And so the Christopher Nolan rendition of Batman — started in “Batman Begins” (2005) and continued in “The Dark Knight” (2008) — comes to an end, in “The Dark Knight Rises.”
It stands proudly alongside its older siblings, as good as (or better than) “Batman Begins” and better than “The Dark Knight.” I realize I'm in the minority in considering the middle film as the weakest of the three, but — unlike the first and (I anticipate) the new entry — I have never once felt the impulse to rewatch it. Too many action threads being juggled and intercut in the final stretch, and — more heresy — an initially riveting performance by Heath Ledger that overstays its welcome.
Nolan once again packs the final act with an unnecessary number of parallel threads, but they seem better balanced this time around. As a result, “The Dark Knight Rises” zips by faster than its immediate predecessor, despite being 15 minutes longer at 2 hours and 44 minutes.