Originally Posted by jmc
They should have mattered, the one film where their perspective was required is the one film without it. Foley doesn't represent anyone other than himself, he's a selfish coward looking to make a name for himself.
I think this is because the different focus of the film. While The Dark Knight is an external exploration of Bruce Wayne and the consequences of his actions as Batman, Rises returns to the internal exploration that was present in Begins. The problem was that there was just too much story, and unlike in Begins, the point of view of the people is lacking. On the other hand, it serves a purpose in the film. The absence of people on the streets, the lack of a voice manage to convey that plausible fear that people in that kind of situation can have.