Todd S. Gallows’s review published on Letterboxd:
After seeing this movie, I felt as if I'd been guzzling down somebody else's murky bathwater for over two hours. It was a very bland movie, full of no real substance, yet acted as if it had some. It had an overblown yet aimless plot. It was nothing but a lot of explosions, incongruous action sequences, stilted dialog filled with tawdry lines which serve to be cherry picked as quotes people can use on their web forum signatures. Instead of a soundtrack it had intense thumps interspersed with subtle sounds of other instruments forming picayune melodies! Batman doesn't even have a solid theme song anymore, just a stock action movie beat. With the Danny Elfman Batman theme in 1989 and 1992, you just had to hear 5 notes and you could know it was the Batman theme. With this theme song, it sounds like the silverware is spilling onto the pots and pans. The movie was dark, but had no charm to it at all, darkness without a cause. It was just bad things happening all the time, so there was never any pace. It was just pornography, exploitation. No one could ever accuse me of liking things light. I enjoy materials which disturb me and are unrelentingly dark. But this was just haphazardly directed. A pretentious mess.
Why so serious? Why so serious indeed... I'll even go as far as to say that the Joker performance wasn't even that phenomenal. I preferred Jack Nicholson's a lot more. Heath Ledger was an up and coming actor whose movies (especially Brothers Grimm) I never cared for, but his performance was well executed. Speaking of performances, what was with Christian Bale's voice when he was Batman? It sounded like he was shitting gravel all the time. As a whole the movie as a product (and I stress the word product) was a well done effort. It was very manufactured, cold and gray. It made death look casual, but people say it packed an emotional punch. Maybe I'm missing something.
What bothers me the most about it is that I can't understand why Christopher Nolan, who by this time figures himself to be some sort of film auteur thinks the Batman movies should be hyper realistic. For fuck's sake, this is a movie about a guy parading around in a bat costume trying to thwart the plans of a goth philosopher/killer clown. Get real.
The movie was filled with so many far fetched elements and plot holes. If there was a city that chaotic, there has never been as chaotic as the ChicaGotham city in that movie. When Joker got caught, nobody could identify him. As if he's some sort of super natural entity? This guy didn't just start committing crimes out of nowhere. He would have to have a record. The police could have taken off his make up, and sent his picture around to different precincts and asylums and gotten the information. They probably could have found out that he was a homosexual cowboy. The movie rubs the viewer's face in shit for hours and then tries to show that humans are good because nobody on the boats blew each other up in Jokertes the philosopher's little sociological experiment? Then moments later squeaky clean district attorney Harvey "Half Burnt Face" Dent becomes a homicidal maniac and tries killing a kid just because his diseased looking girlfriend died. Batman who dodged running over Joker was able to kill Half Burnt Face with ease. And what was with the case they make for the Patriot Act? I could go on and on, but the movie should not be worth the energy. My opinion is in the minority. It will have zero impact on its massive box office revenue. And everybody and their mom will still jerk off over it, especially the comic geeks, even though it's nothing like the comic universe. Gotham city actually looks gothic, and not just like Chicago. And the Joker was an actual freak with white skin and green hair who had an arsenal of gag and toy themed lethal weapons, not a guy with "War paint". Comic fan boys can only say they like this movie because it's "adult" and not because it's faithful to the material. I will always prefer the two Tim Burton did, and his much maligned by comic book fan boys Batman Returns will always be at the top of my list. They were just funny and great to look at.