DVD: The Dark Knight (12)

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The Independent Culture

Christian Bale returns as our hero, intent on cleaning up the mean streets of Gotham in the biggest-grossing film of the year.

Not only does Batman have to deal with a new anarchist, The Joker, wreaking havoc across the metropolis, but his long-standing love interest, Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is happily in the arms of another man, District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart). The director Christopher Nolan (Memento) explores the darker side of the superhero psyche and is not afraid to blur the lines between good and evil. But the film, of course, really belongs to the late Heath Ledger, whose deranged performance as The Joker garnered the most attention on the film's original release. The plot gets a bit confusing and over-complex at times, and the film is a tad too long, but there's no doubt that this is one of the best superhero films in an overcrowded genre. The substantial extras on offer are a film geek's dream. There's a series of short documentaries on the film's visual effects, stunts, costumes, even the film score, that aren't afraid to get highly technical. However, there are also some pretty pointless galleries of production stills and, even more puzzlingly, six episodes of Gotham Tonight, a mock news show. Yes, it was all a bit over-hyped on release, but this is definitely a worthwhile purchase.