With all of that in mind, viewers should be aware that when they take their seats, they will likely be sitting in the theater for over three hours, so people should take their bathroom break before it begins (no pun)...
Of course, expectations are extraordinary for this third film. Not only is it the end of a series, it serves as the sequel to The Dark Knight (TDK), which is considered one of the best superhero movies ever made.
Without reviewing the new movie, it's important to recognize that TDK was one of a kind. Everything - the script, the cast, and especially the highly-anticipated performance of Heath Ledger - seemed to work together to make that film the classic that it became in 2008. There have been great superhero movies before - including Spider-Man 2 and Superman 2 - but those movies were followed by sequels that fell far short of their predecessors.
With that in mind, viewers should - if possible - attempt to manage their expectations before walking into TDKR.