I wasn't aware I would need to watch the first Batman so I could understand WTF was going on in this one. Bad editing accompanied by a not so great plot made me wish for the ending. Man this movie was long, and not in the sense you wish it would go on forever like the second installment in the series or with Inception, Christopher Nolan's true masterpiece.
I was pleasantly surprised by an unforeseen albeit done before twist and Cilian Murphy's cameo was a great addition. Anne Hathaway was sexy (If I could be anything for Halloween I'd be her in that bangin' dress when she goes to give Bruce Wayne's finger prints to that one bad guy on the board of Wayne Enterprises). Contrary to the bad guy's dismissal of it, I think she could have seduced her way out of that situation without the help of the congressman's phone.
By the time the movie was wrapping up I was delighted, and that's when all the fun stuff happened. We are introduced to Robin, Alfred comes back, Fox finds out the truth about Batman's death, (but poor Commissioner Gordon: does he know of Batman's real end?) I found the only parts to be redeeming were any scene with Alfred (man they gave him great lines).
The true hero of the Dark Knight Rises definitely goes to Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character who is the real hero of the film. Think about it: he (along with Cat Woman) inspires Batman's return, he proves himself the only one with common sense whilst showing heart and compassion, he's promoted to detective because apparently he's the only one on Gotham's police force that has a BRAIN, he does all the leg work into investigating all the bad guys, doesn't give up in the 3 months Batman is gone re-cooperating in the pit jail in the unknown country (because apparently Batman's super powers come and go: but as Marion Cotillard tells him: "Suffering builds character.")
Also, he runs errands of no light feat for Batman and the Commissioner, he rescues orphans, risks his own life to save civilians from impending neutron bombs, and lastly, he does everything Batman is supposed to be doing the whole movie.
With the premature death of Heath Ledger, who hands down did one of the best jobs of villianry in the history of film: the shoes to fill of the new bad guy were not even close to being met (I mean no disrespect to Tom Hardy, he was awesome in Lawless). Perhaps if he was still alive to reprise his role we would have been given a proper ending to such a promising trilogy in the Batman legacy.