How The Dark Knight managed to have two villains – Collider | Jewelry Dukan

Superhero movies are one of the top exports of the 21st century, but as all comic book fans know, a hero is only as good as his villain. As a result, it’s not surprising that many of their live-action performances have employed a wide variety of these villains as part of their ensemble casts, but as die-hard fans will point out, few of them have done well. While the prospect of including a litany of classic villains sounds perfect for the popcorn-munching big-screen experience, in practice it usually results in a movie that’s over-the-top and overly lengthy, with no clear narrative to tie it all together. The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Wonder Woman 1984and iron man 2 are just a few examples that suffer from trying to do too much in too little time.


They would all have benefited from a tighter script, but given the unenviable task of balancing the demands of studio executives while keeping fans happy, such considerations tend to fall by the wayside. It’s a shame, because this has resulted in some of the comics’ biggest villains being sidelined in their own films, missing the perfect opportunity to introduce them to the general audience. Ancient beliefs may require sequels to be larger, but rarely does this result in a better outcome. Not that multi-villain superhero movies couldn’t work, they just require an artful screenplay that fuses all of its elements into a unique narrative with a central theme, and 14 years later there’s no better example than The dark knight.

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Resist the temptation of multiple villains

The 2008 successor to the extremely successful Batman begins, The dark knight seen Christopher Nolan He cemented himself as one of the defining filmmakers of his generation, creating the blueprint that all subsequent superhero films have either intentionally aped or intentionally avoided. A frequent pick for the greatest superhero film of all time, it proved that even a story about someone who dresses like a bat and fights crime can be told with a craftsmanship worthy of Hollywood’s crème de la crème. A big part of that success is due to being an incredibly tight film that focuses its energies on a core trio of characters: Batman (Christian Balle), Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) and the joker (Heath Ledger).

Batman and Joker fight over Harvey Dent

The basic premise feels like it was ripped straight from the pages of a comic book – the diametrically opposed ideologies of Batman and the Joker battle for the fate of Gotham City – but the genius of The dark knight is the inclusion of Dent, which offers an all-new battlefield for decades of combat. The film is essentially a war between Batman and the Joker over the fate of Harvey Dent, both of whom see their roles as the city’s newly elected district attorney as the perfect tool to achieve their vision: Batman hopes to bring peace his way Vigilantism could never bring about this (making itself redundant in the process), and the Joker sees him as the ideal target to prove that everyone is susceptible to their own unique brand of mayhem. Through careful planning and a few well-placed jabs, the Joker manages to break through Dent’s moral compass and transform him into the villainous Two-Face.

It’s a shocking moment when we first see his disfigured face, and even more so when he begins his violent one-man crusade against those responsible for Rachel’s murder (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Just a few scenes earlier, he was Gotham’s golden child who willingly threw himself into the line of fire to help capture the Joker, and now he decides whether people should live or die based on the toss of a coin. The murmurs of villainy, previously only glimpsed, are brought to the fore, and with it Batman’s dream of bringing peace to Gotham by perfectly legal means ends. Batman and Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) subsequently cover up Dent’s actions and allow the city to maintain its tranquil image of its glorious white knight, but they do so at a great cost. The peace that follows is built on lies, the cover-up of which leads to a series of laws that violate people’s basic civil rights (a storyline that continues in The Dark Knight rises). It also forces Batman to retreat into the shadows, burdened with guilt for murders he didn’t commit. He has reached his retirement, but it’s a far cry from what he originally hoped for.

All heroes are changed

At the beginning of The dark knight, Batman, Harvey Dent and Commissioner Gordon are the three greatest heroes Gotham has to offer. As the credits roll, all three have dipped their toes over the line they have vowed never to cross, and all received punishment for doing so. The entire film is spent putting them in extreme situations with no clear answer, and while Batman and Gordon avoid sacrificing their faith entirely, Dent doesn’t. There’s a clear message to uphold your moral virtues even in high-pressure scenarios, and Batman’s failure to stop Dent from doing so leaves him with wounds that will never heal. It’s fitting that last time we see Joker, he’s laughing maniacally, his actions caused all of this. The Joker orchestrated the plan to kill Rachel, weaving a delicate web of corrupt cops and criminal crooks that Dent was more than willing to feast on. As the Joker puts it, “It just takes a little nudge,” and after a tense conversation/interrogation in his hospital room, the Dent we knew before is gone.

Joker and Dent created each other

From this point on, the film has two main narratives: the Joker’s continued efforts to wreak havoc on Gotham, and Two-Face’s quest for vengeance against those who killed Rachel. Yet even when the course of these storylines is separated from moment to moment, it still feels like a unified narrative. The Joker and Two-Face weaved in and out of each other’s lives throughout the film, and since one is directly responsible for the other’s creation, it never feels like two different films are competing for attention.

During the film’s climax, where the Joker tries to convince the passengers on two ferries to blow each other up, Nolan frequently cuts back to scenes where Dent descends further into depravity so we can see which ones The Joker’s impact on Gotham on both had a micro and a macro level. The use of this technique also adds to the tragedy of Dent’s character – with both the town and Batman too distracted by the ferries to even notice what Dent is doing, any chance of his redemption is long gone by the time they finally catch up to him . The ending of the film, with Batman taking the blame for Dent’s murders, not only serves to wrap up that particular plot, but also the broader narrative. Joker’s sole aim was to prove that even the most moral of people can be corrupted, and as Batman hurtles off into the distance with the police on his heels, there’s little doubt he’s accomplished that.

Two is the perfect number

One of the smartest decisions Nolan made The dark knight kept it limited to just two villains. While the success of Batman begins would have allowed him to include virtually anyone he wanted, he cleverly avoids overloading the film with classic characters. Even if he has the opportunity to pair the Riddler with the similarly characterized Coleman Reese (Joshua Harto), a tech genius whose name sounds suspiciously like “mysteries” when he’s called “Mr. Reese” (almost certainly a homage to the Riddler’s real name, Edward Nygma, which sounds like “riddle”), Nolan avoids it. Suddenly throwing in Batman’s second-most iconic villain would have completely overshadowed his small but significant role in the narrative, and leaving him as an original character with only a slight hint at his potential comic book counterpart does the film very well. While other DC villains like Sal Maroni (Eric Roberts) and scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) appear, their roles are kept small (the latter only appearing in one scene) so that the focus always remains on Joker and Two-Face.

Compare this to the approach taken in other superhero films and you can see how impressive That of the Dark Knight structure is. The Amazing Spider-Man 2, for example, fits into three of Spider-Man’s main villains with storylines that feel entirely separate for most of the film, while managing to weave in explicit references to a multitude of others. A hardcore Spider-Man fan might enjoy it in a “greatest hits” sort of way, but such things aren’t conducive to efficient storytelling. electric (Jamie Foxx) and Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) deciding to reign terror over New York at the same time seems more random than anything else, and it can be easy to forget that one plot exists while observing the other. In comparison, The dark knight weaves his Joker storyline into every frame of the film. Two-Face would not exist without him, just as the Joker would no longer pose a threat unless he managed to corrupt one of the film’s main heroes. Both complement each other, the secret ingredient that makes the film work.

Of course, such things are easier said than done. Balancing the mountainous load of priorities that all superhero films come with is no easy task, so it’s not surprising that many like the genre’s recent successes Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War focused on just one clear villain. Still, it’s hard to resist the temptation to include multiple villains, especially when working through source material with such iconic villain galleries. Spider-Man: No Way Home and even the latest Caped Crusader reboot The Batman saw fans treated to many of their comic book favorites in a shared narrative, and while both pulled it off fairly well, they still lacked finesse The dark knight. Its delicate blend of a few well-placed villains in an elegantly constructed script has yet to be beaten and remains the gold standard for all who want to follow it.

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