I feel bad for Robert Downey Jr. It's not that Ironman was Oscar-worthy, but here was a return to the great superhero flicks. It had a less-than-perfect protagonist in a believably distraught universe. Of course, Batman is the original troubled playboy-turned- vigilante flyboy and Dark Knight dominates on every level.
Of course, Dark Knight has something Ironman does not, Joker. Watching Heath Leger makes you forget Nicholson ever did the role, and that was considered pretty dark at the time. No, watching Leger conjures up comparisons to Hopkins's Hannibal. An evil so perfectly nuanced and forcefully embraced by its thespian perpetrator it demands rapt reverence at it alternates between screeches and whispers.
The writing was amazing. Extreme dark comic writing without too much cheese. The jokers many-angled schemes were well thought out. The stunts integrated into the schemes so as not to seem excessive in context. And the choice to shoot building collapses and "sky hook snags" in IMAX without the use of CGI, captivating.
Perhaps the best praise: this movie actually deserves all the praise heaped upon it.