The Dark Knight Rises, as a friend put it, was more like a sequel to Batman Begins than a sequel to Dark Knight. Yes, the story largely took off from where Dark Knight left off, but in Gotham, it’s been 8 years, so the connections were tenuous. The movie SEEMS to feature Bruce Wayne more than Batman (similar to Begins), and the “league” features the over-arching meta-nemesis. Casting was overall very well done, though largely from previous Chris Nolan cast members. The movie does not fall into the constant action trap that many other action movies do, and much like begins, is more based on story than action (like Dark Knight, which often seemed like Action punctuated with story).
After seeing the movie again, I still stand pretty firmly behind what I wrote above. And I actually feel Rises may have a greater re-watchability than the previous two movies. There are plenty of in-depth reviews online, so I won’t go on anymore. It’s already taken me over a week to write out this review. =)