10 Things to Know Before Seeing ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Published 2 years ago by This is a list post.

The Dark Knight Rises Poster With The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR) arriving in theaters nationwide , thousands of fans are eager to see how the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy ends. Some of us at Screen Rant have already seen the film - read our official Dark Knight Rises review - and are eager to hear your opinions on it. In the meantime, we wanted to offer you a list of 10 things you should know about the film before you see it. There are a few plot details mentioned here, but the list offers nothing that will likely SPOIL your enjoyment of the film. These facts will simply serve to prepare you for TDKR before you experience it yourself....

Long Runtime

Christian Bale and Anne Hathway in 'The Dark Knight Rises' TDKR clocks in at two hours and forty-five minutes. In other words, it's a long film. Both of its predecessors clocked in at over two hours, but this one nearly clocks in at three. Of course, the film has multiple objectives that prolong its running time. The film seeks to wrap up the trilogy in a satisfying fashion and introduce several new characters that play vital roles in the story. Aside from the villain Bane (Tom Hardy), the film introduces us to several major characters like Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) and John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). 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)...

Expectations

Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight 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.

Background Research

Tom Hardy as Bane in the Dark Knight Rises As we can see in the image on the left, some of the characters from Batman Begins and TDK will be mentioned - and some may even appear - in this third story. Therefore, screening both of those earlier films prior to seeing the latest installment could prove invaluable to understanding the new story and the characters. TDKR attempts to wrap up the trilogy and does address many of the story beats and ideas presented in its predecessors. It also develops many of the characters that were previously introduced. Since the series is set up as a trilogy, knowing where it started is pivotal in appreciating how it ends.

Proper Viewing

Batman on Motorcycle in The Dark Knight Rises Accordingly to early reports, TDKR features 100 minutes of action sequences and much of the movie was shot using IMAX cameras. With that in mind, the best way to view the film is most likely on a 70 mm IMAX screen. As Screen Rant's Kofi Outlaw previously explained, "you aren’t really getting 'the full' IMAX experience – especially the one Chris Nolan intended – without that 70mm IMAX theater. 70mm is the only way you will be able to see everything that Nolan shot on IMAX cams." So even if it's out of your way, driving to see the movie the way that it was intended to be screened would be preferable to seeing it on a digital IMAX screen (or a regular one).

Tone

Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon in The Dark Knight Rises This year, we have been treated to several big-budget superhero films like The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man. Both of those movies sought to honor their source material in a fun and entertaining fashion. The Batman films are a completely different type of film. They are dramatic, high-minded affairs. From the A-list cast (including Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman) to the emphasis on Bruce Wayne's complex personality, to the depth of each villain's monstrosity, these movies have sought (and often succeeded) in becoming serious Oscar-caliber films. That doesn't mean that these films are any less entertaining than the other superhero films we've seen this year, but they are a different breed of superhero movie, so viewers should remember that before going in.

Emotional Impact

Batman and Bane in 'The Dark Knight Rises' In TDKR, Batman faces off against his most serious threat yet. Bane is a psychopath who can physically take on and overwhelm the Caped Crusader. And since this is the last part of the trilogy, some speculation about the film has focused on whether or not Batman will make it out alive. Without spoiling the film, it should be noted that even the actors recognize that the movie has an emotional depth that its fans should be prepared for. Gary Oldman has even publicly said that the movie "packs an emotional punch." This film is easily the most emotional one in the trilogy, and if you are so inclined, you might want to bring tissues to the theater in preparation for how this final chapter ends.

Bane's Voice

Batman and Bane in The Dark Knight Rises Several months ago, much of the talk about the new movie revolved around Bane's muffled and nearly-inaudible voice. After the trailer came out, many viewers complained that they couldn't understand what he was saying at all - a fact that likely put the filmmakers in a tail spin. After seeing the film, I can attest to the fact that most of Bane's dialogue is understandable. There are a few quick lines that were hard to decipher, but for the most part, the voice has been cleared up enough to allow viewers the opportunity to actually hear what the villain is saying...

Premise

Christian Bale in Front of the Batman Suit As TDK ended, Batman became a fugitive from the law. Commissioner Gordon and Batman had just witnessed the transformation of statesmen and public hero District Attorney Harvey Dent into the evil and demented Two-Face. Two-Face died at the end of the movie, but in a bid to create a hero for the people of Gotham to look up to, Gordon and Batman decided to create a martyr out of the corrupted lawnman. TDKR picks up eight years after the conclusion of its predecessor, with the truth about Dent still unknown and Batman still hiding from the law. Much has happened in the ensuing eight years, but the legend of Dent and Batman's bad reputation remain.

This is THE END

Christopher Nolan Directing The Dark Knight Rises Despite insistent speculation that the franchise could continue, director Christopher Nolan has been equally insistent in his statement that this will be his final Batman film. Although many fans would love the Inception director to continue with the story, Nolan seems eager to move on after spending years focused on the Batman mythology and bringing the story to life. Even Nolan's brother, Jonathan - who wrote the screenplays with him - has affirmed that this is the last movie in the series. He stated in an interview that TDKR is "the right way to end it..." Of course, there will always be hope that Nolan will sign on to do a new film, but the filmmaker has said repeatedly  that this is the end of the saga for him.

No Post-Credit Scenes

Why I'm More Excited for The Avengers than The Dark Knight Rises The Avengers was a long movie and many fans left the theater when the credits began to roll. Much to their dismay, however, it was later reported that there were two additional scenes at the end of the film. There was one scene mid-credits revealing a new threat to the superhero alliance, and there was another comical scene after the credits. TDKR, however, offers no additional scenes after the film has ended, so once the credits start to roll, the complete story has been told. Feel free to leave the theater and then go back to see the movie once again. There may be nothing after the credits, but there's always something to be gained from seeing a Christopher Nolan film more than once. Enjoy!

Recap

The Dark Knight Rises - Bane (Tom Hardy) on Snowy Rooftop in Gotham The Dark Knight Rises will likely be one of the biggest movies of the year and surely qualifies as one of the most anticipated movies of 2012. But before you go into the theater, here again is our list of 10 things you need to know before you see the film:
  1. Bathroom Prep: The Dark Knight Rises is long. Really long.
  2. Expectations: The Dark Knight was one of a kind.
  3. Background: Seeing Batman Begins and The Dark Knight beforehand is invaluable
  4. Viewing: See the movie in a 70 mm IMAX Theater if you can.
  5. Seriousness: Nolan's Batman Films are Serious Affairs.
  6. Emotional: Bring Tissues.
  7. Bane: Tom Hardy's voice can be understood...most of the time.
  8. Premise: The movie picks up a eight years after TDK ended.
  9. Endings: Nolan considers this a true conclusion to his series.
  10. Post-Credits: No Avengers scene here.
Follow me on Twitter @johnhanlon.
TAGS: batman, the dark knight rises

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  1. Im hopeing Gordon levitts takes over the Batman mantle and goes up against firstly the Riddler trying to use his mind to battle him, then maybe Penguine, and then bring back the Joker along with Harley quinne who knows this is a new Batman and loves toying with him.

  2. Haha bathroom prep definatly pee before going in had to go really bad like half way through it so i missed a few mins of the movie :(

  3. Also, if you see this in Pittsburgh, be prepared. You might hear cheering from the crowd when certain landmarks and a certain NFL team is shown. I live in Pittsburgh and the crowd was really in to it. Haha.

    Not enough to make you miss anything in the movie though.

  4. plenty of questions after seeing it.

    very good movie

  5. Am I the only person that didn’t really enjoy this movie? It was very disjointed, no character developement (didn’t care about Bane at all, and Catwoman didn’t frow as a character at all) and there was no point during the film that I ever felt remotely close to tears. Remember, just my opinion, so please don’t trash me. It was ok, but not anywhere near as good as I thought it would be, even taking TDK out of the picture.

    • I agree completely with the bathroom bit and rewatching the prequel Batman Begins (had to spend precious time explaining to my friends what was going on) though I believe the author shouldn’t be making excuses for the film if it doesn’t live up to The Dark Knight. Let the film speak for itself!

      POSSIBLE SPOILERS ************

      Although many would say that TDKR did not outperform its predecessor, do bear in mind that Chris Nolan was setting the stage for a final grand conclusion. Personally I was blown away by TDKR in a very different fashion that I was blown away by The Dark Knight. The new character additions were wise decisions, and you could not get a more stellar cast. I walked out of the theater reeling from the unexpected ending – I still am a day later. Batman only gets about 30 minutes of screen time because the film wasn’t just about Batman; it really was in its essence about the people of Gotham. You really feel for the citizens, something which probably didn’t happen in Avengers, where the superheroes are too busy fussing over themselves.

      Perhaps my only warning is to be mindful of the timelapse in between scenes. [SPOILER] I was initially confused at how Bruce Wayne could pick himself up so fast after such a severe injury (love that comic book bit from Knightfall), but within that few minutes they were portraying the timelapse of a few months. If you’d like to discuss plot holes there are always discussion forums online which have some interesting explanations going on.

      Overall, it was an immensely satisfying experience, albeit a bittersweet one, knowing that there won’t be anymore Batman forthcoming from this amazing crew. In the end you’ll be cheering and rooting the characters along, especially Batman which I think Bale did a terrific job portraying. Anne Hathaway stole every scene she was in as Selina Kyle, I think she really nailed it. I’ll be watching it again soon, just to analyze things a little closer. The ending may not be as ambiguous as Inception (did the totem stop spinning?) and I’m glad it wasn’t or everyone will go nuts.

      • This this, I agree with this! As a film itself, it fell a bit short of my expectations, but as a continuation of the last two films and conclusion to a trilogy, it ended very satisfyingly. I love Nolan’s use of recurring symbolism and the emphasis on how the past two movies affect Bruce Wayne’s life–this isn’t just an adventure a day story, like the animated series, where nothing in each episode has repercussions. My main complaint is that there was maybe a bit too much plot, so there was much more talking than action, and it lagged a little bit and didn’t always make sense, which was the same complaint I had about TDK. I think the ending to this movie is the only way this trilogy could have ended. So over all, not my favorite batman film or superhero film, but a satisfying conclusion.

    • I agree. Batman Begins, to me, is the most complete film with a mostly contained story and realized themes and developed characters. The Dark Knight has fascinating moments (mostly summed up with the Joker and twists in the plot ie. Rachel’s death and the boats.) Rises is the worst of the three, bloated under all the hype for a fitting end that turns it into another blockbuster. What do you really remember after Bane takes Batman down? Just that the quality becomes that much worse.

  6. The final outcome is indeed an entertaining finale.You get to witness the technical excellence,exotic photography,newly added bat mobiles n crafts…the agony and pain bruce wayne is living with, the new entrants in the form of villian bane,the catwoman and above all just a brif role of my fav liam neeson was simply amazing.All said n done the effort of etire crew n cast of TDKR is simply fantasaticly faboulous entertainment from Chris Nolan. Kudos to the end of a legend and its director n cast…Looking forward for something awfully fresh n nu from ChrisNol after Inception and would be gr8 ,him directing the next edition of Bond with Daniel Craig…Cheers and Waiting with hope…now Skyfall’s coming and taken-2… Enjoyd it lastnite n will again in Imax for sure…Rikiboy

  7. Would surely wanna mention a few more favs ,like the young cop probly thats Micheal caine indirect hint of Robin taking on the Batman Mnatle,Morgan Freeman and few others , names i dont remember and bove all the amazing jail shoot where batman is jailed but jumps out flmed in Jaipur,India…Gr8
    Rikiboy ;)

  8. Yeah alot of questions about the next step for this movie/franchise… I was just wondering what the hell happen to the Lazurus pit that was leaked out in photos??? was that green screen on the floor suppose to be the prison that bane was in???

    • Yup.

  9. I’d add an 11th thing to the list: Read up on Bane’s backstory in the comic. Nolan cleverly plays with expectations about Bane’s origins, and I think the payoff is greater if you know the story. As for the movie as a whole, it’s my favorite of the three hands down. It leaves you with what the other two didn’t: a sense of hope about the future. It’s not as angsty as some people might expect (or want) after Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but what’s wrong with a little lightness anyway? The movie also made me realize that, dang, I really do love Batman and everything he stands for — no matter the movie or the actor playing him. (Bale was terrific, though.) And I love Tom Hardy in anything, so I’m biased, but I thought he was great too despite being limited by that mask. And in a way, the voice is a clever idea: It makes you pay even closer attention to every word Bane says. Granted, I did miss some of his dialogue, but I missed some of the other characters’ dialogue too (like the second part of Batman’s line to Gordon about the jacket.) Overall, though, I left the theater smiling. I went in wanting to see it to “get it over with” given the hype and the Colorado tragedy. Now, I can’t wait to see it again.

  10. I’d add an 11th thing to the list: Read up on Bane’s backstory in the comic. Nolan plays with expectations about Bane’s origins, and I think the payoff is greater if you know the story. As for the movie as a whole, it’s my favorite of the three. It leaves you with what the other two didn’t: a sense of hope about the future. It’s not as angsty as some might expect (or want) after Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but what’s wrong with a little lightness anyway? The movie also made me reconnect with my love of the Batman character. And I love Tom Hardy in anything, so I’m biased, but I thought he was great despite being limited by that mask. In a way, the voice is clever: It makes you pay even closer attention to every word Bane says (though I did miss some dialogue.) Overall, though, I left the theater smiling. I went in wanting to see it to “get it over with” given the hype and then the Colorado tragedy. Now, I can’t wait to see it again.

  11. #11: If you’re taking kids take them out of the theater during the incredibly vulgar trailer for “The Watch” that inexplicably plays before a PG-13 movie…

  12. Great article! Keep up the good work Screenrant!

  13. I saw the film twice to get the full scope of Nolan’s genius story arcs. I am still blown away. This move was a masterclass in acting and film-making. Someone mentioned that there was little character development in Bane and Catwoman. I think they watched a different film. Also, you have to have a heart of stone to not shed a tear during any one of the scenes featuring Michael Caine’s Oscar-worthy performance as Alfred. There are far too many brilliant things about this movie to examine in one comment. My best advice to you is see this a second time before forming any opinions.

  14. Made it to page 4. You haven’t said anything by then, go f*** yourselves…

  15. 11. Christian Bale’s Batman voice will be used. A lot. Grit your teeth and bear it.

  16. please fix your formatting.