As a man who wasnt exactly impressed by 'Batman Begins', 'The Dark Knight' was not high on my 2008 hitlist. I was, however, drowned in an ocean of unavoidable hype to the point I resuscitated myself and swam to the nearest cinema. As a whole this film was great....BUT......it seems the replacement of 'Batman' in the title has made the character less Batman-ny. All scenes with the caped crusader are painfully average and conventional. The choreography of his fight scenes are so plane and repetitive, it was like the video game where his fighting moves are limited to 2 buttons with the occasional combo followed by the signature move. I found him overall quite disappointing as a leading character and would have significantly lowered my rating of this film had it not been for the saving grace that is 'The Joker'. Heath Ledger gives the best villain performance I have seen in years!!! His portrayal of The Joker is disturbingly refreshing, he laughs the socks of Jack Nicholson's Joker. Seriously, everything about it was brilliant, the talk, the walk, the unscripted humour, the body language, even the way he licks his lips has an appeal..(.....Im straight, I SWEAR!!!) Had this film been called 'JOKER' and told from his perspective it probably would have been my film of the year, its a performance to be proud of as his last. Also Bale gives an amazing Bruce Wayne who in contrast to Batman is intriguing to watch. I have always been a fan of Brucie as he is different to the average "down-and-out", "pre-superpower loser", he's a successful superhero without any real super powers which gives the concept a twist that makes them more believable and makes writers work harder. Two cheers for Bruce Wayne.....oh and give one to Tony Stalk too A joy to watch for the most part and well worth the watch especially to see Ledgers FLAWLESS performance.