Batman Begins was a movie about falling to or mastering one's own fear. Dark Knight was about justice and morality from the common folk on the street to the politicians we idolize and how even great men can fall. Dark Knight Rises picks up right there with an absent Batman and a devastated Bruce Wayne. It is a movie about rising out of the ashes and not letting anything keep us down.
Batman really takes some hard falls in this movie. Just when you think things can't get worse. . . they do again and again. When the movie starts, he is out of shape, has a bum leg, and is an emotional wreck over the loss of his love, Rachel. His company is failing because he sunk its money into a supposedly failed clean energy project. On top of all of that, the people of Gotham hate Batman for the killing spree pinned on him in the last movie.
But come on, he's Batman! He picks himself up, does some push-ups, gets a fancy knee brace, puts on the Batsuit, and jumps back into the action. He even picks up a sidekick in Catwoman. There's nothing to it. Right?