Despite its imperfections, I found Dark Knight Rises to be a very exciting and satisfying end to one of the greatest trilogies of all time.
The film takes place around eight years from where Dark Knight ended and Gotham City has been cleaned up of organized crime thanks to the legacy of Harvey Dent. The Batman has been villainized as his killer, but is needed once again when Bane shows up and begins terrorized the city.
Dark Knight Rises is led by a strong cast that consistently deliver the characters we've come to know. Hardy and Hathaway added nicely to the cast in their respective roles, one adding a sense of terror and darkness while the other provided some nice levity to an otherwise very dark film. Nolan continues to deliver a story that is grounded in reality and on message with themes of pain and sacrifice and justice.
SO HOW DOES IT END?
If you thought the "Batman" was going to die in this film, or be replaced, you were pretty close to right. But ultimately I think they were too afraid to really kill Bruce Wayne, and I'm okay with that, if for no other reason than poor, sweet Alfred. I'm just thankful Nolan actually showed us Bruce instead of making us guess if the top was going to stop spinning! And it appears that "Robin" John Blake (Gordon-Levitt) will indeed be taking over the legacy, although I found the throwing away of his badge a little abrupt and out of nowhere.
Sure there are flaws in the plot and misgivings that don't quite add up, but in the end it's a thrilling ride and worth every penny. I give it 4 out of 5.
P.S. Additions might be added to this review once we determine our cartoon - I didn't want to give up anything we were thinking! :)