I'll be watching it soon on an IMAX screen.
I waited this long so as to avoid large crowds in the theater. I got to the place 50 minutes before the start. There was already a huge lineup of folks waiting! On a Thursday afternoon! 14 days after the release!
Still, I got a good seat.
The experience was stunning. The screenplay, the direction by Christopher Nolan and the acting -- especially by Heath Ledger -- was sublime. The power of The Dark Knight lies in its brutal unpredictability.
In the previous movie, Batman was presented situations where the choice was between something right and something easy. Here, he's given bad and worse options. The prequel was relatively slow-paced and it set up the characters in a timely and proper manner. Here, we jump right in and the movie gallops throughout. It's, without a doubt, the most ambitious and epic comics-based sequel of all time. It packs a lot for 2 hours and 25 minutes.
The most riveting scenes have the Joker in the frame. There's a classic scene where Batman is merely asking a major thug about the whereabouts of the Joker. The manner and the content of the reply leaves Batman stunned and speechless.
Often in superhero movies, there's a sense that, no matter what challenges the protagonist must face, all will be right in the end. That certainty is missing here, and its absence may represent Nolan's most impressive accomplishment.
This is the major reason for the unpredictable nature of the film. Batman is human; he has no superpowers. Nolan puts him in situations that can truly exist in the modern world. Batman can only use his mortal, human resources to fight back. Thus, one can be completely ignorant about comics and still enjoy the movie as is.
About the Joker: what a psychotic, forceful, evil villain. He is a man with no rules in a world with rules. He understands the thin, fragile nature of civilization and plans to shatter it. To do so, he must bring Batman to his knees -- and he almost does. I can't think of any other superhero movie where the main character suffers so much physical and emotional pain and yet survives.
In the end, we fully comprehend the tragic nature of the title.
One more thing: Hollywood ought to make more movies like this. It isn't marketed as such but The Dark Knight is a great counterpoint to all the America Is Ultimately Evil garbage that Hollywood produces and loses money on.
My favorite, spoiler-free!, review.
Praise to the max:
Evaluated just as a superhero movie, it surpasses all its contemporaries —simply put, it very well might be the best movie of its genre.