman outside of Mr. Mayor’s window. Three DNA were found on that card, and those were to show the police who The Joker was targeting. They were Judge Surillo, Harvey Dent and Commissioner Leob. Unfortunately Surillo and Leob had been successfully murdered by explosion and poisoning. On the other hand, Harvey was luckier than the other two. The Joker showed up at the party straightforwardly to kill Harvey Dent but Bruce had already kept Harvey at a safe place in his closet. The Joker asked the party attendances about where Harvey was, and also threatened one of the guess because he reminded The Joker of his father. Rachel showed up in time before The Joker hurt the man who reminded him of his father, to stop The Joker but ended up being thrown up from the building by The Joker and Batman rescued her by diving out of the window. The scene leaves at that part and we do not know when The Joker left the party.
Back at the lair, Bruce and Alfred were trying to figure out The Joker’s plan, his motive, and what triggered him to do such things. Alfred suggested that some people just enjoyed it, some people just wanted to watch the world burned. That night, Batman stood at the top of a building listening on some kind of a device. He picked up information about a murder of two men named Harvey and Dent by either The Joker or any of his thugs somehow. The Joker left a message about who his next target, which was Mr. Mayor. Batman showed up at the scene and did some investigation involving cutting out a wall that had a bullet hole, he believed that he could find a fingerprint at the wall – which he did later.
While Batman was doing investigation, there was scene between Mr. Fox and Reese where Reese was trying to blackmail Mr. Fox because he discovered that Bruce Wayne was Batman. Unless Mr. Fox wanted him to tell the public, he had to give Reese money. But Mr. Fox reminded Reese that after all Bruce was a wealthy and powerful man, which was enough to back Reese down – for now, at least.
The funeral of Commissioner Leob was being held at the street of Gotham city, where would be where The Joker expedited his next plan to kill Mr. Mayor. Meanwhile Batman arrived at the place where he learned from the fingerprint that he traced from the bullet-holed wall. Batman found a bunch of officers who had been strip down from their uniforms and bound. They were apparently the funeral’s honor guard, which meant there were imposters at the funeral – who of course would be the joker and his followers.
When one of them tried to shoot Mr. Mayor, Jim Gordon jumped in to protect the Mayor and ended up being the one that was shot. Chaos erupted after the incident. Meanwhile, Harvey questioned one of The Joker followers- who was clearly out of his mind – in an ambulance. Harvey then found out that The Joker’s next target was Rachel which panicked him.
Stephen and Ramirez, who were Jim’s fellow officers, came to Jim’s house to tell his wife that Jim died, which he did not actually – which we will learn later. Meanwhile after finding out that Rachel was the next target, Harvey directly called Rachel and told her to go to somewhere safe. Rachel went to Bruce’s penthouse. Later it is shown that Batman was questioning Maroni to find out who Joker was, but Maroni did not know anything and Batman left after breaking his leg. He went to where Harvey was investigating Joker’s man – the one at the ambulance earlier – at the moment where Harvey was going to leave that man’s life to a chance. Batman told Harvey that there was no need because the man was a former patient in the Arkham. He also told Harvey that Harvey was a symbol of hope that Batman could never be, so in order to maintain the balance in the Gotham city, the city could not afford Harvey as a vigilante. Batman also told Harvey to set a press conference the next day because he would not let anyone die because of him.
At the next day at press conference, Harvey were trying to persuade people that they did not need Batman to reveal his identity, but people did not agree. They demand Batman to reveal his identity because they were frightened of The Joker. Bruce was a second away from turning himself in when Harvey unexpectedly said that Harvey was Batman and asked the authority to arrest him and that act leads us toward the climax.
At the climax, Rachel went to Bruce’s house to confront him about letting Harvey took the fall for Batman but instead she met with Alfred. Alfred defended Bruce. Then Rachel left the house after entrusted Alfred with a letter that to be given to Bruce when the time was right and then she went to see Harvey as he was being loaded into the truck by SWAT to be transferred to central holding. Rachel argued that it was too dangerous but Harvey implicated that he knew what he was doing.
Harvey indeed had a plan. His plan was claim to be Batman to get himself arrested which would lure Joker out from his hiding and then had Batman to capture Joker. Batman of course did not know that Harvey had plan, what he did know that when Joker came attacking Batman would help, and he did. Joker came out attacking Harvey and SWAT team, and Batman fought Joker and later Jim showed up and captured Joker who was now in custody.
That night, it was revealed that Harvey never made it home which the suspicion went to Joker. Jim investigated Joker but did not get anything out from him; Jim then left Joker with Batman who suddenly showed up out of the dark. Joker revealed part of his plan where he did not want to kill Batman because to Joker, he existed because Batman existed, that they completed each other. Joker was trying to mess with Batman when he told Batman that even with the support from the police that he got right now; there would be time when they do not need him. Tired of Joker, Batman attacked Joker and tortured the information out of Joker. Here we know that not only Harvey that was kidnapped but Rachel as well. Joker gave Batman the location of both Harvey and Rachel and told him that only one of them that could be saved.
Under pressure of choosing between Harvey who was the symbol of hope for Gotham city and Rachel, the love of his life, Batman did not think clearly. He, of course, went to the location where Rachel was being held at, and the police force as well as Jim went to Harvey’s. Little did he know, Joker swapped the location between Rachel and Harvey which caused Batman to go save Harvey instead of Rachel and Rachel was blown because in the police force, there was Joker’s inside people.
The next morning, the scene shows Alfred reading the letter from Rachel. In the letter, Rachel wrote that she decided to marry Harvey. As Alfred was about to hand over Rachel’s letter to Bruce, Bruce mentioned that he was going to save Rachel because he was certain that Rachel chose him over Harvey. Alfred then decided not to give it to Bruce.
Across the town, Joker revealed the mobster’s money and burned his half portion. He told the Mobs that it was not all about money, it was about sending a message, he then called at a TV show where Reese was planning to tell the Gotham city who Batman was. The Joker did not want Reese to tell the public who Joker was and said that if Reese was not killed within 60 minutes, he would blow a hospital.
Joker went to Harvey’s room and convinced Harvey that Batman and the police who supported him were the true villain in the death of Rachel, which causing Harvey to become a villain later. On the other hand, Bruce made a bold decision where he protected Reese car without mask. Despite Bruce’s attempt to save Gotham city, the city now was worse than before. They were chaos in the city, 50 hostages taken by Joker, but the worst of all was the transformation from Harvey Dent the white knight of Gotham city to Two-Faces, a villain.
The falling action begins where Two-Face –the villain of Harvey Dent – investigating detectives about the night where Rachel died. After getting the information, Two-Face tossed his coin to leave the man’s life to chance. On the other hand, Mr. Fox was told that there was a break-in in R&D department which certainly was Bruce’s way to get Mr. Fox to get there. Bruce explained about his cell-phone sonar device and asked Mr. Fox’s help to find Joker’s location using that device.
Two-Face had caught-up with Maroni, when he was trying to run away. He demanded to know who the traitor in Gordon’s unit when they were saving Rachel. Maroni told him it was Ramirez, Two-face spared Maroni’s life because of the coin tossing, but ended up killing him anyway by shooting his driver.
The scene now shows two ferries. One carried ordinary citizen of Gotham and the other carries criminals. Unfortunately, the Joker had plans for the ferries as well. He put bomb at the ferries and give each ferries detonators for the other ferries. Joker said that if one of them did not blow the other, both ferries will blow up at midnight. Later each ferries debated whether or not they blew the other ferries. This is actually Joker testing the morality of people in Gotham.
Meanwhile, Mr. Fox found Joker’s location and told Batman whereas Batman told Jim. Together with SWAT team they head to Joker’s location. From across the building with big windows, there were shown hostages and some clown that they had a clear shoot at. After setting up their guns and all, the SWAT team is getting ready to shoot Joker from building across. But suspicion rose in Batman’s mind, he said that the situation could not be that simple hence asking Gordon to hold off but Gordon did not agree. Batman flew across to the building where he found out that the clowns actually were hostages but already too late because the SWAT team was starting to go the building to attack the clowns. So Batman fought the SWAT team.
In the middle of that, Jim got a phone call from his wife that Harvey had kidnapped her and the kids. Harvey used Ramirez – someone Jim trusted – to make her wife come.
Back to the Joker and Batman, SWAT team now handled the hostage situation where Batman fought with Joker. Joker pinned down batman saying that not long after that, people of Gotham would blow each other up in the ferries. But Joker’s plan did not go well. People of Gotham in the ferries decided not to blow each other up. When he realized that the people on ferries would not blow each other up, Joker reached for his detonator to blow them up himself but Batman of course prevented it from happening. As the Joker hung helplessly, he revealed that his fight with all Batman just winessed not his main plan for Gotham city, that it was just a distraction. His main plan was taken place somewhere else where Harvey Dent, a symbol of hope, Gotham’s white knight, finally became a villain.
Hit by realization, Batman left Joker hung at the building and headed to Jim’s. Batman arrived at the place where Harvey held Jim and his family. Harvey wanted to punish Jim for Rachel’s death by killing Jim’s son. Harvey said that life was chance, just like Rachel’s death. Batman said that what happened to Rachel was not chance, it happened because the three of them decided to act, to clean up Gotham city. “Then why was I the only one who lost everything?” Harvey wailed. Batman held his tongue, because not only Harvey who lost Rachel, but Bruce as well. Batman told Harvey that this was what Joker wanted, to let people of Gotham know that even someone as good as Harvey could fall. But Harvey was far from gone, he was already a villain. He shot Batman and about to shoot Jim’s son when Batman prevented which caused Harvey to die.
What happened after was the denouement, where Jim and Batman decided – for greater good – not tell people about the fall of Harvey Dent and let Batman took the fall. They could not afford Gotham citizen to lose hope; they deserved to have their faith rewarded.
Even after watching this movie for the second time, the magic hasn’t disappeared. I was still amazed. This movie is not about the battle of good and evil. Well, Batman is good and Joker is evil, but somewhere along the story, the line becomes blurred. From the eye of Gotham citizen, Batman is a vigilante that caused Joker’s appearance, lots of dead people and other things, even when it was not his goal to do so. His attempt to save Gotham with Harvey Dent and Jim Gordon causes the birth of Joker’s scheme and Gotham city to go into chaos. Batman even broke his code when he let Harvey dent died. While, Joker is more than villain, his action unleashed people’s dark side. He does not have ultimate goal, his plans just goes on and on and his plays have no rules which make him even more dangerous than other villains Batman has ever encountered.
The greatness of this movie lies where Batman was not always right, and was helpless when dealing with Joker. His selfishness of choosing to save Rachel over Harvey brings Rachel to her death and guilt to Bruce. I guess the guilt was the thing that drives Batman to take credit for Harvey’s crime at the end. Bruce felt responsibility towards all that happened especially because he wanted so hard to make Harvey the daylight Batman without mask so that he can be with Rachel but in the end Harvey failed and became a villain. On the other hand, Joker’s attempt to break Gotham citizen’s humanity failed when people at the ferries did not blow up each other. But at the end, Joker still won because he successfully turned Gotham’s white knight into villain and send Batman into hiding.
The Joker, for me, is like an evil hero for Gotham city. From the moment Joker shows up, the city was a mess, organized crime was growing wildly, and majority of important people were corrupted. But after the arrival of Joker, the Mobsters were eliminated; some corrupt officials were dead, and the city’s vigilante – Gotham’s dark knight – went into hiding for eight years.
The Dark Knight shows us that it is not easy to do the right thing. In order to do the right thing, there are sacrifices that have to be made and consequences of the action that we have to accept.