Review: The Dark Knight

Remove yourself from the seat you’re sitting in, find your way to a cinema, hand over your cash, buy a ticket. The Dark Knight delivers a hefty uppercut of superior pop entertainment. Christopher Nolan’s rich and engrossing adventure rip-roars across the cinema screen, bullying blockbusters into new territory.

As you’ll have heard, Heath Ledger takes you through the wringer with his portrayal of the Joker – nihilist, anarchist, a seething embodiment of menace. He’s freaky as hell. He’s awesome. Equally valuable is Christian Bale, especially in playboy Bruce Wayne mode. Or Gary Oldman’s honest-cop Police Lieutenant Jim Gordon.

The story combines character with action, weaving together a sprawling and haunting contemporary tale, riffing on the idea of terrorised societies that fear chaos and anarchy. It deftly balances the intimate with the grand; the individual with the city.

Another point The Dark Knight scores over rivals, is in its attention to realism. Whilst the action is ludicrous, Nolan so wholly creates a universe, you buy it. The CG work is invisible. He also peppers the film with innovation. Lyrical moments, such as lingering on the Joker hanging out the window of a speeding car or the upside down final confrontation, give the movie a certain boldness (I only wish there was more of it). On paper it’s perhaps a pessimistic tale, but Nolan has created something else with his joy of invention.

It’s a terrific balancing act of ideas. This is blockbuster entertainment that feels fresh, modern and tragic. The Dark Knight, enthralling in its complexities, will have you compelled to discover the fates of its richly drawn characters. Yep, it’s a cracker.