Let me preface this by first saying that I really loved Batman Begins. That out of the way, I think The Dark Knight is a better movie in every single way possible.
Heath Ledger blows every past Joker out of the water (including animated versions and such). He perfect for the role, and the writing and plot surrounding his character is so smart, and brilliantly planned. The bank heist in the beginning helps set the stage with what you should expect from him for the rest of the movie. You really get to see how fantastic of a villain The Joker is, and why he deserves to be Batman’s nemesis. I liked the treatment of Joker’s back story, and the nods to the graphic novel “The Killing Joke” in which the Joker tells Batman his “origins” and that he believes anyone could become just like him if they had one really bad day.
Oh, and the disappearing pencil trick was awesome.
I’ve been listening to and reading a lot of reviews and a lot of the complaints about this movie are the same ones that were raised for the first movie. People don’t like how Christian Bale speaks when dressed as Batman. I think it totally makes sense, though. In a world where people aren’t retarded (Superman Universe). He needs to not use his normal voice so people won’t recognize him. Bruce does interact with all of the same people as Batman, so I think it just adds another layer of realism. It doesn’t matter that it sounds forced. Its not Bruce’s real voice either.
I think that this movie was not only the best superhero movie to date, but also the best movie of the summer so far. It should definitely be a contender for Best Picture. If Heath Ledger doesn’t win Best Actor then he was robbed for much more than just his life. He was absolutely amazing. Whoever plays joker next is going to have a pretty fucking hard time filling his shoes. Go see this movie.