[...] the screenplay had a lot of buzz [....] because the structure was unexpectedly tight (despite the running time) and it was even darker than expected. I do remember, too, that it was presented to me as "it's about relentlessness." [....]I continue to be really surprised at the love for this movie (currently #9 on IMDB's top 250). I am doubly surprised at the excitement over the tightness of the thing - I thought it made no sense at all, like it's plot went through the blender. Scenes just come and go. Most famously - what happened at the end of the joker's home invasion? The scene ends with no resolution.
The War on Terror buzz was because at the time, it was seen in some circles as unusually brave/crazy to attack or mock the USA's illegal surveillance apparatus: the movie shoved the wrongness of it at the audience by having one of America's Most Trusted Voices™ tell us how wrong it was. Big Budget Hollywood hadn't taken an anti-government stance much in recent times. This was unusual, and I think a lot of folks anticipating a "comic book" story didn't expect it. [....]
I like Heath Ledger in TDK, but that's about it.