Since everyone seems to have seen The Dark Knight and almost every blogger has posted about it, I thought I too would follow the crowd. Following are my mental notes when I watched the movie - beware this post could contain spoilers.
the Ya-Get-Him factor
Rarely have I watched movies where I really cheer for the hero and when he finally lands a punch or two I go "Yaah!". One last movie that I can really remember was Lagaan - the Oscar nominated 19th century cricket movie. In Lagaan, by the time the climax arrives, you are so involved with the characters that when the hero who is batting whacks the other team's bowler for a six, you are cheering for him. Here it's the same - yes we know who will win (hint: Batman) but still when Batman trips the truck with his bike and slams into the truck with the Batmobile you go "Finally!". This movie had "the Ya-Get-Him factor".
intelligent villainRarely are comic book movie villains interesting. Rarely are they intelligent. They are almost always caricatures. The Joker - he was pure evil. The way the character was portrayed - especially the pencil magic scene - it left no doubt that the villain was pure evil. He was someone who was interested in being evil purely for evil's sake. Heath Ledger portrayed the Joker with the just the right amount of eccentricity. Any more and the Joker would be laughable. Any less and the Joker would be undercooked.
set-piece actionAny "action" movie needs a few scenes that will be remembered long after the movie. In the Matrix Reloaded we had that highway chase scene. In this movie, the Batmobile chase of the truck carrying Harvey Dent and followed by Joker's crew and the subsequent Batpod scene with the truck was that for me. You can't make that in Bollywood, no way.