Originally Posted by Ryan
In hindsight, I wish Nolan would have stuck to what was setup in TDK. The acheivements by Dent and the fear of undoing them was seen as monumental by Gordon and Batman at the end of TDK. So much so, Batman was willing to be labelled a cop murderer in order to preserve what Dent had done and also out of the fear of what would happen if the truth was found out. This great secret and coverup that Gordon and Batman felt might tear Gotham apart really turned into a non event in TDKR when it was revealed. With the threat of nuclear extinction in Gotham, who would really care about what Dent had done? And so the noble act that seemed so important at the end of TDK, became nothing more then a checkmark on a checklist of things that had to be revisisted. Bane's or Talia's success in taking over Gotham was pretty much sealed once they blew up the football field and showed the folks of Gotham their nuclear bomb.
Alot of people fail to realize that the point was that the Joker DID win despite them trying to prove otherwise. He made them turn on their belief in the fixing the system by making them rig it. This was Joker's ace in the hole, not just the motivation for the final act in TDK. The Nolans actually made it mean alot more than it being the right choice. It truly made for an interesting scenario. They DID win the war on street crime. But that was not really what he'd set out to do. He'd set out to reinstill hope in the infrastructure of their city. To get rid of the "Joe Chills" of the world by getting rid of the corruption by poisoned it. This is why he was so into the teachings of the LOS, but ultimately rejected because their methods would involve destroying, not fixing, his city. Like his father, he's a philanthropist who believes that there are good people willing to do good if only they had a beacon of light to guide them. Batman IS that symbol of light. Which is why the Dark Knight is called the Dark Knight, and the sequel is titled The Dark Knight Rises. He has to fall down in order to pick himself up.