If you had trouble reaching us this afternoon, it’s because the company was all out seeing Batman: The Dark Knight. (Yes, there are some advantages to working at a comic book software company).
My take: 4 stars out of five, and easily one of the best comic book films I’ve seen in years. Of the Batman films, I liked it second best to the very first Tim Burton one. (Who can forget seeing Burton’s Gortham City for the first time?).
Acting-wise, Ledger stole the film—his Joker was great. I won’t do any spoilers here, but he’s just so well-written and played that you can’t wait to see what he’ll do next. He absolutely nailed the Dark Knight-era version of the character. The rest of the cast was solid, but they just didn’t have the same on-screen fascination for me.
So why not five stars? For me, it comes down to editing. Unless you’re prepared for it ahead of time, the sheer length of the film can get a bit tiring. Had they found a way to shave 30-40 minutes off (particularly by trimming the second act), it would have been a stronger film. As such, it takes on a bit of a Godfather tone—both in scope and, unfortunately, in running time.