Let me start off by saying this...Heath Ledger, God rest his soul, had done something truly amazing on screen that will be nearly impossible to repeat or surpass by anybody for a very very long time. With his very unfortunate death, we will never know what else would he have done next after setting the screen on fire. Would he have returned as the venomous Joker to torment our scratchy voice hero, or was he done with playing our favorite anarchist? It is there, where I pose the titled question. If Heath would have lived and was willing to return as the Joker, How would he made [The Dark Knight Rises](movie:39011) better than the epic Dark Knight sequel? Now the first question you could ask yourself, "Why in the hell would you want that movie to be outdone by the following sequel? I really don't want it to, and it didn't. I don't think it was even close. It did have some great moments, but it was a similar version of what was already done, but bigger, and without Heath. Let me insert him into this movie and see the reasons why he The Joker would have made this movie truly epic. (Warning, if you haven't seen the Dark Knight or TDKR, (LOSERS!) there are spoilers ahead. You've been warned.
After the capture of The Joker and the death of Harvey Two-Face, Batman thought the only way to keep Dent's convictions intact, he decided to take the responsibility of the deaths executed by Two-Face making him a wanted criminal. It is funny, that is the one thing I did not like about The Dark Knight. You can make Batman a vigilante, but not a killer. Dent went bad, if Gotham saw his face, it would be painfully clear that he was seriously screwed up at the time, and wasn't thinking with a full deck. Ultimately, The Joker won. He did what he came out to do. Now that he is alive in the TDKR, in Arkham, he went on and on how he turned the golden boy into a wretched vengeful murderer. With the possibility of some of the criminals going free at the hands of Harvey Two-Face's actions, Bruce would be forced to remain as Batman until the criminals are back where they belong. Batman (Wayne) hasn't fully recovered from the events that had transpired at the hands of The Joker. He essentially was broken, and he became consumed with his work, making him a more brutal enforcer. In creepier fashion, but awesome for us, Batman watched The Joker like a stalker, visiting Arkham often, leaving you to wonder, is he building up the nerver to kill this guy? The Joker was wiped clean from TDKR, he wasn't mentioned once. I had a serious problem with that.
2. Anarchy is back
With the introduction of Bane and his meticulous planning to take everything from Bruce Wayne and Batman, Gotham City was up for grabs. After Batman's bad break, Bane publicly announced they are screwed and there is a big bomb with a hidden trigger man. The Arkham prisoners were set free and out comes The Joker. He has shorter hair and whiter skin, he is truly manifesting into the character we know and love. With the city in a riot, Bane and The Joker are making themselves right at home, but with an ego like The Joker, there was only going to be one king of Arkham City. A gang war ensues and sides were taken. Meanwhile, Batman was trying to recover from his broken back and get back to Gotham City to save it, of course. With a time bomb also in play, the Joker disapproving, starts making Bane's men disappear. The Joker was calling Bane's bluff and dared him to trigger the bomb, besides if anyone wanted Gotham destroyed, it would have been him, and he would hit the trigger. Now why they didn't trigger the bomb beforehand made no sense to me. I blame bad guy bad script writing. So, Bane doesn't trigger the bomb, instead, puts a bounty on the Joker's head to bring him in for punishment (death). As you can already tell, this no longer a Batman movie. Another issue with the TDKR was the lack of Batman. Sure, it was cool watching him in a almost inescapable prison, trying to recover and get free, but it takes too long.
3. His return.
Since I incorporated the Joker, I am changing more things here. After Batman returned to Gotham, he got in touch with Gordon, Fox, Selina, Blake, and Alfred?! Yeah, that's right, Alfred! Something else lost in this movie. His absence was totally felt in this movie, with the truth of the letter from Rachel coming to light, Bruce was mad, but understood why he Alfred did what he did. It propelled him further into Batman to shield him from that pain, ultimately leading to Batman's broken back. Alfred never left and had believed Bruce Wayne was taken or dead. With all of the police in an underground prison....(HOW, by the way? There isn't a real scenario in the history of ever)... Batman, Selina, and Blake must do battle with all the inmates and others involved in sustaining the anarchy society. Which means...that is right, not necessarily Robin, but Nightwing. Blake gets a crash course in being a stealthier version of himself. Enough costly time passes, they are ready to liberate Gotham. They work their way deep into the city taking out guards that were posted at sniping points all throughout the city. As it became clear that the Dark Knight has returned, the Joker anxiously awaited for the Dark Knight. Fast forwarding, Batman 1st made it to Joker and had that moment where he could have taken his revenge in a lawless Gotham City. He once again resisted keeping their dark relationship in tact. The Joker mentions he knows the bombs location, but will only tell Batman where it is if he can help him stop Bane. He reluctantly accepted, but not without him returning back to prison. The Joker agreed, obviously with his fingers crossed behind his back.
4. The Epic Conclusion
Batman, The Joker, and crew worked their way to the police prison, setting them free. Batman says The Joker is helping him find the bomb that is set to go off. In between all of this, some awesome dialogue was traded between The Joker and Batman. Now the final battle ensues between Bane and the criminals of Arkham vs Batman and the Gotham PD and then some. Bane & Batman rematch commences with Batman pulling off surprising areal attacks to topple Bane (yeah, the original rematch, a little underwhelming). My favorite part, not really, Talia showing her hand, stabs Batman, blah blah, fast-forward, Bane is about to break his neck and who kills Bane? None other than the Joker himself. He says something along the lines of...."No one kills the Batman except ME!" and then walks away. He of course disappears...fast forward, Batman saves Gotham from the bomb, everyone thinks he is dead, make a statue of him in his honor, but of course he lived because he is Batman, and began to train to train Blake excessively to become a potential replacement one day. As long as the Joker is out there, he could never retire.
In closing, I am more than certain that incorporating the Joker into TDKR film along with Bane would have been a truly epic sequel quite possible better than the Dark Knight. It is too bad that he is gone, it just comes to show how powerful a loss can be and that life is short and a lot of times tragically short. What do you think, would The Joker have made The Dark Knight Rises better, comment below.