“The Dark Knight" is the second batman film by director Christopher Nolan following the success of “Batman Begins" in 2005. Christian Bale resumed as Batman/Bruce Wayne and this time, he teams up with Lt. James Gordon (Gary Oldman) to tackle the mobs. Katie Homes is replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal for the role of Rachael Dawes, still a prosecutor now in love with Gotham’s new District Attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). Michael Cain and Morgan Freeman continue as Butler Alfred and Lucius Fox respectively.

But what is the really eye-catching, attention grabbing cast of the show perhaps, is Heath Ledger as Joker. He gained to fame through Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, a very well known gay show. His performance as Joker was nothing to do with gay. If you haven’t catch this show yet, be expecting a very strong, dark, scheming and sinister Joker, very different from the one by Jack Nicholson in “Batman".

His death on 22nd Jan 2008, after the filming of this show adds another sombre tone to the whole show. The already dark atmosphere and tone of the show dimmed more.

Ok, what is the plot? Pls stop here if you plan to catch the show and hate spoilers.

Batman has to some extent, become an icon in crime-fighting as well as an outlaw. Thugs are scared of him, police wants to hunt him down. So the mobs are desperate, Joker appears. He offered to help the mobs get rid of Batman, but he is ultimately not after the money.

He is out, on a philosophical level to prove that man, even the most noble ones like Harvey Dent and Batman, can be brought down and corrupted. He managed to do so with Harvey Dent. Even when the Joker was caught and locked in a police station, i cannot help but feel that things are not over yet. It was all part of his plan, one that got Harvey into a accident while Batman was trying to save him. Harvey became Two-Face and both he and Bruce Wayne lost Rachel Dawes.

There are conversations in the show, between Alfred and Bruce about what Batman should do, can do and cannot do. Joker has quite successfully exposed the weakness of Batman, that Batman, as a crime-fighter, cannot resort to under-hand means to achieve his goals. And there are occasions where Batman nearly lost it.

1) Storyline – 28 / 30

“The Dark Knight" picks up from where “Batman Begins" left off. This is not your typical super-heroes movies that focuses only on the superhero and his antics. Rather, this show take a deeper look into the mindset of Batman and Joker and Harvey Dent.

2) Entertainment value – 24 / 25

Extremely entertaining, even though the show is long at 150min+. Just when you think everything is coming to an end when Joker is caught, it isn’t.

3) Cast – 23 / 25

I enjoyed Heath Ledger’s performance very much. I think he really spent a lot of effort on this role, he really went into it. To prepare for the role, Ledger lived alone in a hotel room for a month, formulating the character’s posture, voice and psychology, and kept a diary, in which he recorded the Joker’s thoughts and feelings to guide himself during his performance.

Bale didn’t disappoint too. He showed what Bruce Wayne’s struggle to continue as Batman and what it takes to bring a criminal like Joker down, especially when he lost Rachael Dawes.

4) Pace / Flow – 18 / 20

The story continues strongly and towards the last 20mins, it differs from other typical super-heroes shows by not having a climax fight. Rather, it ends off with the viewer feeling for Batman.

Overall: 93 / 100

Again, i must stressed that this is not your typical Spider-man, Superman kinda shows. While being extremely captivating, it also brings down the overall atmosphere and the viewer will leave the theatre a sadder person, entertained nonetheless.

Should make it to one of the top three movies of this year. Heath Ledger should get an award, at least a nomination for his role as Joker.