Wanted dead, alive, or “half”

13Aug08

WARNING: Contains spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie!

Face it (heh): Harvey Dent/Two-Face’s fate at the end of The Dark Knight is a little inconclusive. Personally, I’m in the “he’s alive” group (actually, more like “He damn well better be alive!”), but very a la Two-Face, the fans seem to be split down the middle on this one.

(Hmm, I wonder if it was planned that way … 😉 )

IGN.com has a clear and concise article on this and how it can go either way. (We’ve talked about this on ComicNerd.com, too.) Read it, and then I’d love to hear what you guys think. Dead? Alive? Or only half?

Here’s a run-down of what I think:

1. With Gordon’s speech at the end (and his discussion with Batman), it’s clear that they’re trying to remember Harvey with respect and present him as a hero instead of a villain.

Gordon and Batman, especially, realize how important it is for the people of Gotham to have hope. Batman tells Gordon to say that he killed those people, not Harvey. The truth about Harvey would crush the city—so they’re choosing hope instead.

2. Harvey Dent/Two-Face is such an important character in the comics, why would they just give him the axe? Yeah, so they killed the Joker in Batman (1989), but this is a different type of Batman film. Christopher Nolan has too much respect for the comics and is too competent to just kill off such a main character like that—a character who has such a long-lasting and important role in the Batman mythos.

It’s the same reason why there was no way in hell Gordon had died in the movie. Frankly, I’m going to find it a little disappointing if in the next film it turns out that Aaron Eckhart’s character is simply over and done with.

3. His death was inconclusive, as I said. Like that IGN article noted, the height he fell from was similar to the one Maroni did; and both Maroni and Batman pointed out that it wouldn’t kill him, so maybe when Batman tackled Harvey he was “counting on it” then, too. Besides, they never actually flat-out said Harvey was dead—the only thing remotely close was “dies with Harvey’s reputation.” And a memorial is a very different thing than a funeral.

It can be said that they’re actually respecting Harvey Dent (not Two-Face) by having him stay dead, but I just find it way too open of an ending for that to just be it. And hey, maybe Christopher Nolan isn’t even sure himself. You never know: it could depend a lot on what he and the other writers come up with for the next movie. And maybe that’s why they made Harvey’s fate so ambiguous in The Dark Knight.

Personally, I’m going with half: Harvey Dent’s dead—Gotham’s White Knight is gone, and so is the Harvey they knew—but Two-Face is very much alive. And actually, that makes pretty good sense, doesn’t it—considering Batman and Gordon’s discussion at the end?

And while you’re here and thinking about my question, here is some quality Two-Face/Joker humor for you (provided by Meketaten). Btw, don’t forget to read my full TDK review if you haven’t already!

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2 Responses to “Wanted dead, alive, or “half””

  1. 1 Skylark of America

    Preferably, for everyone who isn’t a viral marketer, the next Batman will have a better, relevant, screenplay, a better director and better actors, especially as Batman. The major complaint, obviously, was the terrible, yet overhyped, movie, the atrocious directing, and the terrible, badly-cast, gay actors. If this were imdb there would be more viral marketers here. They’re like the cheap hustler telemarketers and telephone technical support of internet media. The next Batman movie needs to be just plain better. Meaning, NO BS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Hey, there.

    Relevant how? TDK had a fantastic screenplay, making it a great movie. Christopher Nolan is a fantastic and well-respected director, whose Batman films not only have revolutionized the franchise but done wonders for comic book movies themselves: aka making people take them seriously by showing them that they can be appreciated like any other film.

    I thought TDK lived up to its hype very well. People are going back for more, so that just proves a lot of people love it. Numbers are one thing, but when a movie both makes a lot of money AND is well-received … now that’s a great film.

    TDK boasts a brilliant cast of fantastic and experienced actors who have won awards.

    What’s wrong with viral marketing? It was fun for fans, and it did wonders to market TDK. It’s one of the very few films that succeeded in its viral marketing.

    Sorry you didn’t like the movie, Skylark. :/


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