I wondered if Heath Ledger's turn as the Joker could live up to the hype. It did. I also wondered if the movie could live up to the hype. Not quite.
That's not to say it's not fun and that things don't blow up. They blow up all over the place. The performances are fine, and Ledger's the definitive Joker, very disturbed and disturbing. I also think Michael Caine's the definitive Alfred, sort of the opposite of the Joker. Christian Bale is fine, too, but you put someone else in the bat suit, and he might do as well.
I've read that the movie is full of references to current events and to terrorism, especially in the Joker's motiveless malignity, and I can see that. (But maybe not this.) What really matters is the story, though, and that's where things get a little messy. There's almost too much plot for a 2-1/2 hour movie, and a few too many things were left unresolved. And there were a lot of things that bothered me. Okay, it's a comic book, so I guess logic pretty much goes out the window, but it seemed to me that too many things just didn't make sense. Probably that's because I'm old and dense and not part of the movie's target audience. I was able to ignore most of those things and just go along for the ride. It's quite a ride, and I'm glad I didn't miss it.