With The Dark Knight, the Nolans have ditched the fractured and slightly dull story-telling of Batman Begins to give us a linear fast-paced character-driven action-adventure that makes even the brilliant Iron Man look decidedly rusty.
Wall-E wasn't quite the masterpiece I was expecting but The Dark Knight is the masterpiece I never expected. It's intelligent and complex without being pretentious and over-complicated. It satisfied my blood-lust and also made me think.
The battle between Batman and the Joker isn't just a physical one but one of ideas, that reverberate beyond Gotham City limits. The relationship and parallels between them are very effective but it isn't just about them - there are other characters whose destinies are affected by this epic battle. Just how do you react to terrorism?
Before I saw the film I thought calls for Heath Ledger to get an Oscar was sentimental toss, I understand what they mean now. It's a powerfully affecting performance which is all the more remarkable due to the ambiguity of the character's background and motivations.
From the Guardian to Variety, columnists feel the need to piss on the parade by claiming The Dark Knight isn't worth giving a damn about purely by basis of its genre and originating material, which is a little dumb. Jeph Loeb's The Long Halloween comic book, which inspired the screenplay, is also worth checking out.
Believe the hype, The Dark Knight is highly recommended.