I saw "Batman Begins" back in 2005 and thought that director Chris Nolan did a great job in making the movie more than the typical superhero movie, it was dark, serious and compelling compared to the usual campy fun of previous Batmans, so I was looking forward to seeing "The Dark Knight" especially given Heath Ledger's role in the movie, and his subsequent tragic death. Well, I finally saw the movie last weekend and the movie was great--but all thanks to Heath Ledger. Heath redeems what would have been a bland, too long movie by giving a tour de force performance. Every scene that he's not in pales by comparison to the vibrant energy that leaps off the screen when he's on.
I had been curious to see if all the internet buzz and praise heaped on Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker was true, and let me tell you, yes, every word of praise is more than merited. Heath was phenomenal. While I can't say that Heath deserves to win the Oscar without knowing who his competition might be, he definitely earned a nomination at the very least. Where Nicholson's Joker was comical and campy, Heath's Joker is dark, maniacal, and almost frightening. The biggest compliment I could pay him is to say that in parts he is unrecognizable as himself, and not just because of the makeup.
Heath makes the movie worth the $10 ticket and the 2 plus hours of duration. If you haven't seen the movie, see it, you'll be seeing one of the greatest performances on film.