The feeling is mutual.
Yes, this is an excellent point. Almost every criticism I've read or heard from friends contains those words - "Batman would never do that." Well, he did. The entirety of TDK built up to those last few moments, when Batman realized he simply couldn't be the hero he wanted to be for Gotham. He decided his presence was only causing more problems, epitomized by the Joker's rise and Harvey's fall, and that the best he could do was to take the blame and preserve the mission Harvey had begun.
Yup. And the negative mindset some people had going in simply prevented them for experiencing the movie as it should have. We all had ideas for what might happen in the film, but many were quite resolute in what SHOULD happen. That's why I always come back to the Blake is Robin discussion. There was so much anger and vitriol on these forums at the mere suggestion of Blake being a Robin-type figure. Many of these people simply refused to accept what was kind of obvious to some others. It made perfect sense for the story. But what made sense for the story took a backseat to what people felt should happen based on preconceived notions or favorite Batman stories.
Then of course the movie came out and people were angry that it didn't end the way they envisioned. This spread to nitpicking various details of the film. I avoided these threads for a couple months because every time someone explained or refuted certain criticisms, others lashed out at them as if their right to complain had been infringed.
One example was people complaining that Batman had killed the driver of the truck with the bomb (just before it crashes on the level below). "Batman would never kill." Well, if he's going after some bank robbers, no. But when there's a bomb set to detonate in a matter of minutes, Batman had to stop the truck at all costs. The "no killing" of one man takes a backseat to saving millions of lives. I don't see how this would even be a point of discussion. That's just one example of the many, many nitpicks and silly complaints that proliferated as people had to find every possible way to rationalize why they didn't like the film.
TDK was the best live action Batman to date. It featured the best live action depiction of the Joker, Batman's ultimate nemesis. After TDK we were all rightfully blown away. At this moment I think that people confused Nolan's movies, the best depiction of a certain take
on Batman (namely the focus on Bruce Wayne), with the entire Batman mythos from decades of comics. I believe this slightly jumbled some people's expectations for TDKR.
I love Batman as much as anyone. I think I understand the character pretty well. I grew up loving Batman: TAS. I haven't read nearly as many comics as most Bat fans, but I've read the major or most popular ones. That said, I always looked at Nolan's work as a certain interpretation of Batman. That's not to say it isn't pretty damn accurate with what the comics are about. But like I said in a previous post, this trilogy was always about encapsulating Bruce Wayne's story.
When people saw the trailer shot of Batman standing on a tall structure, overlooking the city (the shot from before he goes into the sewers to confront Bane), many thought it would be one of the final shots of the movie. Batman standing victorious with implications that he would continue to protect and serve Gotham as their Dark Knight. I'm not saying the trailer shot misled people or influenced their views. Rather, some of the comments about that shot channeled the desire people had for Bruce to stay as Batman because "he would never quit or retire".
I could go on and on about this, but it all comes down to a resistance to accept what the Nolan Batman trilogy was really about. And quite frankly, I don't understand how some people could have enjoyed BB and TDK so much since those films laid the groundwork for what TDKR wrapped up. Beautifully put. The first time Bruce comes back he's simply not ready. Alfred points this out to him. A friend of mine didn't like how Bruce made stupid decisions because "he would never do that". I think he missed the point that he made stupid decisions precisely because he was out of the game for so long, lost in his own depression, grief, guilt, and isolation. He lost touch with what made him fearful, what guided him, what defined his remote limits. People who weren't strictly attached and limited to a very specific definition or idealistic expectation of Batman were able to appreciate and understand things like you mentioned. And these aspects made Bruce's arc so much more powerful.
I've rambled enough for now. I'm just so damn happy that we can now talk more about why we loved the film and what was great about it.