The pop-culture appetite for Batman seems inexhaustible; thousands of comic books, several movies, endless animated iterations, some of which are quite good and some of which are rather bad. Is there any real need to return to the character beyond the profit motive, though? After the financial and critical success of Batman Begins, the powers-that-be behind The Dark Knight could have made a safe bet of a sequel; a little more action, a few more actors, more of the same and a few extra explosions.

What's telling about The Dark Knight, though, is how risky it is -- how it's bold and brave and truly exciting, full of rich and strong performances and some real ideas along the way. Why return to Batman? It turns out that for Christopher Nolan, the reason to come back is that there's something to say about, and with, the character even after decades of stories and multiple reinventions. I was hoping The Dark Knight would be good; I had no idea that director and co-writer Christopher Nolan was going to make a film that not only addressed the philosophical and political conflict between the rule of force and the rule of law but also takes on the timeless clash between order and chaos ... and, along the way, evokes everything from Michael Mann's Heat to John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. ...
categories Reviews, Cinematical