Director Christopher Nolan also did something no other director has ever done with the character-- he treated it with respect and approached it as if he were making a film for an adult audience while staying true to the spirit of the character.
BEGINS had a few flaws but still it was one of the better superhero films of all time.
THE DARK KNIGHT (2008) was nearly as good-- and Heath Ledger's Joker was a standout in a movie that was overlong, overplotted and sometimes plodding trying to tell us too many stories and with a few too many "what the?" moments, like Jim Gordon faking his own death and not telling his wife or kids?
I almost passed on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012)-- maybe it was Bat-burnout- maybe it was hearing the movie was nearly 3 hours long -- I am not a fan of long movies-- I think Peter Jackson should be forced to sit and watch his own movies.
But I'd heard there were enough spoilers in this movie that I figured I better see it in theaters-- and BOY was I glad I did.
Nolan crafted not only a great Batman movie here, but a great movie. In fact-- Batman isn't even in 2/3 of it-- but you'll hardly notice and the biggest compliment I can give is I didn't see a single cell phone flip open during the Sunday afternoon screening I was at.
Christian Bale toned down the Batman voice and despite hearing rumors to the contrary-- Bane was a great villain worthy of this film. Harkening images of Darth Vader and Osama Bin Laden this was one scary dude intent on the simple destruction of Gotham City and Batman.
I'd also been skeptical of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman-- I thought she would have been a great Rachel Dawes in the original film, but she was too girl next doorish for Catwoman-- and I'm going on record here to say I was dead wrong.
Not only did Hathaway bring it-- she was the BEST Catwoman ever seen on film and I LOVED the fact that she had NOT one cat in her house-- no wacky cat lady obsession here-- in fact she isn't even called Catwoman in the film-- simply referred to in a newspaper as The Cat Burglar.
The movie wraps up plot lines we didn't even know were still dangling and makes the entire trilogy play as one long story-- something I never saw coming.
An AMAZING film. Well worth seeing. Five Stars.