I'll steal from Mr. X. and kick this off with a quote:
"Some men just want to watch the world burn."
I've seen this movie multiple times, which makes this the first review that I've posted that I've viewed the movie repeatedly. But, I just watched it again last night and finally enjoyed it to its full capacity. The Dark Knight is like listening to a good cd for the first time, you don't really know where its going, and you know every time you watch it will get better and better as you watch it the first time. Batman Begins was a perfectly made movie, easier to watch, rewatchable, told a good story and had just the right amount of humor. The Dark Knight is an entirely different animal. It is a sweeping, intense, brutal epic. The plot doesn't come together joyfully like the first film, instead, its painful and dark. Some films, despite greatness, are difficult to watch repeatedly because the sheer scope of it is too much to grasp with a casual viewing
The performances are first rate. Every part is played by an established actor and there are few, if any, weak lines in the movie. Heath Ledger goes out with a bang in a role that won't be soon forgotten. Christian Bale plays both characters very well, the reckless, brash Bruce Wayne and the intense, idealistic, brooding Batman. Aaron Eckhart, who won my heart over with Thank You For Smoking is utterly outstanding and perfectly cast.
As much as I loved Danny Elfman's Batman themes of the Tim Burton movies, this theme, by James Newton Howard(I think) is outstanding. Its not as cartoonish, its menacing, and its epic.
I do have some gripes with this movie.
Batman's voice sounds like a thirteen year old making a prank phone call.
I have a hard time believing that the Joker could have planned everything to the degree that he did. From the shootout on the highway to his capture, to the bombs, to the bomb planted in the guys stomach. Few people in the world have that kind of foresight.
The ending, with the Joker on top of a building, with dogs ready to be unleashed, strikes me to be too much like a videogame. I would've preferred a better ending sequence. It is however, chaotic, and befitting of The Jokers nature.
This movie was supposed to be a part of a trilogy, but with Heath Ledger's death, Christopher Nolan appears to have lost his gumption. I'd love to see these roles reprised again, to see a fitting end to this trilogy. I'd like to see Daniel Day-Lewis under The Jokers makeup, and the continued evolution of the Batman character.
This is an astounding, imperfect, but great movie. If you are one of the few people in the civilized world who haven't seen it, I'd recommend it.