Originally Posted by BatLobsterRises
But that's still ignoring all the ways he behaved that went against the people around him in the later two films.
In TDK, he was willing to turn himself in which opposed Alfred's advice for him to "endure". Then when he lets Dent take the blame, this only serves to infuriate Rachel. He also set up the whole sonar device without Lucius' knowledge, which put him on thin ice with Lucius for a moment there. Takes the blame for Dent despite Gordon's objections. Then of course in TDKR he suits up again despite Alfred's pleas and it leaves him utterly isolated. It's a gross generalization to say he was nothing but a mouthpiece for the supporting characters' ideals through all of the films.
He has a lot of various formative influences in BB keeping him reigned in, but he pretty much comes into his own in TDK. That's what classical hero's journey stories are all about, especially ones about orphans. There are many mentors and guides along the way.
But did he ever once go against Rachel's wishes? Nope, he was always led around by the scruff of his neck by a character who doesn't even exist in the comics. Horrible move.
I love Keaton's Bruce Wayne/Batman and I love the Burton movies. The difference there is that Bruce is pretty much a fully formed character from the start. I don't think he really learns a thing in 2 films or has much of an arc to speak of.
Then you really have no idea what you're talking about. Bruce had a massive - and extremely important - character arc that carried through both B89 and BR and actually even went into BF a bit too...
In the beginning of B89, Bruce is an eternally depressed and reclusive figure who has absolutely no interest in anything in life outside of avenging his parents' killer.
Once he's able to do this at the end of B89, his meaning for life itself is gone, so he becomes even more lost and rudderless; becoming an almost psychotic killer - thinking nothing of killing goons and thugs in BR. But, during this, he meets Selina, and she acts as his own dark mirror.
Through her he can see how futile it is to loose yourself in anger and pain and revenge. And that's exactly what he falls in love with her, and what's to help her so badly, because he wants them to save each other. Even though that doesn't happen for Selina, by the end of BR, Bruce realizes that he needs to overcome that pain rather than getting lost in it.
Which is made evident in BF, where he immediately shows a much more natural and sane interest in life outside of Batman (actual interaction with Wayne Enterprises, taking in Dick).
And that entire character arc was done with far more skill, nuance, and realism than anything in Nolan's films. Real people don't act like Nolan's characters. They don't have endless exposition that precisely explains their feelings and motivations. Instead, all of that would be done inwardly, largely hidden from the real life events swirling around him. And that's exactly what Burton and Keaton were always able to achieve.