Originally Posted by Shikamaru
In TDKR, he quits, moves on, and that's all there is to it. The difference between TDK and TDKR is each film's opinion on the idea of Batman quitting. That's why I said that you have to take each story in context. Before critiquing a story for dealing with the idea of Batman quitting, one should ask themselves what the message behind that idea is. Does the film support the idea or does it not? Both TDK and Mask of the Phantasm did not support that idea and led Bruce to the realization that he can't quit, thus staying true to what Batman is all about. Rises did no such thing and that's where the difference lies.
Where does Batman Begins fit into this? What point of view does it present on the idea of Batman quitting? To me it seems pretty clear, Bruce intends to be Batman for a short while until the city is cleaned up and there's nothing ominous about it. That's the mission statement, that's the goal they've set for the protagonist. It's not portrayed in either a negative or positive light, it's just the way it is.
Of course, TDK flips this all on its head and nothing goes as smoothly as Bruce thinks it will, and he ends up losing a lot. He doesn't get to walk away on his own terms.
To me, the point of view presented throughout all 3 films is that being Batman forever would be insane and not the best way for Bruce to spend the rest of his life. It's more about how he can become a symbol, and how his actions can reverberate throughout history so he becomes more than just a man. Becoming a historical figure who will have made a difference and changed the course of Gotham ultimately for the better. The thing is that TDK is the only full-on tragic tale of the three. BB and TDKR are more about Bruce Wayne overcoming personal demons. And with TDKR that includes finally letting go of it all and no longer allowing tragedy to rule his life.