Originally Posted by pr0xyt0xin
You find "2.5 hour... perpetual state of third act climax" to be a winning factor? I'd argue that many see the majority of The Avengers as a perpetual state of climax as well. At least from the moment Hawkeye attacks the Hellicarrier. To which many would complain is an issue in The Avengers. That is, that there is no place to take a breath.
I respect The Avengers just as much as I respect The Dark Knight. And if The Avengers were winning this poll I imagine I'd feel inclined to defend TDK. But since its not, I have this to say:
The Avengers doesn't even risk focusing on any forced or unforced love story, which is a personal plus for me. Nat/Clint is far too ambiguous and Pepper is merely a fleeting characterization for Tony Stark. Whereas The Dark Knight feels obligated to have this Rachel Dawes love triangle in order to ground Bale's Wayne and eventually make him all the more lonely. Which is fine, unless you didn't pay to see a movie about a love story.
As far as richly drawn characters (of which TDK is most assuredly full of), I'd definitely (sort of agree) that Loki is one of the few who shines out of the pack in The Avengers. But I do appreciate those who consider "The Avengers" as a team to be a richly drawn character in itself. One with inner turmoil and one who, together, is ultimately triumphant over an insurmountable evil. And finally I'd give the descriptor of "richly drawn" to the spy of spies, Nick Fury. He is perfectly shady and despicably realistic as The Avengers' catalyst (especially after learning of Coulson's survival). But he's still very likable, as only Sammy J can be.
And to anyone who says no one in the film has a character arc: up until May 2012 I wonder if you realize Tony Stark never had a moment of self sacrifice the way Banner, Rogers and Thor had in their respective solo films. Stark finishes his very first arc in The Avengers. So watch it again if you missed that.
I feel like there is never a wasted second in TDK and it is always building. The Avengers has a lot of lulls and moments built to isolate characters (example Iron Man and the propellor). Even the end does that with Captain America going into the diner and Hawkeye playing pointman, essentially removing them from the more interesting action. Never mind entire sequences put in for no reason other than to check off a box, like the car chase at the beginning.
I will agree that Rachel as a love interest is tacked on...in Batman Begins. In TDK, it is crucial to the story and used quite well, though the recasting will always be a franchise problem.