If ever there was a hyped movie, this was it. Almost every reviewer had given the movie a thumbs up. On Rotten Tomatoes, the Tomatometer is almost at the maximum -- 95%. I am sure there are better reviewed movies on the site, but I haven't noticed those (or searched for them yet). I read quite a few of these reviews that raved about the movie in general and about Heath Ledger's performance.
As expected, I went to the theater with great expectations. It was the first time that there was a line to enter the theater hall in Swansea -- the hype machine in full swing.
After the viewing, I am still undecided if I like it or not. If I hold it against my normal barometer for films -- whether I want to stop watching it immediately, stay on just to see how it ends, or if I wanted the movie to continue for longer -- it would definitely be in the last category. That probably means that I liked the movie and had I gone into the movie without such high expectations, I would probably have a better impression of it.
As for the movie itself -- it's a very atmospheric movie that, especially for a superhero movie, moves at a slow pace. From the reviews, the expectation was that it would be more the Joker's movie than Batman's. I felt that this was not the case. Batman is in almost every other frame whereas the Joker is in maybe a fifth of the frames. I also felt that had the movie ended about 10 minutes earlier, with the Joker hanging down the building and explaining, it would have been the perfect ending. Instead of tying a few things up and leaving a few other things unresolved, I think it would have been more intriguing to leave a lot unresolved.
Finally, I decided that it deserved another viewing next weekend -- to enable me to make up my mind if I like it or not.