Kellie: I was actually sort of disappointed that Bane and his cronies awkwardly reflected Occupy Wall Street and activists calling for prison reform -- certainly Nolan wasn’t intending to paint a negative image of reform movements, it just seems like an unfortunate coincidence that the audience might not have be able to parse out entirely. I’m sure the Dent Act was atrocious, but the film fails to explore why and the only challenge to it is to let all of the prisoners go, which is an obvious extreme. Other than that, and its obvious logical flaws (HOW DID YOU GET INTO GOTHAM, BRUCE, YOU HAD NO WALLET), I was pretty satisfied, especially with Catwoman’s characterization (minus the part where she just drops her life of crime entirely to pursue a romance with Bruce Wayne, also were we supposed to read her as queer, because I certainly did).
Alanna: I'm a strong believer that The Dark Knight Rises should not be judged too closely based on how it holds up in comparison to The Dark Knight; they are different films of the same thread, and nothing is going to hold up to the brilliance of this saga's second film. With this in mind, I quite enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises. For me, though, there was one standout aspect of the film that knocked the rest of it completely out of the water: Anne Hathaway's Catwoman. Now, I've been a fan of Anne Hathaway's ever since she taught me that even dorks could be princesses in The Princess Diaries (shut up, I was ten), so I'm a bit biased. But I found myself a little bit bored with Bruce Wayne and just silently begging for more Selina Kyle when I was sitting in that theater. Catwoman for Avengers 2, anyone?
Jill: I know some people nitpicked The Dark Knight Rises for some glaring issues but to me, it was perfect. Not that those same things didn’t bother me (Anne Hathaway had those heels so she could use them twice?), but viewing the film overall, it was the ending that felt the most complete considering the story Nolan was telling. It couldn’t compare to the electricity that was The Dark Knight but I didn’t expect it to. This film didn’t have Heath Ledger and the Joker for one, but it wasn’t meant to copy what came before anyway. Plus, Littelfinger had a cameo, you can’t beat that. In all seriousness, The Dark Knight Rises inspired me, made me cry, made me cheer for the hero, and for once, Batman got a happy ending.
Susana: I'm very much of two minds about The Dark Knight Rises. In the moment, I was utterly captivated by the movie, and it was days before I was able to see it from the perspective of somebody who wasn't delighted by how much of comics the movie alluded to, and acknowledge that maybe some people had a hard time seeing Bane as interesting. I still love it, despite some considerable flaws, but I do wonder whether I'll feel the same excitement in subsequent viewings once the DVDs come out.
That said, it's an undeniable fact that Catwoman was the best thing about the movie. Who, knew, after all his previous films, that Nolan had not one but two fully fledged, kickass leading ladies in him? And not a dead wife in sight.