A week ago, I gave 9 hours of my life to watch Christopher Nolan's "Batman" trilogy in an IMAX theater. BM1 and BM2 were great. But, WOW! BM3 "The Dark Knight Rises" was such a muddled *disappointment*...and dare I say, really *boring*!
Maybe I've been wrong. I've always thought Mr. Nolan spent a *lot* of time architecting the story. It sure didn't seem like he did for BM3. The story (and script) needed some serious tweaking. Eliminate unnecessary characters and distractions as well as the many inconsistencies and lack of tension throughout the plot.
The main plot (the destruction of Gotham) was truly uninteresting and unsurprising. Most importantly, the movie lacked a methodical escalation of tension to make me care about what was happening.
For me, elements of the last 30-45 minutes were the most effective and might have made a more solid foundation as a beginning for the movie. This is where the stories for Alfred, Bane, Blake, Bruce, Gordon and Miranda all became the most interesting. And that was the problem. It all happened at once like a soap opera cliche. Staggering these stories somehow may have helped build escalating tension.
Eliminating unnecessary characters and sub-plots would have helped too. In particular, the stories for Foley, Daggett and Stryver added nothing to the story and would have kept the story focused if they had been dropped. I'd go as far to say that dropping (or minimizing significantly) the Selina Kyle/Catwoman character sub-plot would have helped too - even though her scenes added a much-needed lift to the story. Think of the plot potential if Bruce Wayne never figured out that Selina Kyle was Cat Woman?
IMHO, the best aspect of the movie was the sub-plot about Blake. His story was everything I've come to expect with Christopher Nolan. A natural union of conflict, emotion and grit; which make a character and story seem believable and real.
All-in-all, The Dark Knight Rises (or BM3, as I like to call it) is a surprising lack of vision that doesn't live up to his other films, let alone his previous Batman movies. Of his three Batman movies, this one truly deserves to be called, "B.M.". You can do better, Mr. Nolan.