It was an excellent movie, and far less bleak than I had been led to believe. (For more on that particular comment, you can read under the cut, a little further below.) I'm not going to review the thing, because I'm not a reviewer, and even were I to want to be, I think I talked myself into near silence about the film with my party of co-viewers on our way home. I will say that every good, astonished, impressed and awe-filled review of Heath Ledger's Joker is right, true, accurate, correct, et-bloody-cetera. As far as I'm concerned, there is no Joker other than Ledger's. And that's retroactive, and (should any filmmaker or studio be brain-damaged enough to consider reviving the character) for any future I can imagine. Gary Oldman's Jim Gordon is also stellar, something that has probably been overshadowed by Ledger/The Joker because of the unfortunate loss of Ledger. Oldman was Gordon. Christian Bale did an excellent job with what is essentially a thankless job and a very strictured, and perhaps necessarily stylized, character. Michael Caine was frakkin' priceless. His Alfred - all British noncom batsman-cum-butler-cum-aging warrior in his own right - tops every Alfred I've known before.
I almost forgot Maggie Gyllenhaal, who made her own rather forgettable character actually live and breathe, which is proof of her own considerable skills. And how could I have forgotten Aaron Eckhart's Harvey Dent? Lord, the entire movie is actually at least as much about his tragedy as it is about the Joker, or Batman. And I think by tragedy, it's actually safe to call it a classic tragedy - a good man (a more than good man) brought low by his own failings, or his own personal madness. That was tragic to see - and, since I knew Dent's history because of the comic book, it was a source of constant low-level tension - yes, because there wasn't already enough tension in the movie - to watch his every scene.
Anyhow, the movie? Go see it, if you haven't already!
Oh, (and here, I warn you, don't go any further if you don't want to be spoiled)
people had talked about how bleak and dark the movie was, as I'd mentioned. But near the end, there is a scene where the Joker has engineered what he fully expects to be a social experiment in showing that people will murder others on command, if they think they get to live by doing so. The experiment fails. It's a close call, and the final decisions on behalf of both groups involuntarily made part of his experiment are arguably made by two unexpectedly decent characters - but the scene tells me that the movie has a heart of light beating inside the bigger, more noticeable, heart of darkness. And, yeah, that analogy/simile/whathaveyou just sucked, but I assume you get my drift. And I love that. I love that there are movie makers out there who still believe that.