Is Batman just another lawbreaker, like the Joker? Is there a place for his vigilante justice in Gotham City, or should he let crusading District Attorney Harvey Dent do the crime-fighting? Even Batman's alter ego Bruce Wayne isn't sure, in these fascinating new clips from The Dark Knight, which opens July 18. (Plus there's more of the Joker playing chicken with Batman's Batpod.) The new clips, which popped up on IESB on Friday, also reveal more about Bruce's complex relationships. Click through to see more.
So watching these clips, and the others that are up at IESB, it becomes pretty clear that Joker does a great job of getting under Batman's skin and exploiting tensions that were always there. Harvey Dent, Jim Gordon and Batman never have an entirely smooth working relationship, and nobody's without compromise. Dent and Gordon both accuse each other of tolerating crooked underlings with mob connections — meanwhile Batman is a vigilante who will have to answer for the laws he's broken (according to Dent.)
The Joker's strategy of committing major mayhem and saying it'll only stop when Batman unmasks works perfectly, as you can see in the press conference scene. Because innocent citizens are dying, all to protect the identity of a masked criminal. In another sequence, which you can see at IESB, the mayor (Nestor Carbonell) struggles with Harvey's scheme to start locking up as many mob figures as possible, in the hope that some of the midlevel crooks talk. The mayor warns that everyone will come after Harvey — not just the mob, but the politicians and journalists whose pockets are going to be lighter without organized crime on the streets. Gotham is a dirty, dirty city, where nobody is ever really pure.
And some other stalwarts of the Bat-universe also get some nice moments in the film, judging from the new clips:
Alfred rocks. Michael Caine gets some amazing moments as Alfred in these new clips, carving out a much softer persona than the snarky manservant in the comics. In an early scene, he's helping to bandage Bruce after an attack by a giant, vicious dog, and he advises Bruce to "know your limits." But Bruce insists that Batman has no limits. But if he ever finds out he's wrong, Alfred can tell him "I told you so."
And then there's a later scene, after the Joker has said his killing spree will stop when Batman unmasks, where Bruce tells Alfred he's actually found Batman's limits — Batman can't endure this situation after all. But Alfred insists that Batman must endure, and the point of a masked figure like Batman is that he can make the unpopular choice that nobody else would ever make. (You've probably seen a bit of this in the trailer.) And Alfred says he doesn't want to tell Bruce he told him so after all — but then he sort of says it anyway.
Lucius Fox loves a challenge. There's a great clip where Bruce asks about being able to jump out of a plane, and gadgetmeister Lucius Fox is disappointed at the easy request — until Bruce asks how he can get back onto the plane, while it's still in flight. That's more like it, Lucius says.
Rachel is conflicted. Picking up for Katie Holmes as Bruce's ex-girlfriend Rachel, Maggie Gyllenhaal shows how sick she is of Bruce's arrogant B.S. — and how much she still wants to believe in him. Harvey and Rachel go to a fancy restaurant, where Harvey has to talk his way in, using his status as a government employee — and then Bruce waltzes in, with a prima ballerina on his arm. (A weirdly busty ballerina.) And later Rachel gives Bruce shit for making fun of Harvey in a way that probably goes over Harvey's head. [IESB]