Reviewing The Dark Night

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Back to Article

Reviewing The Dark Night

Boning Zhang

“Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair.”, the joker casually spoke as he slowly grabbed Harvey’s hand, which was firmly sticking to the trigger, and moved it toward his own forehead. Harvey stared at him for a few seconds, and , and threw the coin in the air, as if he finally gave up something. Head. The joker gets to live, benefiting from his so-called fairness that is generated by total chaos and chance.

It has almost been ten years since the movie Dark Knight came out, but it still stands as an unbridgeable milestone in superhero movie industry, largely because of its unprecedented depiction of the villian, the worldly renowned Joker.  

After the cruel battle against Ras’a Ghul, Batman has matured and learned more about his role as Gotham’s protector. However, new threat emerges–the Joke, a mysterious figure without any apparent motives or desires for money or power, came into sight. He began to murder innocent people, as well as important officials in police department, and bombard the city, just so that Batman would reveal his true identity. The on Bruce Wayne’s heart became heavier as more destructions were done by the joker, and he decided to reveal himself to the public and accept the charges placed on him. However, Harvey Dent, the new district attorney, falsely declared himself as Batman in order to stop the killing, and also to lure the joker out. The joker took the bait, and was captured, but he plan to destroy Gotham’s faith in justice was far from end.

Unlike other super-hero movies, where the there are always distinct lines drawn between the protagonist and antagonist, good and bad, dark knight consists of no such elements. The film aims to convey the idea of evil and justice being intertwined and convertable, as perfectly demonstrated by the quote “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain”. The path to maintain justice does not mean always doing what is right, which would inevitably lead every so-called “justice protector” to abyss. The motives behind all of Jokers’ actions is his fundamental beliefs that human nature is corrupted, and thus he tried to destroy Gotham’s faith in human nature by proving that even the brightest knight could be corrupted. He was willing to give his life to Batman if his murder would destroy people’s faith in Batman. “You have those rules, and you think they will save you… That’s the one rule you will have to break to know the truth”. Although he did not succeed in bringing down Batman, he did so with Harvey Dent, who, because of the death of his fiancee, went on a killing spree. In Jokers’ ideological system, the existence of rules symbolize injustice and unfairness, and that the world is only fair in a state of total chaos, as he illustrated while being interrogated by Batman:”  Their morals, their code; it’s a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. You’ll see- I’ll show you. When the chips are down these, uh, civilized people? They’ll eat each other. See I’m not a monster, I’m just ahead of the curve.”.

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