We finally got to see TDKR yesterday.
Disclosure on my opinion of the previous two films: Batman Begins was long with a solid ending. The Dark Knight was good. Heath Ledger was fantastic - the movie itself? Too long with some confusing set pieces.
Now, going into TDKR I had heard mixed things. It turns out that the "mixed" reviews were right on the money. The first hour, hour and a half or so DRAGGED. I understand the need for setup, especially with so many characters, but even once that's said, a fairly major player in the finale was conveniently ignored through the first half of the film.
Once the movie kicked into gear (I'd say around the time of the football stadium), it got much better. The last hour or so flew by.
Bane was an interesting villain, to be sure, but nothing compared to Heath Ledger's Joker. I didn't have as much trouble hearing what he had to say (and in fact found the voice downright creepy) but it did bring up other questions. First, how does he eat? I mean, Darth Vader could take his helmet off. Bane can't take the mask off. I also wondered why when it came down to it, Batman and he fought street-fighter style. No cool toys - just punches. Hmph.
To be honest, I didn't get the point of Catwoman in the movie. It's nothing against Anne Hathaway who I thought was great - I just feel the part was underwritten.
There are a couple of surprises in the movie I won't spoil here - one in particular where I turned to Caitie and, surprised, declared the mystery solved. She turned back to me "Duh!" - she had it figured out way earlier. D'oh!
Overall, I feel Nolan could have cut 45 minutes from the front of the movie. Otherwise, it was a pretty solid film and ending to the series.
One final point -- I confess I flinched HEAVILY at the gunfire in the movie. Granted, it was LOUD in our theater, but memories of the shooting couldn't be avoided throughout the film. It's a shame the movie will be scarred by that - I wonder how long gunshots in films will set me edge.