An average movie
The main problem I have with this movie is it's characters. I felt Joker wasn't written to his potential and the fact that his joker kept his deal with Batman and allowed the people on the boats to live was just not like the character, knowing The Joker he would have blown it up anyways. I felt it could have been Heath Ledger's defining moment as The Joker but it didn't happen. I think it could have worked better for the movie if he did blow up the ships because that would have raised the bar tremendously.
I didn't mind the story, I thought it was good. It didn't really have any slow points in the middle like most movies do. If it had been extended to three hours the plot could have been more balanced and probably would have had some more character defining scenes.
The choice of The Joker as the villain is something that bugged me. I would rather have seen Scarecrow again because I felt he's a more interesting villain and I would have rather had them wait to introduce Joker in a later movie. In Burton's Batman, we saw for the first time on screen The Joker's origin. We saw how he was in the film Jack Napier a criminal working for mob boss Carl Grissom. This version of The Joker has no explanation of who he is, no background, and no motivation. Nicholson's Joker had motivation, he became The Joker because of Batman and he and he wanted to be the only "freak" in town, so he decided wanted to kill Batman. The villain I would like to have seen would have been the Riddler or Deadshot.
Deadshot could have been done easily because he already exists in Nolan's world, as established in Batman: Gotham Knights which takes place between Begins and TDK. For an actor, I would have chosen Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
I like Bale as Bruce Wayne, though I'm not sure about him as Batman. His Batman voice has been the subject of much criticism, I agree with the criticism myself. I'm sure Bale could a much better Batman voice and would not be upset if he changed it for The Dark Knight Rises. I think this could have been better if another actor was casted for Batman and if Batman could be written like he is in the comics.
The most important part of a Batman movie is the batsuit, this Batsuit is the best one we've seen yet.I was glad to see some gadgets that Batman has, I still don't understand the sonar thing because It wasn't that well explained.I still don't like the Tumbler and I hated the Batpod. I thought most of the visual effects in the film were good. The action scenes were some of the most well shot action scenes in recent times.
Gary Oldman returns as Lt. Jim Gordon later promoted to Commissioner after the death of Commissioner Loeb. Gary Oldman was my favorite actor in the movie, not only does he bear an uncanny resemblance to the way David Mazzucchelli drew him but gives a great performance as him as well, then again he's great in all his movies. Aaron Eckhart was perfect as Harvey Dent/Two-Face and I would have been quite content at having him just Harvey Dent in this movie and Two-Face in a sequel because it just felt too rushed to have in this movie. Still I liked him as Two-face and thought he did a great job. I liked Maggie Gyllenhall much better than I did with Katie Holmes as Rachel dawes. The character though was totally wasted, as was Bruce's russian girlfriend. Michael Caine is no Michael Gough, that we all know but still he made a fantastic Alfred but ultimately the character was wasted and had very little screen time but Michael Caine made the best out of every scene he was in. I don't think anyone else could play Lucius Fox other than Morgan Freeman because the's such a fantastic actor. The chinese business man was the probably the most unimportant character there was, it felt like he was just thrown in there and you expected him to be an important character in the movie but he doesn't reappear until the later of the movie.
I liked Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent but I still feel that making him Two-Face was just unnecessary and there was no explanation was to why he became Two-Face. There are no scenes in the movie with him showing his bad side or it even being mentioned. Just because part of your face is burned, it doesn't mean you're going to become a supervillain. Nolan should have held off and made him Two-Face in the sequel, you just can't introduce the character and make him Two-face all in one movie.