I went to this movie with the highest of expectations. I'd read every "credible looking" article I could, not just on whether or not this would be a good movie (it was already great in my mind) but to get a head start on understanding the deeper themes of the movie. I had read that it's hard to grasp a lot of the moral lessons amidst all the explosions and other tense moments during the film. I was not disappointed. My expectations were exceeded.
The movie was dark. The Joker was very evil, one could even say beyond evil, embodying the elements of nihilism. He had no master plan, no partner in his crimes, the whole purpose of his existence hinged on Batman's attempt to apprehend him. There were a lot of moral dilemma's presented and I think they were accurately portrayed.
- Batman was forced to choose between saving his "potential" girlfriend and saving the city by rescuing Harvey Dent.
- Later on the Joker gets two groups of people to leave the island in two ferries. One contains the prisoners from Arcum Asylum and the other regular citizens. Each boat has the detonator to the other boat's bombs and if one of them doesn't blow the other one up before midnight, the Joker will blow them both up.
- Batman tries to decide if it'd be best if he gave himself up according to the Joker's demands to hopefully spare Gotham from anymore ruthless attacks. And the list goes on.
I'll need to see this a few more times to get the most out of it, but I really did enjoy it and feel that it will be of great social value. It was more violent than Batman Begins, and I don't know that it is a kid movie, even though it is Batman. At this point I'm giving it a 5, but that may change after seeing it a few more times, possibly moving it to "World Shaker" status.