The darker and intensely eerier world from which our favorite misunderstood superhero came was finally explicated before our eyes with the 2005 release of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Batman Begins.’ It had been 16 years since Tim Burton took Beetlejuice face paint off Michael Keaton and made him arguably the best millionaire playboy/defender.
The hype and excitement for Nolan’s next venture into the Batman franchise is unmistakable. With leaked trailers and the most bankable movie season set for release, Nolan’s sequel to ‘Batman Begins’ has a set release date in July 2008. ‘The Dark Knight’ comes out with a serious revamping of a not-so-serious villain, his oddities rightly out of place and his persona immaculately in sync with insanity.
It seems we’ve only had a rehash of Keaton’s version of Batman, who donned the midnight-black armor and pointy-eared helmet for ‘Batman’ in 1989 and ‘Batman Returns’ in 1992, until now. Nolan seems to find Christian Bale quite fitting as the youthful Bruce Wayne, still uncertain of what his newly adopted persona really means for society.
Gary Oldman returns in the ‘Dark Knight’ as Lieutenant James Gordon who, as a member of the law enforcement, remains someone diminished in capabilities next to Batman. His role as confidant mirrors that of Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennyworth with Michael Caine reprising his role.
Also established in the movie are characters that may be seen in later sequels, such as the dual personality of district attorney Harvey Dent and later Two-Face, played by Aaron Eckhart. Although Katie Holmes will not return as assistant district attorney Rachel Dawes, we can look forward to watching everybody’s indie princess, Maggie Gyllenhaal fill her shoes.
Most surprising is this installment’s super villain, played by an actor who has come out of the woodwork to don a new face of dramatic acting. After tearing through the required teen tragicomedies of the late 1990s, Heath Ledger delves into the narrow and dark world of the Joker.
Unlike Jack Nicholson’s portrayal, Ledger makes the Joker a mess of lunacy, only as comic- book types know him. The Joker is youthful, stylish yet unkempt and seriously not dealing with a full deck of cards