Batman still watches over Gotham City though the police force has orders to arrest him on sight. He and Lieutenant James Gordon are secretly working together to loosen the stranglehold the mob has over the populace. Rachel has moved on with her life and is now involved with Gotham's shiny new District Attorney, Harvey Dent who plans on cleaning up the city his way. Behind closed doors the mob meets to decide what action to take against the 'Bat Man'. Enter, a stranger, dressed in a fugly purple suit. He offers his considerable 'talents' to take care of all their problems. And then things start to get crazy.
The cast of this movie is amazing. Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Gary Oldman. They're all perfectly cast. Bale was made for this role, equal parts arrogant playboy and gruff guardian of Gotham. I'm so happy that he's finally getting the due I believe he's long deserved. Ledger is the most psychotic deviant I've met in film and the creepy things he does with his mouth is deliciously unsettling. Eckhart plays the perfect DA, a 'white knight' to root out the deep seated corruption in Gotham City. It also doesn't hurt that his face has a classic 50s All-American look. Gyllenhaal does the role of Rachel Dawes justice, redeeming her character from the disaster of "Batman Begins". And then there's Gary Oldman. What can I say about James Gordon? He comes into his own in this movie and I cannot express how awesome Oldman was in this role.
The script was amazing. I've always believed the story is the most important part of a movie. It's the core of the project and it needs to be solid to make a good movie. The writers did a fantastic job here. The plot has a relentless drive and pulls you in from the word 'go'. The interweaving of storylines seems effortless, the dialogue is clever and believable, the look of the film is dark without being morbid and don't forget the special effects. I'm a big fan of explosions in film and if you are too I promise you won't be disappointed.
I only had three complaints about the film.
One of the characters from "Batman Begins" is brought back for what I saw as only a cameo, an unneeded and unwanted one. It was confusing because I didn't understand the reason for their presence and it only served to complicate the plot.
The jerky camera motion editing that may have given you motion sickness from "Batman Begins" is back. It's not as pronounced but still present and as in the first film, keeps you from seeing what's really going on in some scenes.
My biggest problem was the ending. After the major plot is tied up, the film continues for about another half hour. I understand how the writers may have wanted to resolve some character arcs but it felt somewhat forced. A good example of this would "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" where most people were half out of their seats because they weren't sure if the last fade out was the end of the movie or not. This tag end could have been saved for the next movie as it would have left rich and various possibilities for the direction of Batman 3. It would have also left a much more satisfying end for the audience.
Somebody find Eli Wallach.