I'm going to go free form for this one if only because if you people didn't already see it, I don't know you.
I don't know you anyways, but that is beside the point. I do give a word of warning to those that have not seen this film yet.
DO NOT BRING CHILDREN.
I just realized now that my reviews have yet to touch on the ratings of movies, but I don't think I will bring it up unless it has something to do with the storytelling aspect of the film like some of the creative choices in Justice League: The New Frontier (which, by the way, is excellent so buy, borrow or steal a copy if you're a DC fan with some background knowledge - it is not very new-comer friendly though the comic solves all those problems). With some thought on the subject, I am glad that this movie is not rated R. At times, I have found movies try so very hard to get a certain rating when it comes between being PG-13 or R. They are either flying right underneath the radar of R or do anything and everything within their power to get it, which can be harmful to the storytelling. I am convinced that this is why certain PG-13 movies are far worse in content than many R rated ones that may or may not have some failings as stories.
The Dark Knight defies what is considered R rated material for it is disturbing, violent and non-apologetic. It makes no excuses and has no bars. Masterful and tasteful, it is a film that should not be missed by anyone with the nerve to sit all the way through. In those seats in front of the screen, it does not matter if you have read the comics. It does not care about your ignorance or your knowledge. Granted, fans of the source material will appreciate, but there is plenty to behold for the new viewers.
As ridiculous as it sounds, it will make you believe in Harvey Dent.
Whether or not you walk away with a message completely falls upon the shoulders of the viewer. They alone can decide for themselves what "entertainment" means to them. To me, what entertains us should not be empty smiles and time killed. The things that keep us busy, but give nothing back are hollow, false entertainments that can never be art and entertainment should be art. Catharsis should come with something to make us better if only because we need it so badly. But, perhaps betterment is not a need that is to be filled. Perhaps it is something that we need to be reminded in a world of dazzling lights at the speed of electronic processing.
Of course, I'm waxing philosophically at almost 4 in the morning. This could all be gibberish or something brilliant. But it seems like it comes down to the basic differences between DC and Marvel.
Marvel heroes, on the whole, tend to be deeply flawed, powered, but mostly human and very easy to relate to. DC heroes, mostly, are either masked adventurers or there to inspire. Some characters are there for self-improvement in one way or another, but most are to set an example.
Does this mean one universe is better than the other? Not really. I'm not here to preach morals. I just would like to talk to someone.
The Dark Knight has a message if you care to carry it with you. I believe in Harvey Dent. I hope you get to know what I mean.