Best Intros: The Dark Knight


There are certain movies that just throw you right into the action and The Dark Knight is one of the best. Mad Max: Fury Road is another one of these, and in that movie we get thrown into the chaos with the hero. In the Dark Knight, we get thrown right into the chaos, except we are with the villain. Even though we as the audience are unsure who he is.


But it is in this first scene that we get to see the attention to detail, the methodical approach, and the pure villainy that we will get to know even more vividly throughout the film.


So lets start with the attention to detail... In this movie, we see a team that has clearly been given separate instructions directly from the Joker. These instructions pertain to their role in the robbery itself but they also include one "loose end" they take care of.


So as we are going through, we see a member cut the security system, another one break into the vault, and another bring the getaway vehicle... and all of these people... when their purpose in the robbery is complete, they are discarded - BUT not before.


So the Joker is in control of the situation even without being in the same room with all "loose ends." And now let's talk about his method. As we will find out, we actually meet the Joker right out of the gate! He is the last member to be picked up on a street corner with the band that takes over the ground floor of the bank.


And especially when you realize which masked figure he is... it is fascinating to watch his role in taking over the ground floor. To start...


He is the Quietest One in the Room - As he hops into the truck, you hear the 2 other members talking about their cuts. And even throw a shot at the Joker by saying, "he thinks he can sit out, and still take a slice." Having know idea that the last person they picked up IS THERE BOSS!


And then they take over the lobby. The Joker, is lagging behind, looking unsure and a little nervous with his demeanor. And if you were to pick one person as the weak link in this group - he is clearly the one that doesn't belong. You have the "alphas," shooting and barking out instructions to their new found hostages.


So not only do these two robbers look past the "quiet one," so does the manager of the bank. The manager pulls out a shotgun and goes directly after the alphas of the group.


And in this scene of chaos, we see another calculated move by the Joker. When the bank manager charges out of his office, firing multiple shot guns shells, his partner asked if the Banker was out of rounds... to which the joker, who appears flustered and nervous - nods his head.


This was not on accident! The Joker did not lose count of the rounds, he simply saw a way to organically cut one of the loose ends.


But as smart as the joker is, through this fast scene, the members of team begin to piece together the one common variable present in the instructions that were given to each of them by the Joker... "cut loose ends, when their job is complete." And when the alpha robber who emptied the vault brings the duffle bags of money to the lobby, he makes sure that he is not one of those loose ends.


"I'm betting the Joker told you to kill me as soon as we loaded the cash."


And now.... we hear the joker speak.

"No... no, no, no I kill the bus driver..."


A 7th member of the team that nobody knew about... and as the robber tries to piece together what is going on, the joker slowly walks him into position to get hit by the bus coming through the lobby!


As the bus driver marvels at his perfect hit on the bank robber... the joker does exactly what his role was... kill the bus driver....

All calculated from the quietest person in the room. But there is one more alpha that he needs to talk to. And when the bank manager tries to call out the "little guy" for thinking somehow the joker see him differently... this robber (the joker) loses his submissive and insecure demeanor and walks right up says the infamous lines...


"I believe... whatever doesn't kill you... simply makes you... stranger."


And as he takes off his mask, we see the very man that orchestrated this entire plan!


With this 5 minute intro, we get a taste of what to expect from Christopher Nolan's vision of the joker. He is methodical, detail oriented, and pure villain who hides in plain site as the quietest person in the room.


This entire movie was beautifully acted by Heath Ledger and in a role that was already critically acclaimed by Jack Nicholson's performance, Heath Ledger made it his own and it remains one of the most iconic performances of my generation. And it is so sad that we didn't get to see more.


- Joey Almars


See where The Dark Knight ranks on my Personal Top 100 Movies of All Time

And you can also see where I think this movie ranks in the 100 Greatest Films of All Time