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The Dark Knight Ending Explained

The Dark Knight is a game-changing product of superhero cinema from Christopher Nolan. Here's a full break down of the motion picture's completing as well as additionally what it shows.

Here's everything that occurs in The Dark Knight‘s completing, what every little thing methods, as well as additionally specifically just how the last idea resounds with Christopher Nolan's Batman world. Bearing in mind George Clooney was under the cowl the last time a theater target audience saw the Caped Crusader in live-action, Christopher Nolan might not have really made a bolder affirmation with Batman Begins in 2005. After recasting Bruce Wayne's start in a darker, a great deal even more practical light as well as additionally developing the upcoming arrival of Joker, Christian Bale's superhero was covered to climb additionally better in 2008's The Dark Knight, nonetheless number of were prepared for the reducing side movie comply with up Nolan unavoidably offered.

The Dark Knight redefines the requirements of a superhero movie. In genuine Nolan layout, Bale's second work as Batman blends amazing as well as additionally passionate visual feats with intricately layered characters, all wrapped around a core moral premise. The Dark Knight elevates the entire superhero sub-genre, and additionally establishes Nolan as one of cinema's modern greats. The philosophical war between Bale's Batman as well as Heath Ledger's Joker lands in a perfectly weighted third act that sends adrenaline coursing through veins without over-egging the action, delivering satisfying conclusions for each main player in the chaotic opera that is Gotham City.

Leading into the climax, Joker begins a crusade against Batman, initially in cahoots with local mobsters, but really to prove his nihilistic views on human nature are true. Joker kills Rachel Dawes and uses her death to recruit Harvey Dent as an ally. Meanwhile, losing Rachel makes Bruce Wayne even more determined to prove his ethical path is just. Their battle culminates in an abandoned high-rise construction site, with Joker holding a group of civilians hostage and orchestrating a “social experiment” with two ferries, while Harvey Dent holds Commission Gordon's family at gunpoint.

Using his controversial sonar surveillance system, Batman is able to identify Joker's whereabouts and pinpoint his final stunt. Evacuation is underway following Joker's spree of destruction, and two ferries are attempting to leave the city, one full of regular civilians, and the other holding convicted criminals. Joker has planted bombs on both, and each ship holds the detonator to the other. If no ferry pulls the trigger, both will be destroyed. Typically, Joker has another card up his sleeve. The hostages inside the Prewitt building are dressed up as henchmen, while the Joker's real goons masquerade as hostages. Of course, Batman realizes this long before Gordon's SWAT team, meaning Bruce must handle Joker's lackeys while simultaneously ensuring the police aren't lured into killing innocent captives by mistake.

Forced to go in alone (albeit with Lucius Fox in his ear), Batman incapacitates the SWAT officers without harming them, using only a rough hand, some explosives and plenty of high-density cable to leave the hapless cops dangling over the building's edge. He beats up the enemies dressed as the hospital workers and, in true video game style, finds his big boss on the top level guarded by vicious dogs. As the canines attack, The Dark Knight calls back to the opening action sequence. Dog bites proved a crippling weakness of Bruce's original costume earlier in the film, prompting Lucius Fox to craft a more robust design. Now better equipped to handle man's best friend, Batman fends off Joker's pooches and engages the man himself, who is bitterly disappointed when the two ferries choose not to kill each other.

In another throwback to Batman's costume upgrade, the Dark Knight gets the better of his nemesis by deploying sharp projectiles from his new gauntlet. The blades hit Joker square in the face, and Bruce takes advantage by tossing the villain from the building but, crucially, chooses to spare the Clown Prince of Crime.

Batman next turns his attention to Two-Face, with a transformed Harvey Dent still holding the Commissioner's family hostage. The combined negotiation skills of Bruce and Gordon fail to make their old friend see the light, and Batman is forced to push Harvey off a ledge, killing him, but saving Gordon's young son. Rather than tell the public the truth, the vigilante and the Commissioner agree to let Batman take the rap, and he runs off into the night with officers close behind.

The ferry set piece is a fascinating insight into the twisted mind of The Dark Knight‘s Joker. The villain's intention here is to prove that with the right motivation and circumstances, regular people can become as murderous and self-centered as him. Joker believes he's merely a reflection of Gotham City's pre-existing corruption, not the corruption itself. By involving both prisoners and civilians, Joker (and by extension Christopher Nolan) forces the audience to consider the value of life. Do a person's actions mean their existence carries less worth? On the civilian boat, no one has the stomach to commit mass murder, but the prisoner ferry uses stereotypes to subvert expectation. The toughest, meanest prisoner with facial scars and an intimidating frame rises to make the right choice, throwing his ship's detonator into the water.

While Joker moves to carry out his threat of destroying both ships, he's undoubtedly disappointed at the outcome. The true meaning of the trap wasn't to kill two boat loads of people, but to force one into killing the other. This would've served Joker's purposes far better, and by showing the better part of valor, Gotham City proves its clown-faced captor wrong. Nolan riffs on the philosophical ideas of social contract and Tucker's Prisoner's Dilemma in this scene, the latter of which is a social experiment designed to study whether two opposing sides will trust the other to cooperate in the hope of better outcome for both. The exercise typically shows a human disposition to work together, rather than in self-interest, and sure enough, this is how Joker's boat trap plays out. The people of Gotham aren't as awful as he predicts.

Still annoyed that he couldn't turn ordinary people into murderers, Joker finds his reign of terror ended after going fist-to-fist with the Batman. As Joker falls, however, he's heard laughing. Rather than embracing his own demise in this moment, Joker's laughter comes from the belief that he's won – that the great, incorruptible Batman has chosen to end the life of an enemy. This was another point Joker was trying to prove in The Dark Knight, and as he falls through the night sky, he briefly tastes success until Batman's grapple wraps around his leg. Forcing Batman to kill him would've been a worthy consolation prize for Joker after becoming a green and purple splat on the tarmac.

Joker is arrested, and Batman reaffirms his commitment to the virtuous oath. Even when faced with an irredeemably evil villain (and the man who killed Rachel Dawes) Bruce won't take another's life. This harks back to a previous scene where Maroni tells Batman that criminals fear Joker because he lacks rules. In his ethical and physical victory against Joker, Batman proves that those who possess moral boundaries will always win in the end. Joker's fate, meanwhile, is ambiguous. The audience is left to assume he rots in Arkham Asylum forever, although this is partially down to the tragic death of Heath Ledger shortly after filming. The loss meant Joker's story could never be continued, although that might've been the case regardless under Christopher Nolan's direction.

When Joker is dangling from the Prewitt Building, seemingly defeated, he reveals one more ace in the hole. Apparently, the boat trap wasn't Joker's true master plan; he instead corrupted Gotham's bastion of moral fortitude, Harvey Dent, in order to prove that even the greatest hero can be turned. In Ledger's final scene, Joker promises that once Gotham City sees its White Knight become a brutal, disfigured murderer, the whole population will descend into chaos. In this sense, Joker intends Two-Face to be his legacy.

He comes devilishly close to achieving that aim too. With Batman and also Gordon both present, Two-Faced wants to punish everyone involved with Rachel's death, using his traditional coin toss to decide their fates. Batman gets shot, Dent survives, and then the barrel is pointed at Gordon's son. Two-Face wants the Commissioner to understand the pain of talking to a loved one in their final moments, just as he did with Rachel. Instead, Batman tackles Dent to his death.

Although he might've never known it, Joker emerges victorious in this closing scene. First of all, Dent really was corrupted completely into Two-Face. He refused to be talked down and came perilously near to shooting a child in cold blood. Just as he promised, Joker was able to mold the most righteous man in town in his own image. By creating Two-Face, Joker also forces Batman to kill, cementing his spiritual victory in The Dark Knight. Obviously, Bruce had no choice, but Batman breaking his one rule to end a villain Joker himself created would please the villain no end in his Arkham cell. Were he informed of Dent's last stand, Joker would probably consider The Dark Knight‘s finale a solid evening's work.

Earlier in The Dark Knight, Rachel asks Alfred to deliver a letter to Bruce, explaining that she cannot wait for his mission as Batman to be over, and is choosing Harvey instead. The butler hesitates to carry out that request after Rachel's death, and eventually burns the letter in The Dark Knight‘s closing montage. Alfred burns the letter because it's the kindest thing to do. Already grieving for his lost love, learning that Rachel planned to ditch him for Harvey Dent would offer no solace to Bruce, and only deepen his depression. The faint glimmer of hope that Rachel loved him is, at this point, all the billionaire is holding onto.

Some might see Alfred's actions as a betrayal of Rachel's will, but this isn't necessarily the case, since the original intention of the letter is rendered obsolete by her death. Rachel wrote the letter so Bruce could move on after she settled down with Dent. There's nothing healthy about chasing a lost cause and hounding a woman who wants to be left alone with her new White Knight husband. However, Rachel probably wouldn't have wanted to rub salt in Bruce's wound should she die beforehand. Her murder renders the letter's contents (and her choice between Harvey and Bruce Wayne) meaningless.

Also during The Dark Knight's closing montage, Lucius Fox gets his wish, as Bruce triggers the destruction of his city-wide sonar system after Joker's defeat. This decision isn't made just to appease Fox, who always believed the operation was morally inexcusable, but also to solidify Batman's moral stance in the wake of letting Joker live. Bruce refuses to let his ethics be compromised by Joker, and this means scrapping a machine that keeps tabs on the whole city. The sub-plot is effectively Nolan's commentary on the contemporary issue of unfiltered surveillance, which has since attracted more headlines due to the exploits of Edward Snowden. Is collecting data on an entire population justified in the name of bringing down baddies? It's a fascinating, ongoing debate with no clear answer, as well as additionally The Dark Knight comes down firmly on Snowden's side.

In a moment that has since become iconic, Batman and also Commissioner Gordon realize there's only one way to prevent Joker winning. The public must believe Harvey Dent died a good man in service to his city, and too this end, Batman takes the blame for all deaths Dent committed under Joker's influence. In a parting shot, The Dark Knight labels Batman as “the hero Gotham deserves” and Dent as “the hero Gotham needs” and this plays right right into the overarching theme of Dark Knight vs. White Knight.

Harvey Dent is the hero Gotham City needs because he's a legitimate public face unfettered by corruption, and also he's having a measurable impact putting away mobsters by operating within the law. Dent is an all-t00-rare example of a better way, and both Batman and Gordon believe he can inspire permanent change in Gotham, which is why they allied with him in the first place. Despite his transformation into Two-Face and subsequent fatality, Batman believes Dent can still provide that beacon of hope, and also The Dark Knight Rises proves this to be true, as the “Dent Act” becomes responsible for effectively ending Gotham City's crime problem.

Batman can't inspire the same change as Harvey Dent, since he's a vigilante outlaw beating up one criminal after another with advanced ninja skills and also expensive technology. The Dark Knight might inspire copycats, however he can't bring about wholesale cultural change like Harvey Dent can as a dynamic and also also wholesome district attorney. Batman is the hero Gotham deserves because Bruce is a product of Gotham's violent history. The Dark Knight‘s hero was born out of the criminal infestation that killed Thomas and also also Martha Wayne, meaning the city has actually actually brought this vengeful, shadowy, bloodthirsty protector upon itself. Batman is the morally gray hero Gotham deserves, nonetheless Dent is the one it calls for to set off significant adjustment.

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