Just re-watched The Dark Knight for the first time (got it on DVD for Christmas). And even more than before I personally prefer Batman Begins. I'll even go so far as to say I think it's the better movie.
Here's some of the problems I have with TDK:
- Lack of direction and pacing problems: The movie moves at breakneck speed a lot of the time. However, at times it just feels confused to me although I exactly know where everything is headed. In terms of the pacing, as I stated the movie moves very fast at times. However, it really, really seems to slow down in parts and you're just wishing for it to move on.
- Lenght (connected with the first point): I found the movie quite hard to sit through. I think it should have been shortened quite a bit. What's there IMHO doesn't actually warrant the two hours plus.
- Action sequences: Some of the major action sequences IMHO are not very convincing. The transport of Dent across the city strikes me as one particularly weak example. First of all, the cops take the far more dangerous lower route even though only one side of the road is blocked. You can clearly see they simply could have avoided the obstacle put in place by the Joker. Secondly, the cops come across really, really badly in the ensuing chase scenes. They don't seem to be communicating at all (warning each other e.g.) or working together to hold off harm from Dent's truck. And why can't Dent's vehicle outrun a big freight truck (maybe these prisoner transport vehicles really are that slow but it just seems wrong IMHO)? All in all, the scene to me just never really managed to engage but just seemed to plod along slowly.
- Quieter scenes: One of the biggest strengths for me in BB were the quieter parts where characters had time and space to breathe and develop. Those moments were as effective as they were introspective. And I sorely missed them here. Yes, there were some quieter moments here and there. But they were few and far between and IMHO never achieved the same atmosphere and, intimacy and beauty found in BB.
- I really like Gyllenhaal as an actress but I just don't like her in this particular part. Personally, I far prefer Katie Holmes in BB, and even though she was probably one of the weakest links in that movie I keep missing her here.
- Music: I adore the music in BB. And the best parts in TDK are the themes already established in the predecessor. I wasn't able to discover a single new piece of music that really stood out to me positively. There is a rather effective sound effect that illustrates the Joker's madness in several scenes (such as in Wayne's penthouse) but I wouldn't count that as music, personally.
I do think TDK is a pretty good movie. It's certainly entertaining and has its share of though-provoking, challenging material. But in the end, I feel it's far more conventional than BB. To me, personally, BB managed to be special in some way. It's a beautiful movie. TDK, IMHO, simply is not.