From the outset, this was always going to be about Heath Ledger. And, to be honest, he proves that the unrivalled hype surrounding his performance was justified.
Playing The Joker, the sadistic criminal mastermind, he is unrecognisable when compared to Jack Nicholson's character in Tim Burton's effort.
Ledger's high-pitched voice and nervous mannerisms culminate in The Joker exhibiting the characteristics of a frighteninglytwisted madman. But behind the smeared make up and harrowing laughter, Ledger brings some much needed comic relief to the film, which includes a disturbing trick with a pencil and attending to Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) in hospital dressed as a nurse with a strawberry blonde wig.
The opening scenes are explosive with The Joker and his mob of clown-masked criminals ransacking a bank in a perfectly executed raid.
But this is where the action is curtailed. From here on in, the film moves jauntily through a plot that leaves you feeling as though something's missing.
The trailers for The Dark Knight scream from the rooftops that it's a cut above in dramatic stakes, but the scenarios that unfold that should be the pinnacle of action sequences fly by so quickly, that you're left feeling robbed of any satisfaction or real entertainment from the supposed action scenes.
Comic book heroes have their stories unravelled by imagery. Comics are, essentially, the storyboard of a film, which tell a story visually, rather than relying on unnecessary dialogue to entwine scenes. Director Christopher Nolan, however, is insistent on incorporating lengthy monologues, which at times leave you having to strain your hearing to comprehend the often-mumbled dialogue, which detracts from the stunning backdrop of Gotham City.
There's no doubting that Batman Begins was amazing.
Nolan's credibility went through the roof for his interpretation of DC Comics' hero.