The Dark Knight IMAX Review

Published 7 years ago by

Short version: The Dark Knight has raised the bar for the comic book superhero genre – it’s a Batman movie for grown-ups.

heath ledger joker dark knight review The Dark Knight IMAX Review
Screen Rant reviews The Dark Knight

It’s a funny thing about watching a movie you’ve been anticipating so much and for so long – you walk in with preconceived notions of what it should be like. This happened for me with Iron Man, and as it turned out that film nailed my expectations of what an Iron Man movie should be like.

However that very same sense of anticipation hurt my first viewing of The Dark Knight.

Going in, while I was expecting an excellent film, I was also expecting something along the lines of Batman Begins – a superhero movie with more of a real world feel than your typical film based on a comic book character. That was actually one of the thithengs I really liked about Nolan’s previous movie – it was close enough to reality that I could really imagine a guy dressing up in a bat-suit to fight crime as shown in the film.

But The Dark Knight takes that concept and multiplies it. You’re not watching a superhero movie based in the real world here – you’re watching the real world and it just happens to contain a psychopathic criminal and a modern day samurai.

The film opens with a bank heist perpetrated by a bunch of guys wearing clown masks, and what seems to be the Joker’s initial arrival in Gotham City. The opening scene is brilliant and seems like it could have come right out of one of the “Bourne” movies. We also get insight into just how ruthless the Joker is as his henchmen have been instructed to kill each other after their particular tasks are complete (of course, they don’t know that they’ve ALL been given this instruction).

In a further demonstration of how much the Joker doesn’t care about or fear anything, the bank in question is where every mobster in Gotham City keeps their illegal cash – and that’s what the Joker is stealing.

Batman and Lieutenant Gordon are more concerned with shutting down the gangsters by choking off their funds than dealing with “just one man.” But oh, how wrong they are…

harvey dent gordon batman The Dark Knight IMAX Review

The Joker makes on offer to the heads of the crime families to kill Batman in exchange for HALF of their combined funds of $68 million. They scoff of course at first but soon enough they learn that they’ve gotten far more than they bargained for with our pasty-faced villain, who unleashes a reign of terror upon the city never before seen.

The Dark Knight is the closest of all the Batman films to one of the more mature reading level Batman graphic novels. This world is dead serious, and the Joker is no clown – he’s a deadly, dangerous, semi-suicidal psychopath who also happens to be brilliant. Now there’s a scary combination. Speaking of the Joker… Heath Ledger’s death was tragic, but if there was a role to leave as a legacy – damn, this one is it.


Our Rating:

4.5 out of 5

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  1. As we all expected and it’s great to hear that all the hype around Heath Ledger’s performance is warranted. I was concerned about that.

    So is this going to be a box office record setting film?

  2. We’ve certainly had enough discussion about that, haven’t we? :-)

    We’ll know in a few days.


  3. Hm, your mentioning the long running time reminds me of when I went to see Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The big cgi battle inside the colosseum was coming to an end, I was all ready to leave (falling asleep in my chair), and suddenly she yells, “Look!”. *pew! pew! pew!* *Ugh*…

    I’m imagining The Dark Night doesn’t even approach that same level of boredom. :)

  4. You would be correct, sir. :-)


  5. I’ve heard some reviewers say that they feel like it went on too long, but they didn’t know what should have been cut.

    An interesting dilemma, no?

  6. Vic ,maybe after more of us have seen it
    you can tell us the few things you didnt like about it .
    1 see it on saturday.

  7. Ahh Vicster, one of your best reviews, but I think this film should have gotten a 5 star rating. (Imo)

    The problems you had were minor (Imo)

    Yeah the films gonna break 160 mil. See you on the other side Bruce…. Overall in the long run TDK, will break Titanics record.


  8. Saw this epic film last night in an easily sold-out crowd and as Vic, said a new bar has been set. I’m a big Ironman fan and was slightly thing think he would be the big film this year, but TDK will be king this year. Nolan takes the graphic novel(not comic book) and directed in a way that every adult Batman read DREAMED it would be… a Scorsese’s style, crime drama film!
    IMHO, TDK is the iconic film of standards that once was own by the likes of Spidey 2, X-men 2, Batman Begins, and the resent Ironman.
    IMHO, TDK is worthy of several Academy Awards nominations: best film, best drama, best support actor, best director, best screen write.
    Heath Ledge is BRILLANT and difinently deserves an Academy nomination nod. Heath now OWNS his role that Jack N. once portrade. Jack N. was Jack N. in Joker costume, Heath is the JOKER, period! Aaron Eckhart is also excellent…actually the casting outstanding and almost flawless.

    I could go on, but just really thought I’d give my 2 cents on this masterpiece. I’m willing to now admit that TDK will be 08′ #1 film and easily a top 5 mega-money block buster. Hope WB takes pride in the other DC main characters and BEG Marvel to either follow in the foot steps of Nolan or hire Nolan to take up Daredevil. :D

  9. My rating: 5 out of 5, sorry Vic.

  10. No worries, guys. I can see how people might give this a perfect score.


  11. Nikki Finke reports that TDK has broken the 16 million dollar preview record set by Revenge of the Sith.
    However, those are not final numbers for the night .
    We shall see how it all shakes out .

  12. 790, i know you literally said it with a wink but even with a record breaking weekend , TDK wont break Titanics record .

  13. Its interesting to note that Nikki finke reported yesterday that 1,700 of the tickets sold for TDK were for the 1201 show last night .
    how could it NOT break records with presale numbers like that ?

  14. Gary, I meant overall it will make more than Titanic.
    Over the course of the year. ;-)

    I hope!

  15. It’s not going to beat “Titanic” despite all the opening weekend insanity. Inflation adjusted “Titanic” earned $900MM in the U.S. and almost $1.9 BILLION overseas.

    That’s a grand total of $2.7 billion. I’m sorry, but TDK aint’ gonna do that. This is a case of “everybody wants to see it on opening weekend.”


  16. I vote Aaron Eckhart for Captain America!

  17. It will be the biggest money maker this year but beat out Titanic? That’s hoping for too much.

  18. Well if any film will beat Titanic I think this has a good chance.
    TDK won’t just have a great opening, it will have a huge run during the summer.
    Even overseas countries are gonna like this film.

    This film has a super high rewatchability factor. ;-)

  19. 790,
    except there is no film that can beat Titanics record.
    Getting into the billions is very tough.

  20. Nikki Finke reports preview estimates are 18.4 million for TDK .

  21. Beating Titanic is ridiculous. Some day with all the inflatoin some film will come along and make a higher number, but if you adjust the total gross no film will ever beat Titanic.

  22. thats true about GWTW & SW greenknight ,
    I meant nothings going to come along this summer .
    I am sure TDK will do well
    just not “TITANIC” well.

  23. nikki Finke reports that the 18.4 million TDK made last night includes
    a record 640K for IMAX theatres.
    she is also estimating 60 million for TDKs Friday gross.

  24. A very good flick; Ledger was brilliant and the movie was definitely a grown up affair. No major flaws in it at all. Although I thought the fight scenes could have been a bit better worked out and meaningful. Batman just pimp slapped everyone like they were absolutely nothing. No effort required at all. I like fight scenes to hve more at stake. Stil think Iron Man was a bit more exiting, with Downey’s performance on par with Ledger. Batman makes you realize how awesome Punisher and Daredevil should have been. Overall, Batman is an excellent movie.

  25. Like I said if any film will break Titanics record over-time, it could be TDK.
    This film in reality could be the first 200 mil weekend film ??
    If that happens the buzz will fill the seats in other countries BiG Time.

    It prob won’t beat Titanic only cause that was the utimate chick-flick of all time, but this is fun to watch happen. ;-)
    Should be a busy weekend for Screen Rant with Batman and ComicCon at the same time.

  26. I just saw this movie the other night and it was everything I expected, and a lot more. I could also say that if Batman Begins is considered to be the long-awaited “proper treatment” of the Batman franchise, then The Dark Knight can arguably be considered as the “proper” rendition of the Joker character.

    I would really have to agree with you Vic, with regards to your observation that this was a movie set in the real world and it just so happened that there’s a psychopath on the lose and a “modern day samurai” is there to stop him. I think more superhero flicks should have this kind of treatment, but then again, I guess not all our comic book superheroes can fit in this kind of setting because the hero’s “super power” thing will get in the way.

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