I really struggled with this film, but then again I didn't realize just what an extraordinary film that TDK was until my second viewing. I saw a review that referred to Rises as a "superhero film without a superhero" and saw it the same way. This is a movie about Bruce Wayne, not Batman.
My biggest issue with this film is that it sets in concrete the concept that Nolan's Bruce Wayne spent somewhere between six months and a year as Batman. That's it. He is an intermittent hero for Gotham City, not a part of its fabric.
It also disturbed me that he was just too physically capable after a 8 year layoff. The scene in the hospital just bothered me and seemed far too out of place. When he did don the cowl again, unlike Begins, he was too comfortable the first time. It was like there was no layoff at all.
I really liked Bane and thought Catwoman was pretty good. The main plot of the second half was preposterous and didn't fit the Nolan universe. Five months this went on? Really?
Beyond that, Rises once again solidifies the concept that Jim Gordon is a horrendous police chief. None of the movies has ever portrayed Gordon as a competent leader, although Begins certainly showed him to be a great cop. But seriously. He sent the entire police department into the sewers after Bane? At the same time? Every last one of them, except a dozen or so?
In the end, Rises followed on what I thought was a terrible last minute of the TDK. The end, where they decide to blame everything Dent did on Batman never made any sense to me. Why not blame what happened on the Joker? The decision to ostracize the Batman carried over into this film and provided its weakest points.
I didn't vote in the poll. I would really like to watch the film a second time before finalizing my opinion of it. At the least, the previous work done by Nolan (not just in the Batman movies, but elsewhere) has earned him a second viewing before settling on an opinion, at least from me since I have so enjoyed his previous works. I will say that what I am hearing from mainstream folks is that they don't like the film. At all. For point of reference, that's about a dozen or so folks who are not genre folks like those of us who posted here, but who enjoy the occasional genre film.
We'll see how things turn out over the weekend.