I honestly don't want this to be a flame thread. I really, really don't. These kinds of discussions can get heated fast so I ask everybody who wants to contribute to please be as level headed as possible. I know this film and series makes people feel strongly, but lets all be civil. Since it's release TDK has gained such prestige from seemingly everyone that any dissent towards it is either completely ignored or thought as just being attention seeking because the film is so popular. Believe me when I say I want to love this film like them majority does. It would much easier loving the film unconditionally like the masses but here I am off to the side, finding it overrated. I don't DISLIKE it. In fact, for most of the runtime I think it's damn good. But the films last act is the biggest issue. For the first 2hrs the film has me. It's exciting, unpredictable, suspenseful, and gives us interesting characters. I've always felt Bale/Bruce was stuffed in the background too much and Bale seems rather lost and bland a lot of the time, but it's forgivable because when he's in the suite I love it, voice and all. I won't even get into the utterly illogical plot points other than I accept them and find that Rises gets WAY to much flack for plot holes/inconsistencies when the finger can be pointed as easily at TDK but it gets a pass because, well, it's TDK. Back to the last act. The plotting of the film up to this point is fierce and perfectly paced. It's breathless without feeling like overkill or losing momentum...until it does. After the hospital explosion the film just goes into overdrive and extends itself too far too fast and just takes me out every single time. Believe me, I've tried to enjoy the third act over many repeat viewings but I can never get into it. The pacing just feels too sped up and they simultaneously introduce yet more political concepts and try to wrap up the plot at the same time. It just feels like overload. I never by the ferry scene and find it incredibly hokey. In a tonally lighter comic book film, one that isn't going for a totally realistic vibe, the scene would play better and I may not have an issue with it. But in this film it just comes off as hamfisted and forced. It would be right at home in an Iron Man film or Spidey film. Hell, it could be at home in a more fantastical Batman film...but something about it's execution just doesn't ring true. The biggest issue I have with it is Two-Face. Many people say Eckhart is incredibly strong and even steals to show away from Ledger from time to time. I would agree. He IS good. To bad the writing in the last act utterly deflates the great build up. I needed more from Dent. More hints at his breaking sanity. More little details about his state of mind or his past. Just one more scene like the interrogation of the henchmen would have done the trick. His slip into crazed maniac is the very definition of rushed. Not to mention he just comes off as a whiny baby. He anger just isn't justified enough imo. He went from mostly sane to completely crazy in the blink of an eye. They should have kept him for the third film. My last issue is more of a preference and nitpick, but it does bother me enough as to where I can't just ignore it. Gotham is too much like a regular old city. There are times when the movie really doesn't feel anything at all like a Batman film...or even a superhero film. BB gave us the PERFECT Gotham. It was just outside of reality but believable enough where you think it could exist. Rises also fares better on this front as it feels like a mega city instead of just...Chicago. A common complaint, but one I agree with. Like I said, I know I'm in the extreme minority here, but I'd like to hear from others who may agree with me and of course people who wanna bash my head in It's almost gotten to the point where I resent the mark TDK has left on mainstream film. Either films follow it's basic template, or fans want everything to be dark, grim, uber serious at all times and to be the next game changer. If they aren't these things they are somehow lesser films. TDK is a mostly good-hell, even great film. It's just the terribly rushed last act really kills it for me and it only exacerbates the smaller quibbles I have with it. It's not even in my top 5 Batman films...let alone top 10 superhero films.