When you enjoy a film this much, it’s easier in some ways to point out it’s weaknesses rather than it’s strengths. Here are some that came to my mind:
1. Batman, frankly, should be a smarter fighter. In his first fight against Bane, he does the opposite of what you’d expect this seasoned crime fighter to do: instead of pacing himself, getting a bead on his opponent and trying to determine his weaknesses – he just lumbers in, grunting battle cries and flailing his fists around. Even after it becomes apparent that he is no physical match for Bane, he doesn’t really change his approach.
And later, when Batman “rises” and returns to face Bane once more, he basically attacks him more or less the same way. It seems like it’s just a bit of luck that he eventually disables his little breathing apparatus and begins to get the better of him. Overall, the movie would have been (even) stronger if Batman’s initial defeat came in spite of him giving it his smartest and its best, and his eventual victory came as a result of a deliberately more intelligent approach to taking down his enemy.
2. John Blake gets a bit too morally indignant with Jim Gordon. Maybe I missed something, but other than praising Harvey Dent as a saint and allowing Batman to take the fall (something that was Batman’s idea) what did the guy do that was really wrong? It’s not like they imprisoned a bunch of innocent people or anything. I can understand that Bane’s audience would get all riled up by it, but Blake’s criticisms seemed just a shade beyond appropriate.
3. Bruce should have reconciled with Alfred before the movie ended. When the movie ended, I felt I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the ending. I wasn’t sure why, but upon reflection I think my uncertainty would have been largely dealt with if Bruce and Alfred had reconnected sometime at the start of the third act, after Bruce returned to Gotham but before he met up with Selina. I wasn’t crazy about the way that Alfred and Bruce’s “break up” was handled, which meant that all the more I felt like I needed them to see them patch things up – it was a story beat that felt missing. Bruce could have acknowledged the fact that Alfred was right about him not being ready to meet Bane, Alfred could have apologized properly for burning Rachel’s letter. Or whatever – without this scene or its equivalent, one feels that Alfred’s reaction to seeing Bruce alive in Florence would have been different than what we got.
4. Speaking of that ending, why did Bruce have to fake his death? He could have easily faked Batman’s death, and nobody but Gordon, Alfred, and Blake would have been the wiser. I don’t have big problems with this, but I can’t help but to wonder what on earth Bruce is going to do with his life now. He doesn’t have any money, presumably. Is he going to just live off of what Selina steals?
Anyway, actually I loved this movie and was impressed by the way that each of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies stand alone but together tell a grand, even epic, story. So these comments are not meant to be serious critiques – rather just nitpicking from a fan who wishes The Dark Knight Rises was even better.