Originally Posted by Doc Samson
Absolutely, the other two are needed to fully understand and appreciate it. But I also don't think enough people, around here specifically, compare it as a standalone film to other superhero movies outside of the trilogy. It's grandiose, big spectacle entertainment on a scale rarely seen. I think over time, it will get that recognition.
The issue you bring up here is probably where a lot of the problems people like me have with the film - how its stand on its own. Films one and two are almost two completely different movie universes linked together by the underlying thread of getting Gotham City back on its feet. The beauty is film two doesn't rely on film one to tell its story, it could easily have been the launching point for a franchise as opposed to a follow up film. TDK works because it's its own thing entirely and is more of a compliment to Begins than a direct sequel. The downfall of Rises is that it relies too heavily on film one for its narrative, not only making it a weak stand alone movie, but creating this weird situation where it's more of a sequel to the first movie than what film two is. And the biggest issue is it doesn't even complete the task the Bruce sets out to do in getting Gotham back on its feet, if anything its worse off by the end of film three. TDK is now the odd child out in this whole story, it's not Bruce Wayne story it's Harvey Dent's, there are no links to the LoS or the events of film one, and it's the one that's treated far more realistic than the other two. It baffles me how instead of following that same path Nolan chose to unnecessarily drag back in elements that didn't need revisiting as the foundations for film three.