I fear this is mostly free association, but please bear with me. There's a lot of ground to cover.
Heath Ledger was a far more interesting Joker than Jack Nicholson. I said it. And thank god there was no stupid Joker origin story to bog it all down. I especially liked all the lip-smacking and loose tongue-flicking action. At first, it looked like Heath was trying to channel Jack, but he claimed the character for his own.
I'm a little worried that Joker didn't meet his demise at the end -- any word on whether anybody's been fingered to take the role in future films? I was waiting for Bats to drop him off the skyscraper, which would have been dark indeed.
At least there was no, "You created me, Batman" rhetoric. I found that Joker being an incredibly intelligent and not-so-goofy psycho with a philosophical agenda to be refreshing. It wasn't about money, or jealousy, or politics. It was about making a statement.
Still, at nearly 3 hours, TDK got a little long-of-tooth for my taste. Did anyone else think it suffered for the Gordon's-family-getting-kidnapped subplot at the end?
And did anyone else think Rachael Dawes was a two-timing whore who should have kept it in her pants (so to speak)?
Also, I took a picture of this clown at a midnight screening:
To sum up: Five stars, but still a bit too long. Ledger stole the show. He should get a posthumous Oscar for his performance. Nothing after the credits, so don't waste your time sitting there. Two Face's makeup was very, very good. And the organic introduction of more than one villain was seamless, unlike my issue with juggling both Scarecrow and Ducard.
Also, I command you to debate: Gary Oldman's best role?