It was an enjoyable movie, for sure, but it is definitely the weakest of the Nolan trilogy. For me, "Batman Begins" and the first Burton "Batman" are the best Batman movies, period (I also put the The Animated Series here, but not a movie so not technically going to count it). After that (still good but on a lower tier of good) are "The Dark Knight" and "Batman Returns." I put "The Dark Knight Rises" below those movies, but above the Schumacher films. [Full disclosure: I don't hate the Schumacher films. Seriously. I appreciate them in their own way, while still recognizing they are inferior next to the other Batman films].
Just random notes off the top of my head:
-Selina Kyle/Catwoman was well done, and Ann Hathaway was great. But the character didn't really serve a purpose in the movie ... they didn't make the relationship between her and Batman substantial enough, they just randomly had them decide to kinda like each other without any rhyme or reason. Really, the only thing they needed to do was have some line of dialogue at the beginning that shows us that, at some point in the past 8 years, Bruce Wayne has become aware of her and is keeping track of her. So the whole thing with the pearls and the tracking device was as part of some larger plan to keep track of Kyle. As it was in the movie, it made no fucking sense why he had magical tracking device pearls and becomes buddies with Catwoman. There should have been hints of previous Catwoman/Batman run ins where she managed to escape, which would have made the pearl thing less unimportant.
-Miranda Tate/Talia. Bleh. I know some of the fanboys thought this was awesome, but I don't get it. She was a completely pointless character up until the reveal as Talia, and that reveal was really lazy and followed by one of the worst movie villain deaths ever (she wasn't even visibly injured in the truck crash, dammit). Her character was really pointless ... they should have done a better job of painting her as an important friend/colleague/lover/whatever of Bruce Wayne during the previous 8 years, to make her continual inclusion in important events meaningful (as it was, her election to the board of governors of Wayne Enterprises or whatever the hell happened in that stupid scene made no sense; she was just some random bitch that Bruce Wayne didn't seem to want to talk to up until that point), and her betrayal more poignant. As it was, her only point in the movie was to add a twist to the end, which wasn't even terribly well done.
-Bane was awesome. His dialogue during the first fight scene with Batman in the sewer was great. I really liked the entire segment with the prison, even if it made the timeline of everything happening in Gotham a little shaky (they were pretty inconsistent with how much time passed). I wish when Batman first appeared they had more dialogue with each other as opposed to a clumsy fight in the middle of an OH SO EPIC SHOWDOWN IN THE STREETS WITH COPS AND GANGSTERS OMG (the police charging the prison was easily my least favorite part of the movie). I liked Bane's surprise that he escaped, but I wish they had built that more ... like Bane is inside in a protected building while the fighting is going on outside, and Batman just appears there and they have some dialogue that reveals that, since Bane couldn't escape from that prison himself, he cannot fathom Batman having the strength to do it (especially after "breaking him"). Easy way to show a different side of Bane, he would be in almost existential crisis at seeing Batman again. And then they should have a fight where Batman actually defeats him in a clever way, as opposed to doing the SAME EXACT THING he did in the sewer but somehow winning. Seriously, clumsy haymakers? That's all you've got?
-"Robin." First of all, I don't get why people are even calling him Robin, even if Nolan used the name of a former Robin. The way the movie is set up makes it pretty explicit that he is going to be the next Batman. Having him become Robin would completely defeat the entire thematic purpose of the movie. So that's first. Second of all, I really like Gordon-Levitt, and thought he did a good job, but I feel like they did a really terrible job of making his character important. They should have had some scene where he figures something out by being a good detective or something, to set him up as an intellectual successor to Bruce Wayne. As it was, he spent a large portion of the movie doing things that ended up being pointless (didn't stop the cops from going in the sewer, didn't find Bane, didn't get the cops out of the sewer - Batman did that, etc.). I liked the idea of his character, but again they missed an opportunity to actually make his existence meaningful beyond "I somehow figured out you are Batman, because of ... orphan powers. Now I will run around irrelevantly for a while and spend the entire climax on a school bus."
-Why the fuck is Commissioner Gordon carrying around his incriminating speech in his pocket while going out into the streets? I mean, I liked him jumping into the sewer, because it shows what kind of a cop he is and works into the whole "war hero in time of peace" theme they started with (and promptly abandoned). But why the fuck did he bring the speech with him? And the movie was pretty clear about it not being so soon after the podium that he would accidentally still have it on him.
-Why did Alfred wait 8 years before making his big emotional speech to Bruce? I mean, that moment seriously couldn't have been the first time in 8 years that he had seen Bruce looking insanely depressed, or that Rachel had come up in conversation.
You can't triple stamp a double stamp!