Once a month in the Top 5 column, we do a little something different. Moving down the IMDB (International Movie Database) Top 250 films, we’ll name the top five scenes (in chronological order) from films so good that our regular “My Favorite Scene” column can’t do them justice. You can see our first effort with #1 on the IMDB 250 – The Shawshank Redemption – by clicking here , our #2 – The Godfather by clicking here, our #3 – The Godfather Part II – by clicking here. Today we look at one of my favorite films of all-time #4 The Dark Knight.
Batman Begins is a fantastic film, but from its closing shot of the Joker playing card, I think everyone felt something special was coming with Chris Nolan’s next installment. The Dark Knight isn’t just the best comic book movie ever made; it’s one of the best films ever made. Period. You can’t heap enough praise on it, and the tragic circumstances of Heath Ledger’s death combined with his incendiary turn as the Joker cement its place in Hollywood legend. As a Batman fanatic, picking five scenes out of this film is excruciating and, unsurprisingly, the five I picked all feature Joker. I feel sorry for the next person who has to put on the clownface. If they’re smart, they’ll do what Ledger did and make the Joker their own. It’s a character with enough angles to lend itself to
1. The Opening Heist
In one of the pioneering uses of IMAX film making, Nolan opens the picture with a fantastic and creepy heist that leads to a dramatic reveal of the Joker.
2. The Magic Trick
The Joker’s first real performance opens with a magic trick that made people in my audience scream. Then you get Ledger’s Joker: fidgety, twitchy, volatile and droll. Someone once said the perfect Joker is one where you’re not sure if you should be laughing or throwing up in a corner and that’s a perfect description of where Ledger takes the character.
3. The Interrogation Scene
One of the best scenes of all-time. Four minutes and it completely encapsulates the Batman/Joker dynamic. Unforgettable dialogue, instantly iconic, and despite being beaten to a pulp, there’s no doubt that the Joker accomplished exactly what he wanted with this encounter.
4. Batpod Chase
Well, of course, there’s a motorcycle escape pod inside the Batmobile! The Batpod is amazing and the fact that they actually flipped that semi instead of resorting to CGI, is a perfect example of why practical effects are still the best.
5. Nurse Joker & Two-Face
Through the course of the film, the Joker tells several different versions of his origin, but the only time I think he’s actually saying something he means is when he shows up in Harvey Dent’s hospital room after killing his fiancée and maiming Dent. There, he manipulates the already unstable Dent by advocating the fairness of chaos and encourages him to “introduce a little anarchy” into his life. This all sounds incredibly serious, and it is, but at the same time, the Joker is wearing a nurse’s uniform so again that balance is achieved between twisted humor and pure evil.