Originally Posted by Green Ghoul
Not just the scope. The city evolved as the story progressed from film to film. It's kind of hard to sell that Batman is making a difference if the city remained bleak like it was in BB. This isn't the comics where Gotham City and Batman are in limbo, just so DC can keep making a profit.
As for the film getting slammed by some, I think a lot of it has to do with TDKR being more of Nolan's own take on the mythos than the other two films. Let's face it, BB was an origin movie and TDK is a classic Batman/Joker tale. TDKR on the other hand went far more into the unknown. Granted, Bane and Catwoman were there, and yes, there was a few nods to the comics, but we're dealing with a retired Batman in a cleaned up Gotham City. Nolan made up a lot of the rules this time around, and because of that the fanboys are more divided.
To me TDKR is the Return of the Jedi of this series. I liked it and it ended the trilogy on a good note, but I still think BB and TDK are the better films. As far as I'm concerned all good trilogies have one film that is a bit weaker than the others. The key thing is they're still good trilogies, as a whole, in the end.
I pretty much agree with most of what you're saying here, but I have one question:
How did TDKR go any more into the unknown than the other two films did?