I saw the movie for the 3rd time last night. The first two times were in rapid succession a few weeks ago, and at the time I couldn't shake a weird confusion summed up best as "uhmm,what did I just see?" For some reason, I just needed to see it again to put my mind to rest.
Finally, this time around, I managed to leave all preconceptions at the door. I stopped trying to force the movie to be what I wanted/expected it to be (basically, a remake of TDK), and instead just sat down ready to be entertained. I was ready to accept the movie on its own terms.
And wow, did it not disappoint. I'm not sure what it was about the 3rd time around, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. This is a powerful and epic
movie. All the minor plot-holes (as if TDK didn't have gaping ones) were washed away, and I actually even caught some new intrigue,
. The whole Blake angle is great when you understand that the theme of this movie is the tranformation of Batman from man (Bruce Wayne) to idea (ie "it can be anybody"). From that angle, this movie is great at tying together the themes of the trilogy and ultimately, letting us celebrate Bruce Wayne's redemption and success: he finally managed to inspire good (as opposed to chaos a la TDK).
I now understand why several critics gave this movie 5 stars. And frankly, sitting here right now, if I was given the choice of watching TDK or TDKR, I think I'd go for TDKR.