VOTD: A Shot-By-Shot Analysis Of The Chase Sequence From 'The Dark Knight'

Some fans consider negative comments about The Dark Knight totally blasphemous. Christopher Nolan's 2008 mega-blockbuster has reached the kind of untouchable status where it's not only considered by many to be the best superhero movie of all time, some even consider it one of the best movies of all time. I think it definitely warrants mention in the superhero argument but, personally, don't think it even comes close to the second column. Neither does critic Jim Emerson, apparently, who has just debuted a new feature on Indiewire called In The Cut where he breaks down action scenes shot by shot trying to figure out what the filmmaker did right and wrong.

His first deconstruction is the chase sequence in The Dark Knight where Harvey Dent is transferred between jails. According to Emerson, "We notice lapses in visual logic whether our brains register them consciously or not. I found this sequence utterly baffling the first time I saw it, and every subsequent time.  At last, I now know exactly why."

Find out why after the break.

Thanks to Indiewire's Press Play Blog for the video. Here you go.

In the Cut, Part I: Shots in the Dark (Knight) from Jim Emerson on Vimeo.

If you didn't click over to the page, Emerson does give Nolan and his crew a little bit of a pass because this sequence was shot in IMAX:

Anyone who has participated in the making of a movie, whether a D.I.Y. project or a Hollywood studio picture (I've been involved in both kinds of productions), can tell you about the seemingly insurmountable difficulties of planning, shooting and editing a movie. Surely the use of large IMAX cameras for this segment of The Dark Knight made the filming more of a challenge. Problems that could have been easily fixed on a film with such a huge budget (removing that phantom extra police car with CGI, perhaps) were also no doubt complicated by the IMAX process. And to the filmmakers' credit, they decided against using CGI for the actual stunts, using real vehicles, miniatures and explosions instead.

That aside, what do you think? Do you agree with Emerson that this scene is a mess?