Let me get my basic comments about TDK out of the way before I move on to the review of the reviews:
- Heath Ledger is AMAZING. There are many, many things for me to nitpick with the movie's portrayal of the Joker, but his performance is unbelievable.
- The Joker is SCARY. I've seen the word "creepy" used in several reviews, but I was genuinely scared of Ledger's Joker.
- The tension is, well, TENSE. And enduring. I'm not sure how well much of the film will hold up over repeated viewings, but for my first time seeing it... Wow. I was tired coming out of it--the movie just grabbed me and did not let go. I was absorbed completely.
- I still hate the Batsuit. If nothing else, give Batman a gray bodysuit so that we can actually SEE the title character. I believe it was Denny O'Neil who said "Batman is 50% style, and that style always comes from the artist." So it should be from the movies. Give me a Batman I can actually see instead of the great black blob. Ugh.
- "This movie is so dark/serious/complicated/grimngritty that it makes you forget that silly 60's show/Adam West/Cesar Romero/fun." Give me a damned break already. ANYONE who is still griping about the initially excellent 1960's Batman show: SHUT UP. Just SHUT UP. It's been 40 years. Batman is dark and serious--we get it. Never mind that the show saved the comics. Never mind that the show was better than the comics of the time, by far. Never mind that no one who has read more than five Batman comics believes that the show--that any incarnation--is the ONLY Batman. The first season of the TV show was perfect for what it was, and nothing more or less. Let it rest, and let those of us who can still enjoy it continue to enjoy it.
- "Heath Ledger makes Jack Nicholson look like a clown." Let's get this out of the way, okay? Ledger was given different material than Nicholson, and it was very different from Ledger's usual stuff. This is not to detract from Ledger's performance, which is brilliant. However, this is in NO way a Ledger vs. Nicholson debate. It can be a Batman (1989) vs. The Dark Knight (2008) debate, if you want.
- "The Joker is scary because he's an anarchist." In the words of the Human Ton and his sock-puppet Handy: Read a book! Even the writers/director of the film claim that the Joker represents anarchy. It might be more proper to label the Joker a sociopathic nihilist, and even then the labels could be better. Were the Joker in the film truly an anarchist, he wouldn't SPOILER have a third detonator. SPOILER