Spoiler Points for The Dark Knight (2008)

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Spoiler Points for The Dark Knight (2008) [PG-13] 152 minutes
After the Credits: Sadly, there is nothing after the credits.
WIP™ Scale: $14.50
DVD Release Date: 9 December 2008 (click date to purchase or pre-order)
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Spoiler Points and Commentary for The Dark Knight
• Batman (Christian Bale) breaks up an encounter that's going badly between some Batman wannabes and some mobsters. NOTE: There's a great cameo here with Cillian Murphy reprising his scary role as the Scarecrow.
• The Joker's Gang robs a bank. Each as instructions to shoot his underling in the crime until only The Joker (Heath Ledger) remains alive. He plows the getaway school bust out of the bank and into a line of school buses heading off to return the children of Gotham City home from school. NOTE: Brilliant getaway and provides excellently defining insight into the mind of The Joker. He's not your usual bank-robbing crook.
• Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) requests a better suit from Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), one that will hold up better against dogs and allow him to turn his head. Note: Good and humorous part. The film actually has a great deal of humor despite its ominous and dark tones throughout.
• Lt. James Gordon (Gary Oldman) works with Batman (using the famous Bat Signal) to ensnare mobsters and their money. They've been lightly radiating the bills to trace the flow of their cash.
• Lucius Fox has been working to create a huge business deal with a Chinese company headed by Mr. Lau (Chin Han) based in Hong Kong. But, he's concerned about the books. Bruce Wayne sleeps through the meeting, after which, he instructs Lucius to end the deal.
• At a big mob boss meeting, their overseas contact, Mr. Lau (Chin Han) shows up via tv monitor on his way out of the country. He's taken all the mob money out of the banks and hidden it so that it can no longer be stolen by the likes of the Joker gang. At which point, The Joker arrives at the meeting, performs a magic trick with a pencil that's illustrative of his malevolence and twisted, wicked sense of humor, and then urges the men to hire him to eliminate the Batman. They scoff, find him freakish and ill-mannered, and he leaves alive only because he's got a chain of explosives under his coat and a trip wire in his teeth.
• Bruce starts to realize and get excited that he might be able to stop being the Batman and end up with long-time love Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal—a substantial upgrade in casting vs. Katie Holmes who seemed to childish to old her weight well against the likes of Christian Bale in the previous film) when he sees the important new role that D.A. Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) is playing in the city. He does everything he can to make himself look good in front of Rachel even promising to hold a fundraising event for Harvey that will make it so he never has to fundraise again. At one point he asks Gordon if he trusts Dent and a bond begins to be forged.
• Unfortunately, Lau is no gone, and his information is crucial to implicating the mob bosses and absconding with their ill-begotten gains. So, Bruce Wayne conceives of a plan to go into Hong Kong and snatch Lau to escort him back to Gotham City (which, by the way, in this version of Batman films is Chicago not New York City and they do little to hide this fact). This exciting series of scenes is full of Batman gadgets. Note: Batman fans will love seeing this part where he takes flight using his bat suit.
• Once back in Gotham City, Lau is used to indict all the mob bosses and put them away under the RICO act.
• Before they can complete the deed, however, threats on the lives of the Commissioner of Police, the Judge, and Harvey Dent are made by the Joker. The commissioner and the judge are killed, but Harvey survives because the Batman saves his life at the party. Here, though, the Joker learns of the relationships between Rachel and Bruce Wayne—a nice little love triangle.
• The Mayor (Nestor Carbonell) makes Gordon the new commissioner. This angers the Joker who then threatens to kill more people unless the Batman reveals himself. Eventually, Bruce cannot take the pressure of being made to be responsible for the deaths of so many people. So, he agrees to turn himself in. At the press conference, however, Harvey Dent states that he is the Real Batman and is taken away in handcuffs wanted by the police for vigilantism. On his ride to the county jail, the Joker sets of his brilliant plan.
• The Joker's trucks end up knocking off the entourage of vehicles leaving Dent's standing alone. Batman arrives on the scene to try to stop The Joker and the bat mobile gets destroyed. Fortunately, a super slick batcycle / batpod is ejected from the car and supplies him with a new set of wheels. He races down and eventually disables The Joker's semi-truck. In the aftermath of the encounter, The Joker is taken to the county jail and locked up. Over the course of the interrogation, it becomes clear that The Joker has set this up from the beginning. He's placed Harvey and Rachel on opposite sides of town wired to explosives. Batman will have to choose who to save. Knowing only too well whom Batman will choose, he gives Batman the opposite locations for each. So, Batman shows up at Harvey's location. Unfortunately, Harvey has been doused in fuel and badly disfigured. Commissioner Gordon is too late to save Rachel.
• The Joker escapes with Lau.
• When he awakens in the hospital with half his face gone, the Commissioner is there begging him to eat, take medications, and get skin grafts. But, he's so upset they saved him and not Rachel he can focus on nothing else. He doesn't know that the Joker gave them the opposite locations nor that Bruce was trying to save her not him.
• A disgruntled former Wayne Enterprises worker plans to reveal Batman's identity on the Gotham City Cable News show hosted by Mike Engle (Anthony Michael Hall) at 5:00 pm. The Joker interrupts the advertisements for the show with his own pronouncement that if the guy isn't killed before he gets a change to reveal the identity of the real Batman, he will blow up a hospital.
• Commissioner Gordon orders all hospitals in the city evacuated and Bruce Wayne sets out to prevent the death of his former employee and snitch.
• Once Gotham City County General is clear, the Joker in nurse drag pays a visit to Harvey Dent and twists and turns him into a lethal killer. He then leaves and blows up the hospital. Harvey Dent is now free to exact his revenge for the death of Rachel by killing the corrupt cops in Gordon's unit and eventually to take his revenge on Gordon by abducting Gordon's family.
• But the Joker's plan is far from over. He announces he now has complete control of the city and that anyone who remains is subject to his rule. People panic and try to flee the city, but the Joker asserts he's armed all tunnels and bridges to detonate. Harvey Dent is thought lost in the explosion and the only way to keep the mob criminals in jail and not on the streets as freed by the Joker is to ferry them out of the city. Two ferries are loaded, one with inmates and guards and one with civilians. The ferry boats set out and suddenly are drained of power. The Joker comes on over the loudspeaker and presents each boat with a detonator that will blow up the other boat. He invites them to his social experiment. If anyone attempts to leave either boat, it will be destroyed. If both boats are afloat at midnight, he will destroy both. The only way to save one is for the people aboard the boat to choose to detonate the other. He will then allow the other to return safely to its voyage. [Note: This is in keeping with the theme of choice vs. fate that runs throughout the film.]
• Bruce Wayne has used reconfigured his supercomputer to turn every cell phone in the city into a sonar detector. He can pick up every voice and see what's going on in the range of every cell phone. He puts Lucius in charge of feeding him information so they can locate and stop The Joker. Lucius hates the idea of using this invasive technology and threatens to quit if it's not destroyed when they are done. Note: Shouldn't he have had more faith in Bruce?
• Harvey tracks down the bad cops in Gordon's unit and flips a coin to determine their fate. One is killed and the other goes on to live another day.
• He then convinces Gordon's wife that she needs to leave town for her own good, and captures wife, son, and daughter.
• Lucius locates The Joker allowing Batman to swoop in on his location. He's put clown masks on hostages and made them look like his henchman. Batman has to battle the SWAT teams sent in to take out the henchmen until the SWAT is capable of realizing the mistaken identity. Eventually, Batman tracks down The Joker and the two go head to head. The Joker has the upper hand in the fight for a while, but eventually Batman tosses him out the window. He ensnares him with a cable and pulls him back to safety however. This is where The Joker explains what he's done to Harvey Dent. He says that Batman truly is incorrigible, but that Dent was not. Therefore, he was able to turn Dent, the White Knight of the city, into a bad guy. He suggests that they need each other and that there will be many, many years of battle between them yet to come. Batman leaves to help Gordon rescue his family from Dent. He arrives just as Dent is flipping a coin to determine the fate of Gordon's son. Batman saves the boy and plummets two stories with Dent. Dent is killed, so it seems, but Batman survives. In talking it out with Gordon they realize the only way to save the city is to have Batman take the fall for Dent's crimes. Batman returns to being the vigilante, and Dent remains the hero.
• Note: There is nothing after the credits, and there are not overt clues as to whether there will be a third film and whom the villain might be. This is disappointing as it was one of the cooler moments in Batman Begins when the Joker card is revealed. Christian Bale has: Killing Pablo, Nottingham, Terminator Salvation, Public Enemies coming up through 2009. But, nothing is listed beyond that. Could there be plans for a third film in the works? We can only hope so!

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