‘The Dark Knight’: Ten Scenes That Are Still Extraordinary – Screen Mayhem
I believe the only reason Joker walked out of the room alive in the hospital scene with Harvey Dent was because the coin toss favored him. The Joker joins a long line of school buses leaving the scene as the police arrive. Lucius Fox holds a board meeting at Wayne Enterprises, negotiating an joint .. Batman visits Dent in the hospital, and leaves him the two-headed coin that He then explains to Two-Face how he needs to introduce a little anarchy and. This is exactly what happened in the hospital scene you are referring. Dent is still agonized by the loss of Rachel and still his transformation to Two Face is.
Re-watching the film, however, it remains one of the most exhilarating, inventive and provocative action movies ever made. Here are the top ten scenes that prove The Dark Knight is unsurpassed as the greatest superhero film. In the thrilling opening sequence he is an otherworldly presence whose identity is revealed only at the end; a terrifying punchline to a twisted joke.
In his first scene proper he intrudes upon a meeting of gangsters and their money laundering accountant Lau Chin Han. Prison rules would dictate that he must take out the largest man present to earn the respect of the villains. Very much like John Wick, The Joker can work wonders with a just a pencil. This moment announces the Joker as a dangerous and unpredictable presence.
The remarkably understated act of brutal violence is darkly comic and upsettingly creative. The Pencil sequence illustrates his theatricality and charisma. His bizarre, Tom-Waits inflected speech is another disarming weapon in his arsenal that also includes a jacket full of grenades that he employs to make his exit from the scene. After the Joker threatens to blow up a hospital unless Coleman Reese Joshua Harto is murdered, a tense chase ensues.
Meanwhile Batman works against his own interests to preserve the life of a man who threatens to take everything from him. As Bruce races to find the hospital, Commissioner Gordon Gary Oldmanfinds himself in a tense stand-off sit-off? The entire scheme forces the citizens of Gotham, and batman himself, to weigh the life of one man against many.
He provides each boat with a means of blowing up the other boat, fuelling their fears and exposing a great many prejudices. Interestingly the civilian boat decides to take a poll to decide what to do and the pole fails.
An anonymous democratic election allows self-interest to prevail at the expense of compassion. It is only when one person must take personal responsibility for pressing the button that they find themselves unable to commit this act of evil. The group fails to do the right thing but each individual in that group succeeds. An interesting, if cynical, view of mass mentality but a tantalising predicament for the audience. Would you be able to press the button? Would you trust the other boat not to press theirs?
All intercut with Batman gloriously and beautifully taking down a building full of terrorists.
Batman must enter the building, capture Lau and escape. What follows closely resembles a set piece from Mission Impossible.
Rachel presses him to give them the money Lau has taken, but Lau will not give in. After she threatens to have him moved to the County lock-up, Lau tells her that he can give them the names of the mobsters and their pooled investments. Dent then realizes that they will have the leverage they need in a RICO case of conspiracy to link all of the mob members together.
Gordon decides to keep Lau in his holding cell at the Major Case Unit building and Lau agrees to cooperate with the police, and give the names of the mob members. Gordon appears at Maroni's restaurant as the police rush in to arrest all of the mob members in attendance. As all of the mob members that Lau informed the police are rounded up for arraignment, Judge Janet Surrillo finds a Joker card in the middle of the stack of conviction papers.
Dent gives a televised impromptu interview denying Batman's involvement while expressing gratitude for the police work in bringing the mob members to justice. Dent, Gordon, and Commissioner Loeb meet with the mayor to tell him that Dent's rash indictment of the mob members will give the mayor clean streets for 18 months.
The mayor informs Dent that his brash actions will bring down the full might of Gotham's underworld and corrupt citizens solely upon him. When the mayor asks if Dent is ready to be the city's target the dead body of a Batman wanna-be hanging by a noose slams against the mayor's window dressed up in a Batman suit, with makeup on his face like the Joker's - complete with the sides of the mouth sliced into a grin - and with a Joker card pinned to him reading 'Will the real Batman please stand up?
Bruce and Alfred watch on as a video tape is played on the news of the Joker tormenting the wanna-be before killing him. He then promises that until Batman takes off his mask and shows everyone who he really is, people will die every day. As Harvey Dent's fund-raiser at Wayne's penthouse gets underway, Rachel and a nervous Dent arrive and mingle.
Wayne arrives with three models via helicopter and seeks out Harvey, whom he applauds and throws his full support behind claiming, "I believe in Harvey Dent. Dent joins them to thank Bruce and retrieve Rachel. Meanwhile Gordon discovers that there are 3 traces of DNA on the Joker card, from Commissioner Loeb, Harvey Dent, and Judge Surrillo, the Judge that is trying all of the mob members and found the card among the paperwork. Gordon takes this as a threat on their lives, and begins preparations to protect them.
In the case of the Judge and Commissioner Loeb, however, this fails. The Judge's car blows up when the police arrive to take her into protective custody and Commissioner Loeb dies of severe poisoning from his liquor bottle before Gordon can stop him from drinking. Dent takes Rachel aside to ask her to marry him, but she is torn and cannot give him an answer.
Bruce subdues Dent and locks him in a closet while Rachel watches in shock. Bruce tells Rachel that they the Joker and his goons have come for Harvey and to stay hidden from sight. The Joker and his goons burst in telling the guests that they are tonight's 'entertainment.
He grabs her and pulls a knife on her telling her a different version of the story about how he got his scars, claiming that his wife was scarred by loan sharks and that he took a razor to himself to "make her smile," but that she left him over it. Rachel kicks him away and he comes after her saying that he likes that "little fight" in her, when Batman shows up and sends him reeling.
A fight breaks out between Batman, the Joker, and his goons with the Joker and the goons beating on Batman pretty well.
When Batman gains the upper hand he sees the Joker holding a gun at Rachel's head as he dangles her out of a shot out window. Batman demands he let her go, to which the Joker replies "Very poor choice of words" and lets her fall. Batman dives out the window and saves her using his cape to slow their fall as they crash into the roof of a car on the street.
The Joker apparently vanishes from the scene. The next day, Wayne tries to figure out what the Joker is after. Alfred relates a story of when he was in Burma with friends attempting to nullify the local criminals by bribing them with jewels. One thief however, tossed these bribes away and continued to raid the local convoys. When Bruce seems confused over this behavior Alfred informs him that some men can't be reasoned with, they don't want anything in particular, that they kill for sport.
Alfred observes that they just want to watch the world burn, as Bruce fixates on the Joker's face on a monitor. Batman is seen on the edge of a rooftop listening in to cell phone frequencies when he overhears a plot against Harvey Dent.
Gordon rushes to the apartment with Ramirez and Batman to find two policemen murdered, with the last names "Harvey" and "Dent. As Batman removes a piece of concrete wall that contains a bullet used in the murders in hopes of finding evidence, Gordon notes that the Joker has left an advance copy of tomorrow's newspaper indicating the death of the mayor. At Wayne Enterprises, Fox meets with Wayne's accountant Coleman Reese, who claims to know about certain problems with Wayne's funding in research and development, claiming that Wayne has some sort of government project with cell phones for the army underway.
Fox smiles and says, "Let me get this straight. You think that your client, one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the world is a secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands, and your plan is to blackmail this person?
Bruce acknowledges that he has, claiming he is playing this one "close to the chest. As the ceremony continues on the street below, Wayne inspects a room where he believes the Joker might be, and he finds several men tied up.
They tell Wayne that their guns and uniforms were stolen. Wayne inspects binoculars pointed out of a blinded window.
The window blind is connected to a timer. As the timer reaches zero, the blinds quickly raise, and the police snipers positioned around the area all shoot in that direction.
At the same time, the Joker, who had removed his makeup and played himself off as a member of the honor guard for the ceremony, turns and takes a shot at the mayor, but Lt. Gordon dives in the way, getting shot in the back and falling. Everyone panics and runs, but the police shoot one member of the honor guard in the leg and haul him into a truck. Dent himself climbs in the truck, and upon inspecting the criminal, sees that the name-tag on his uniform reads 'Officer Rachel Dawes'.
He calls Rachel and informs her that she's been targeted, and to get to the safest place she can, which in her case is Bruce's penthouse. He tells her he loves her, but there is no answer from Rachel.
Gordon's family is visited at home, to inform them of the death of Gordon at the funeral ceremony. Gordon's wife, Barbara, shouts out at the empty sky to Batman that he has brought this craziness upon Gotham. Gordon's young son catches a brief glimpse of Batman mournfully watching the scene. Meanwhile, Batman enters a club and grabs Maroni after beating on his men. He interrogates Maroni on the Joker's whereabouts, who claims that he should have held him from a higher location.
Batman drops him off the ledge, injuring his legs and learns that Maroni has no idea where the Joker is. Maroni explains that the Joker has no friends and no one will give him up because unlike Batman, he plays by no rules.
As Dent is interrogating the captured so-called honor guard member about what he knows about the Joker, he is enraged and holds a gun to his head.
He flips his father's lucky silver dollar for his life, coming up on heads. As he flips the coin again, Batman shows up and snatches the coin in midair, asking if Dent would really leave a thug's life up to chance, to which Dent answers, "Not exactly.
He also tells Harvey that if anyone saw this unjust way of interrogating someone, all that good work that Dent's done for Gotham would be lost. He tells Harvey to hold a press conference the following day, because he wants to use that opportunity to turn himself in. As Batman leaves, Harvey yells at him that he can't give in. Bruce arrives back in his penthouse to find Rachel waiting. She tells him that turning himself in will not stop the Joker's murderous rampage, but Bruce says he has enough blood on his hands already.
He reminds her that she promised him that they would be together if and when he hung up the mantle of Batman. She tells Bruce not to make her his only hope for a normal life and they share a kiss. She tells Bruce that if he turns himself in as Batman that the city will never let them be together. Back at Wayne's secret base of operations for Batman, he and Alfred begin destroying everything that might tie Lucius Fox or Rachel to Batman.
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Alfred tries to talk Bruce out of it, asking him to endure these trying times and allow Batman to make the right choice that nobody else can for the good of the city. Bruce explains that Batman cannot endure the responsibility for innocents dying, especially where Rachel is concerned.
At the press conference, Harvey attempts to reason with the assembled press and police to not give in to the fear that the Joker has unleashed upon the city. He agrees that Batman is a vigilante but that the people of Gotham should hold him accountable, and not give in to the whims of this terrorist known as the Joker. However, the people are overcome with fear, crying out "No more dead cops," to applause indicating that Harvey will not be able to sway them.
Upon his failure, Harvey announces that HE is the Batman, and gets handcuffed and taken away. Bruce Wayne is shown with a look of confusion on his face.
Rachel, watching the news conference at Bruce Wayne's penthouse, confronts Alfred over Bruce's seeming cowardice in allowing Harvey to take the fall when he claims to be Batman. Alfred explains to Rachel that Batman is instead allowing himself to be something else besides a hero, mainly a figure outside of the system that the people can both turn to or blame in times of need, that Batman can 'take it".
Rachel gives Alfred a letter for Bruce and tells him to give it to Bruce when the time is right. When Alfred asks what it is, she tells him it is open and hugs him before departing to see Harvey as he is being transported to the County lock-up. While being taken to a convoy that will transport him to a county, Harvey explains to Rachel that this is Batman's chance. He then pulls out the coin and says "Heads: I go through with this," and flips it, landing on heads.
When Rachel tells him that he can't leave something like that to chance, he tosses her the coin, revealing that it is a two-headed coin. During this transport, he's planning on getting attacked by the Joker, and he's planning on Batman to come and save him, and to capture the Joker. The convoy takes off. While transporting Harvey, the Joker and some goons start taking out the police cars in a large semi truck.
He pulls out an RPG and begins firing at the armored truck carrying Dent. His car takes 'catastrophic' damage, and he's forced to eject. Did he come to in his own apartment later that night? Meanwhile, at the Bat-Bunker, Bruce shares his worries about the bizarre criminal with Alfred. The Joker is a terrorist, unlike any criminal force Batman has yet dealt with. Most cops work for paychecks and must follow rules and procedures.
Thus most criminals can simply bribe them or avoid them or find ways around them. Because Batman follows no rules and only has the incentive of justice itself, he has been able to do things cops cannot do such as capture Lau and destroy the entire mob system of Gotham.
But now the Joker has come along and done the exact same thing in reverse. Criminals are also expected to follow certain rules: The Joker IS evil and an agent of chaos, making him a super-villain, and the anti-Batman. Alfred compares the situation to a jewel-thief he encountered in Burma who stole for sport rather than profit, and thus he could not be caught or bullied. Batman arrives, along with Gordon and Ramirez, to see two corpses of anonymous men, whose surnames are Harvey and Dent. Ramirez shows her frustration with Batman and with Gordon for insisting on speaking with him alone.
Batman retrieves a shattered bullet from the wall of the crime scene while Gordon soon discovers that the Joker has left a clue for his next victim in the form of a newspaper clipping: Bruce has gone through an exaggeratedly-complex and meticulous effort to trace the bullet: He then traces the fingerprint to a man named Melvin White who lives over the parade route that the mayor will be taking that day.
He rides off the address. The parade is a funeral service for Commissioner Loeb [apparently Judge Surrillo is not important enough to get any kind of public memorial service] and is being heavily monitored by security on all sides in case of the Joker or any snipers.
It is also noteworthy that we never discover who Melvin White really is. In the mayhem that follows, the crowd runs in wild panic and chaos, the Joker escapes, one of his goons goes down, the Mayor is protected, and Gordon is apparently killed. This is a fatal blow to all our characters and each one is pushed over the edge: She breaks down in sobs and blames the death on Batman, who listens solemnly.
Later Stephens stands by the Bat-Signal, but it is clear Batman will not answer. He fights his way through bodyguards, far more violent and aggressively than normal, and captures Maroni. He attempts to torture Maroni by dropping him off a building, low enough so that the fall will not kill him but will fracture his legs. However, Maroni honestly knows nothing about the Joker or how to call him off, and even seems somewhat remorseful of having turned to him.
The only option truly is for Batman to turn himself in. And while we later find out that the coin is two-headed and so he is not seriously planning to murder the goon, this scene still shows that the idea of abandoning justice and leaving life and death up to chance has occurred to him.
The goon is terrified but is unable to reveal anything. Eventually Batman arrives and reveals that the goon is a schizophrenic from Arkham who knows nothing. While both Batman and Dent are both shown torturing captives to get information, both instances are shown as failures and the torture ends up revealing nothing.
He will, as Rachel said earlier, end up becoming like Caesar; the heinous acts that the Joker is pushing him to do, even if they are for the greater good, are turning Batman into a villain. Furthermore, the Joker is doing the same thing to Dent, his doppelganger.
He again stresses the importance of Dent having a clean and honorable legacy so that he may be the White Knight. With no other alternative, Batman asks Dent to call a press conference where he will turn himself in. That night, he chats with Rachel, who has been urged by Dent to stay at his penthouse as the only safe haven in Gotham.
Bruce reflects that turning himself in is in a sense a way of reaching his ultimate goal of retiring and letting Dent be his legitimate successor; yet ironically, being in jail will keep him from being with Rachel, the person he wanted to retire for. Rachel gives him a hesitant kiss, but is unsure if she wants the responsibility of being his hope for a normal life.
The next morning, Bruce chats with Alfred, who advises against this. Together they burn all the paperwork and evidence of the Batman campaign, trying to eliminate anything that would lead back to Fox or Rachel, then leave the bunker, preparing to face the music. Also, I am curious if Bruce would really have let Alfred go to jail with him. Most likely he would have used as much of his power as he could to make sure Alfred got off lightly.
However, as the crowd still demands Batman, Dent agrees to have him arrested…and turns himself in. Perhaps it dawns on them that Batman was someone who really cared about their well-being, and they have just tossed him away. Bruce simply stands in shock and does nothing. Back at the penthouse, Rachel confronts Alfred about this turn of events. Though Alfred is himself surprised, he again states that he feels Batman should not be sacrificed for the whims of a terrorist.
Perhaps we can conclude that once Dent turned himself in, Bruce quickly realized that to step forward would have just confused the situation. Rachel meets Dent at his holding cell where he admits he has planned this to set himself up as bait for the Joker. Rachel catches it and finally learns that it has always been a two-headed coin. She watches as Dent is led into an armored truck and taken off to central holding.
It reveals that, despite being constantly told he is leaving major decisions to chance, he actually leaves nothing to chance. Everything in his life is planned out so that the outcome will always be in his favor. This is why he is such a diligent lawyer and has been so successful: As with the parade, the police go to every possible measure they can to prevent an attack, but the Joker will trick them all by thinking outside the box.
A burning fire truck forces the procession of cop cars to take a detour down an exit ramp where they are easy targets. A trash compactor arrives and begins knocking the squad cars off the road. Just as the SWAT team begins to prepare for backup, they too are knocked off into the river by a mysterious truck. An S on the side of the mysterious truck turns the word Laughter into Slaughter.
The Joker reveals himself inside the truck and begins shooting at the armored truck, first with a regular handgun, and then with an RPG. Eventually the real Batman arrives in the Tumbler, jetting down the parkway and successfully putting the trash compactor out of commission. Now out in the open air, the Joker has his goons knock out a police chopper, which lands right in the middle of the street, but the armored car manages to survive.
Meanwhile Batman cruises on his Bat-Pod through the streets, destroying cars and property, and even taking a detour through an indoor mall in a scene reminiscent of The Blues Brothers [Normally I hate it when action movies have heroes that randomly destroy public property without concern for others simply for the sake of an action scene, as is common in Michael Bay films.
However, here it can be explained as being part of the recklessness Batman has to deal with, and thus continuing the theme that the Joker is bringing out the worst in him]. Eventually, he is able to shoot his cables at the mysterious truck, causing it to flip over.
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The Joker emerges from the wreckage and stands tall, playing a game of chicken with Batman on his Bat-Pod. Sure enough, Batman swerves at the last minute, crashing and being knocked unconscious.
His refusal to kill his enemies has literally brought him down. Gordon reveals he staged his death in order to protect his family, though it is left unclear how many people were aware of his deception [Of course no serious Batman fan could possibly have thought Gordon was really dead.
Meanwhile, the Joker and his cronies from the truck are captured and taken in. Although he did intend to kill Batman, the fact that he chose to do it in the way he did, when the situation would be so heavily monitored by cops, suggest that the Joker had planned all along on getting caught. Dent is released from the armored car and, as it is now pretty obvious to every witness present that he is not the real Batman, he is released.
He is applauded, as popular as ever, and led to a car."Why So Serious" Scene - The Dark Knight (2008) Movie Clip
But things are just too good to be true. As Dent gets in the car, one can see that Wuertz is the driver and that Ramirez gives him a signal. At MCU, Gordon and his men use every possible safety precaution in dealing with their precious arrest, and as usual, this only foreshadows how much the Joker will inevitably outsmart them all.
With no fingerprints on record or any form of identification, the Joker appears to have no secret identity; he is not a civilian, he is simply the Joker. The Mayor congratulates Gordon on his capture, promotes him to commissioner, and sends him home, where he is affectionately slapped by his wife.
However, Gordon is given only a few minutes to reveal to kids he is alive before being called back in.
‘The Dark Knight’: Ten Scenes That Are Still Extraordinary
Seeing this is getting him nowhere, Gordon leaves the room and Batman, whose magical powers at entering rooms have become quite proficient, takes over and beats the Joker savagely. Batman displays a level of aggressive violence never seen before in the character, surpassing even his torture of Maroni. It is again a sign that, like Caesar, being a vigilante without rules will lead to him being a villain himself.
He predicts that the system of cops vs. Similar to Satan in the Book of Job, he bets with Batman that he can show him the average man is basically savage and evil, like him. Throughout this scene, his makeup has begun to fade and he is seen for the first time without gloves, giving him a certain vulnerability. The Joker inflicts one of his trademark moral dilemmas on him: The film frantically cuts back and forth between about four different scenes.
Dent is revealed to be tied up in a basement apartment filled with diesel fuel while Rachel is tied in a similar warehouse. Both are connected via speaker-phone and try to talk each other through this, but not before Dent accidentally trips the chair backwards and gets the left half of his face covered in gasoline. The Joker successfully manipulates Stephens into giving him a beating, overpowers him, and uses his hostage as leverage to make a phone call, which sets off the cell phone-bomb inside one of his henchmen.
The explosion knocks out the remaining force. The Joker then lets Lau out of his cell and escapes with his prey. Hence the Joker not only forced Batman to choose between these two captives, but to then lose the one he chose.
Regardless, Batman still rescues Dent, who all the while screams in outrage that Rachel should be saved, not he. Gordon arrives outside, but it is too late. This is a crushing blow to everyone, and Batman has truly failed.
She voices her doubt that Bruce will ever give up being Batman, and even if he does, makes it clear she will only ever be his friend.