Caught a screening of the new Batman movie last night. I went in wondering if the hype re: the late Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker would somehow inflate expectations into the impossible-to-fulfill range, but no. In a film where everyone is uniformly excellent (I am especially impressed at the range of emotion Christian Bale can elicit behind a great big mask), Heath Ledger's performance is truly remarkable. Forget the Jack Nicholson cackle, Ledger's version of the Joker goes to a very bad and ugly place. He is a shaky, diabolical terrorist-lunatic, and genuinely scary.
If IRON MAN was the up-beat, poppy superhero brought to glorious life, then DARK KNIGHT is the scarred flip-side of the coin. There are plenty of great action scenes, but at its core this is an exploration into the moral ambiguity of noble intentions... making it one of the darkest big-budget "superhero" movies ever made. That's a big ol' thumbs up in my book!