ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY
The Dark Knight ★★★★★
9.00pm-12 midnight ITV2
These days writer/director Christopher Nolan has entered a new orbit with mindbending sci-fi epic Interstellar, but his journey into other dimensions really began with the earthbound Batman Begins, which de-camped the caped crusader. First sequel in the trilogy, The Dark Knight takes that seriousness to the next level, recasting the Joker as a psychopathic terrorist, played with jerky, sadistic unpredictability by the late Heath Ledger (who won a posthumous Oscar for his efforts). He forces Christian Bale’s gravel-voiced Batman to consider retiring, allowing “White Knight” DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) to take up the crime-fighting slack. While this essentially administrative storyline doesn’t exactly sing with dramatic potential (and a romantic subplot underuses Maggie Gyllenhaal), there are brilliantly handled, explosive set pieces and the whole film is suffused with violent menace. I still find Begins more elegant, but the grandiloquent third part The Dark Knight Rises makes this one seem almost understated, and the sheer excess actually improves it.
Taught never to retreat, never to surrender: Gerard Butler and his Spartans resist the might of the Persians in this stunning blockbuster adaptation of Frank (Sin City) Miller’s graphic novel.
One of director Alfred Hitchcock’s later works, telling the story of a serial killer in London. Perhaps not his best film, but still a cut above.
Billy Campbell straps on a jet pack and makes himself a superhero. Jennifer Connelly goes google-eyed over him — or else, it’s just the fumes.
Liam Neeson cements his rep as a middle-aged action hero, here waking up in Berlin to find that nobody remembers him. You’ll want to know more…
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