- Gotham is almost crime free after eight years and certainly free of organized crime and corruption. This a big one to swallow.
- Batman/Bruce hangs it up after the events of TDK. This paints him as emotionally weak and defeated after being Batman for only about a year or so. This doesn't ring true with the Batman of the comics or the character shown in the previous films. Batman/Bruce can be hurt, but he's resilient and perseveres. And this is contradicted late in the film when someone says has been fighting for years. So which one is it?
- Practically all the cops go underground and get trapped down there? Another biggee to swallow.
- Bane's and Talia's supposed agenda rings hollow because of Gotham's current peaceful state. It would have had more credibility if the city were more like it was in the previous two films. No one amonsgt the citizenry looked particularly unhappy and ready to stage a revolution.
I'll address each of these...
1. Gotham is NEVER said to be crime free. However it does have a lower crime rate and organized crime has been brought under control. It should be remembered though that the Dent Act was a bit controversial to the point that they wanted it to be repealed. That suggests that some fairly severe measures were put in place to deal with the crime. Keep in mind that Gotham was overflowing with crime before to the point of being out of control. Even getting it down to the normal background level of crime found in most American cities felt like victory to most of Gotham. Gotham had become more normal but it was never meant to be utopia.
2. This is one of those criticisms that only comes up because people are used to comic book characters being depicted as superhuman instead of people doing a job. Nolan specifically made the choice to show us a Batman that was at his core still a man and not a superman. Doing what Bruce does would burn him out. Remember his visit to the doctor (didn't someone write this very parody online about Bruch visiting a doctor?). Physically, Bruce is a mess. Even the best athlete cannot do what he was doing forever. The physical abuse alone would force him to retire. Bruce was in bad shape at the start of the film.
As for the timeline, we have no idea ow much time passes between BB and TDK. There were at least 3 years between films. On top of that, we do not KNOW for certain that Bruch gave it up immediately after TDK. Given his injuries, its possible that he kept on for a bit after the events of TDK and then called it quits.
3. All of the cops did not go underground, just best armed and equipped to deal with the crisis. The bulk of SWAT and MCU were trapped. Ordinary beat cops were probably sill around, but without backup/support they probably went home and blended into the background out of fear. Beat cops are not trained to fight a war. Blake was not completely alone out there. He had some help.
4. Bane and Talia's argument was that Gotham was decadent and symptomatic of everything that was wrong with western civilization. Even with less crime, Gotham was still corrupt and decadent. There is a reason that he targeted the two pillars of that decadent society...the stock exchange, where the wealthy and powerful get their money and a football game, which is the modern equivalent of bread and circuses to keep the masses occupied. Did you miss all of commentary attacking the greed of the wealthy. That Roland Dagget hired Bane to sabotage Wayne Enterprises for his own greed was just a symptom of the problem. It should also be remembered that the film takes place in the post 2008 world. The kid at the boys home mentioned that his brother went underground to find work because it was easier to find underground.