Clever Foreshadowing in The Dark Knight

I love the dialogue in The Dark Knight. It’s punchy, full of memorable lines, and has plenty of excellent callbacks to Batman Begins and earlier lines within the film itself. “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” “You wanna know how I got these scars?” “I make my own luck.” “I’m a dog chasing cars.” “Some men just want to watch the world burn.”

There’s one line of dialogue that cleverly foreshadows the ultimate fate of a mob boss named Sal Maroni. I hadn’t really noticed it until recently. Perhaps you already saw its significance long ago, but it was really cool for me to finally see, so I’d like to share it with you.

Harvey and Gordon

Early in the film, District Attorney Harvey Dent prosecutes Maroni and comes close to convicting him of a serious crime. But a key witness turns on him out of the blue and even pulls out a gun and points it at him in court. Thankfully, it jams, and Harvey survives his brush with death. He meets with Gotham Police Lieutenant Jim Gordon right after that, and this exchange ensues.

Gordon: “It’s a shame Sal’s going to walk.”

Harvey: “Yeah, well, good thing about the mob is they keep giving you second chances.”

Two-Face and Maroni

Fast-forward to much later in the movie after Harvey has become Two-Face and has already killed one cop who betrayed him. He appears out of the blue next to Maroni in the back of a car as it begins to speed through town, and he points a gun at the mob boss. He flips his coin, and it determines that Maroni isn’t going to die. But then he flips his coin again, and it comes down on the death side. The exchange in this scene is a great callback to the earlier scene with Gordon.

Two-Face: “You’re a lucky man. (Flips the coin again) But he’s not.”

Maroni: “Who?”

Two-Face: (Puts on his seatbelt) “Your driver.”

Two Perfect Exchanges

Maroni got to walk again, as Gordon had put it before, when the first coinflip came out in his favor. But Two-Face gave himself a second chance to take his revenge when he flipped his coin for the man driving the car. And Maroni then died in the resulting car crash.

Maroni was at least partly responsible for turning Harvey into Two-Face through his corrupt connections with the cops and his deal with the Joker. His earlier attempt to kill Harvey during his trial had ended in failure. But his later attempt at least half-succeeded by changing Harvey’s entire motivation from the pursuit of justice to the pursuit of vengeance. The good man who was Harvey Dent was destroyed and replaced by a malevolent force known as Two-Face.

And it was all perfectly foreshadowed by an amazing bit of dialogue I had never really paid much attention to until now. That’s one of the fantastic things about The Dark Knight. There always seems to be more that I find to love about it the more I watch it. What a perfect movie.

This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.

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About Robert Lockard, the Deja Reviewer

Robert Lockard has been a lover of writing since he was very young. He studied public relations in college, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 2006. His skills and knowledge have helped him to become a sought-after copywriter in the business world. He has written blogs, articles, and Web content on subjects such as real estate, online marketing and inventory management. His talent for making even boring topics interesting to read about has come in handy. But what he really loves to write about is movies. His favorite movies include: Fiddler on the Roof, Superman: The Movie, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Back to the Future, Beauty and the Beast, The Fugitive, The Incredibles, and The Dark Knight. Check out his website: Deja Reviewer. Robert lives in Utah with his wife and four children. He loves running, biking, reading, and watching movies with his family.
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