The Bank Heist – The Dark Knight
Ah, the famous opening scene of The Dark Knight. As the film opens up we’re thrown right into the middle of a bank heist, which also doubles as our first, electrifying introduction to the Joker.
A crew of thieves wearing clown masks swiftly carry out their heist as planned. Only, not everything is as it seems.
Betrayal and double crossing play into the heist and a fantastic William Fichtner (as the bank manager) rages across the room with a booming shotgun. As things escalate, and the money is finally collected, we’re left with only two individuals, one being the Joker.
Soon enough, that problem has been taken care of thanks to the bus driver, whom the Joker promptly executes. Fichtner, lying on the floor injured, gives what seem to be his dying words, telling the masked villain that criminals in Gotham used to believe in honour and respect. “What do you believe in!?” screams Fichtner.
And with that the Joker walks over, plants a smoke grenade in the injured man’s mouth and utters “I believe that whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you stranger.” He then pulls off his mask, giving us the first look at Heath Ledger’s iconic character. The Joker then boards the bus and drives out of the bank, right past the police.
Simply beautiful, Mr. Nolan. A terrifically executed heist scene that perfectly sets the tone for the film and gives us a terrifying introduction to Batman’s newest foe.
Busting Out The Batpod – The Dark Knight
Aside from featuring a mind-blowing trailer truck flip, the Batpod scene in The Dark Knight is a masterfully crafted scene that stands as one of the trilogy’s best. For one, that Batpod is just so freaking cool, isn’t it? Watching the Bat zip through the busy streets (as well as through the indoor shopping plaza) on his ultra-sleek and uber-cool Batpod is a real thrill.
And then there’s that trailer truck flip, my god, that trailer truck flip. Mind-blowing? Yes! Jaw-dropping? Most definitely!
The scene is also an excellent example of just how twisted the Joker is, as we see him taunt Batman to come at him. “Hit me, hit me!” yells the Joker. Batman charges full speed ahead at his foe but pulls out of his beeline at the last moment, not able to go through with it.
The Batpod flies out from underneath our hero and leaves him injured, lying on the street. A smirk crosses the Joker’s face and he walks over to his fallen nemesis. Just as he’s about to extract some brutal revenge, Commissioner Gordon comes in to save the day, and put and end to a thrilling scene.
Vicious Interrogation – The Dark Knight
After much taunting and instigating, Batman finally gets some hands on time with the Joker in what is one brutal and vicious, though immensely pleasing interrogation scene. Watching the Bat toss the Joker around the room like a ragdoll is so incredibly satisfying that you’ll want to rewind and watch the scene again as soon as it’s finished.
The best part is Joker’s resilience to Batman’s threats, showing that he is truly an adversary that can not be defeated. The Bat has strength but the Joker has his mind. He continuously messes around with the Caped Crusader’s head, making him angrier and angrier. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable scene to watch as the two polar opposites play off each other wonderfully.
The Bat continues to dish out the pain and shout out orders but the Joker just continues to laugh and taunt, never letting Batman get the upper hand. Once the reveal about Harvey and Rachel is made, the icing on the cake is complete and the psychological mind game between the two is heightened to new levels.
Not The Hero Gotham Needs – The Dark Knight
Both haunting and chilling, the epic conclusion to The Dark Knight is a standout moment of the film, for many reasons.
Batman’s humility and good virtue is shown in full here as he tells Gordon that the Joker can not win, stating that the city can’t know what Harvey has done.
“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” growls Batman. He realizes that he has to be whatever Gotham needs him to be, fully accepting the fact that he must take the fall for Dent’s actions in order to give hope to Gotham. “Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded,” he continues on, as we see Lucius shut down the Bat Cave. It’s a very symbolic moment and one that fits beautifully into Nolan’s universe.
As the scene progresses, Hans Zimmer’s epic score kicks in as the chase for Batman gets underway. The police and their dogs move in as Gordon watches, knowing that their actions are futile as the Caped Crusader is long gone.
“He’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now,” Gordon tells his son. “So we’ll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he’s not a hero, he’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector, a dark knight,” Gordon continues. And with that, we see Batman speeding off on his Bat Pod and the end credits roll.
Can you feel the shivers running down your spine? Has an ending ever been so poetic, fitting and beautiful? Can Nolan ever top this ending scene?
Believe it or not, in his next film, he does.
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