I went to see The Dark Knight this afternoon. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
It was worse.
I think the thing has been overrated mostly due to Heath Ledger's death, which is a bit ironic, since both his character as written and his performance are the best things by far about the movie. It's unfortunate that just about everything else about the movie sucks.
I was trying to remember the last time a movie villain was far more intelligent and interesting than the hero, and I can't. The most striking thing about this film is how utterly stilted, boring, lame, hammy, and flat-out stupid Batman is compared to The Joker. Batman glares through his batmask and spews out wretched dialog in a raspy, gravelly, and ultimately silly performance.
In the first part of the movie, he drastically underestimates The Joker, and when he does start paying attention, he says The Joker is "just like every other criminal." It takes Alfred to lecture him on the fact that some bad guys aren't like all the others. But should he really need this lecture? Was the guy he fought in the last film "just like every other criminal"? When Batman does get around to taking The Joker seriously, he's always at least 3 steps behind him. When Batman does take action, it's always with his fists or with his vehicle.
I actually got the feeling that The Joker wouldn't have been caught at the end unless he wanted to be.
Anyway, the souped-up Prisoner's Dilemma at the end was just ridiculous, but it was actually topped by the even-more-ridiculous bit about Batman taking credit for killing 5 people (including 2 cops), so that Harvey Dent could live on in people's minds as some kind of pristine martyr. The whole thing seemed pointless and stupid (why not just blame the extra deaths on The Joker? In many ways, he was the person responsible for their deaths). But no, we had to get some bullshit line about Batman "being able to take it", and then the worst lines in the whole movie at the very end, when Batman says something like "People deserve better than the truth...they deserve to have their faith upheld."
Excuse me while I vomit all over my shoes.
The movie was obviously trying to make some socio-political comment about the dangers of surveillance (with Batman's goofy universal cell-phone sonar set-up). But then it ended with a line about how people can't really handle the truth, so they need to be lied to to make them feel all warm and fuzzy. What a crock of dogshit.
The fight scenes were poorly shot and edited, the whole ending segment with Two-Face dragged on too long, and the movie itself overextended its welcome. But I might have been able to forgive some of those transgressions if its central message wasn't just idiotic to the core.