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

76 Comments

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  1. Aside from the fact that the movie isn’t being released over here before the 29th of August, we have a single IMAX theatre in the whole Country. You’ll excuse me if I settle for any nearby theatre.

    • I’ve watched it in regular digital projection because the IMAX near me is sold out for the next week or so. It is still a very intense and great film either way. So you should have no problem.

    • Where I’m from there ain’t a single IMAX theater. Which is a shame, but at least movies are cheaper here than the continental US.

    • Well don’t feel too bad because very few of us are within driving distance of a “true” IMAX theater. I am surrounded by IMAX theaters but they are all digital. We did have one but it was even converted for some inexplicable reason. :P

  2. good intro but i love watching BB, TDK in a span of 24 to 48 hours and then going to see TDKR.

  3. Good to know that DKR sucks too.

  4. more like, once the credits start rolling get the f#%^ out of there and run to the bathroom.
    This was a great movie, i’m in the minority of people who think BB was way better than TDK, and i have to say, TDKR was right up there with BB as Nolan’s best film.

    • Yeah i agree with that to BB and TDKR are alot better than TDK!

  5. Great list John.
    The only thing I have to disagree with is Bane’s voice. Yes, he can be understood most of the time and I know it’s an old argument, but in the theater I was in, people actually started to chuckle/laugh when Bane was making speeches and honestly, I felt like joining in at one point. It just didn’t fit IMO.

    Still, it was a great film and I’ll definitely be seeing it again.

    • Ill be one to admit during the first scene (a scene i loved and admired) i was like oh no chris what did you do with his voice. I couldnt stand it, but then once the movie continued and the first incounter came between bane and batman i loved it. It brought chills down my spine. I would understand if someone doesnt enjoy his voice its an aquired taste that some people just wont aquire.

    • I got a laugh out of his voice over cause it, to me, sounded like the SNL parody of Sean Connery.

      • [Glass shatters]
        I KNEW that weird accent sounded familiar! I couldn’t palce it, but you’re completely right man… he totally sounded like Connery! ;)

      • I KNEW I couldn’t be the only who thought that!!!! Don’t get me wrong, the voice worked. But I was still waiting for him to say, “Suck it, Trebeck!”

      • Haha The whole plane scene I was like “What does his voice remind me of?” When the plane fell it suddenly hit me and I said out loud in the theatre “Sean Connery”

    • That’s interesting to hear. I hadn’t heard that people were laughing at Bane’s voice. Clearly, that wasn’t the reaction that the filmmakers were hoping for…

      But I agree, the movie is a great film and I will be seeing it again in theaters.

      • I don’t think it was a voice over… the trailer was clearly dubbed over. Durinh the movie it soubded very kuch like tom with a muffled voice.

      • It’ll be funny that Bane voice gets a razzie.

  6. i know this has nothing to do with the dark knight rises but what phase 2 marvel movie will follow the avengers i mean the timeline like phase 1 was CATFA IM TIH IM2 and THOR, will it be GOTG TTDW or IM3 or CATWS, or ANTMAN, kind would like some imput on this

  7. Great primer for anyone yet to see the film
    which fans tend to forget is most everyone else.

    Thinking of the elements mentioned helps for
    anyone who has seen it and plans to again too.
    I find myself thinking more of how the puzzle fits
    from all three films after viewing the last installment.

    By the way, John, exploring the radio dial a couple
    of weeks ago I managed to catch your appearance
    on the Hugh Hewett show which was quite informative.

    It was great to have you mention Screen Rant often to
    an audience that may not be familiar with the website and
    you did a wonderful job of representing what the site is about.

    • Robert, thanks for the kind words!

      I definitely appreciate them and I’m glad that I sounded okay on the Hewitt show. I was a bit nervous before going on the air but I’m happy it sounded good.

      Thanks for reading and I’m glad that you enjoyed the piece.

  8. I saw and enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises, but without spoiling anything, there were a few flaws that held it back. So to add onto the “Expectations” part, don’t expect the movie to be as good or better than The Dark Knight or, dare I say, Batman Begins. Still, though, it’s definitely the best superhero trilogy out there, outclassing Superman, Spider-Man, and X-Men.

  9. Meh pretty b******* list

    • I love comments like this. Please explain, oh great one, why it is a BS list. Cheers.

  10. If in Puerto Rico we had an IMAX theater it would be awesome , but regrettably we only have ‘normal’ theaters, Imax has not yet arrived here… and DKR opens here July 25. Just a few more days…

  11. Like many have said and I did the same thing. It’s better to watch the first 2 parts of the story before going to see the 3rd and final part. It’s a much better story when you see all 3 parts that put together the entire story.

    • I agree which is why I attended The Dark Knight marathon and it was EPIC!!!!! Going back to watch TDKR again in IMAX :D, The Legend Ends and it was worth the wait.

      • I’m jealous that you even had the opportunity to see BB & TDK in the theater again. I live in a smaller town in Connecticut and there’s never anything like that going on.
        I watched BB & TDK last week on Blu-ray to get caught up and that’s fine, I still enjoyed them but I would have loved to see them on the big screen again…

        • Yea I just couldn’t pass up watching BB and TDK again on the big screen which is why I attended the marathon it really great.

      • That sounds awesome. I was tempted to do the “Batman” marathon as well.

        I was nervous though because after sitting through the first two movies back to back, I didn’t know if I would enjoy the third one as much. I thought it would get a little tiring after a while.

        Glad you enjoyed it though!

        If they ever do the marathon again in theaters, I might try to go check it out.

  12. I have to say that TDKR was the best of the three with TDK right behide it. BB was not as great as people say. I love BB but to say it was the best of the three is wrong, but BB is alot better than the 4 batman films before it.

  13. I wish people here knew about the bathroom thing cause the one thing that annoys me more than people talking or eating loudly (or even creaky chairs, which I had to deal with thanks to one idiot throughout) is people getting up in the middle of a movie to use the bathroom.

    I even had to leave my own seat to allow a woman to get past to use it so my eyes and ears were on the screen while I tried not to stumble in the dark. Annoying.

    I still don’t get why people hated Bane’s voice though, it worked for me.

  14. yes, you say it’s imporant to watch it in IMAX and I say that my country doesn’t even have an IMAX theatre, so… yeah, excuse me while I see the movie on a regular sreeen.

  15. i think the tone is what stuck me the most. There were a few parts that made me feel downright hopeless, which is fantastic. i found myself thinking “come on! really? can it get any worse for these people?” and I’ve gotta say, for the first time in a long time i found myself wrapped up what the characters were goings through.I think the pacing could have been a little tighter, the fat trimmed a little more.
    Other than that i really enjoyed myself. Bane was fantastic. The character was VERY cerebral, not just some big guy in a gimp mask.
    I would have liked to see a little more done with Catwoman. It really felt like they could have done an entire movie about the character. She was pretty well written and the most pleasant surprise of the film

    • [Removed for spoilers] – Moderator

      • What interest me most about tom and his portrayal of bane. Was his eyes and how well he showed emotion threw them. Expetially the ending with you know who. Not gonna spoil the scene but the sheer sadness/tears brought another dynamic and understanding of the character

        • no doubt..my mistake i thought i was in the spoiler section

  16. Long Runtime
    The movie didn’t feel like 2 hrs & 45 min. I enjoyed it so much that I actually wanted more.

    Expectations
    High expectations can make a good movie bad, low expectations can make a bad movie good/ok.

    Background Research
    Good thing I watched both movies prior to seeing this one, not that I wouldn’t have understood it anyway.

    Proper Viewing
    I had to see digital IMAX, still looked great. How different is digital to 70mm?

    Tone
    Totally agree, unfortunately that’s a deal breaker for some people who can’t appreciate a good film and just want to have fun. Not that TDKR isn’t fun, it’s just for a different crowd.

    Emotional Impact
    I found the movie sad, didn’t cry but it is definitely emotional.

    Bane’s voice
    Although his voice was clear, I found it way too loud for the majority of the film.

    Premise

    This is THE END
    And what a great ending it was!!

    No Post-Credit Scenes
    I waited anyway…

  17. TDKR n Avengers are my top 2 all time fave movies in no particular order. The ending made me bug out in the theater!

  18. TDKR n Avengers are my top 2 all time fave movies in no particular order. The ending made me bug out

  19. Good to know you speak Bane because his voice was still terrible and hardly audible. Really ruined the movie and the last 2 are still both better than this one.

  20. You definately should its a pretty cool experience.

  21. The Dark Knight was one of the best superhero movies made, if not the best. The Dark Knight Rises was probably one of the worst.

    • Wow,I guess you like a little hyperbole in your posts.

      So I guess you are saying that TDKR is worse than Catwoman,or Electra,huh?

      • It’s called his opinion, which I have to agree with…

      • I’m with Longshanks on this one. I think BB is better but there is no way I would put TDKR in the same toilet as Catwoman, Elektra, Fantastic 4, Spidey 3, X-Men 3, Wolverine, etc….

  22. Bane’s voice sucked. I got over it though, his body language was great and he did good.
    First half of the movie was great, but I got bored after the bridges blew, and got really pissed off when they tried to humanize Bane at the end.
    The ‘emotional’ end wasn’t even close to emotional, I almost starting laughing at how lame it was.

  23. In the the theater I was in this guy wearing a black t-shirt, black jeans, and some weird armbands got up THREE times and walked out, to return a few minutes later. One time of the three times he made a feint for the emergency exit door and all the time he had this weird smirk on his face. It seemed like he was getting off playing on people’s anxiety from the Aurora shootings to give himself a chuckle. It was kind of sick.

    • Kind of sick? No, that was sick! I have read to many posts online making light of such a tragedy. The human condition just seems to get worse with each passing year.

  24. i’ll buy it blu-ray when it comes out. that way i can watch the 3 hour film in my recliner with a cold one. pause it for the rest room.

  25. yeah youre right, any mockery of Aurora shootings is wrong and dumb. not funny at all.

  26. After watching it for a second time,the 2hr45min running time seems to fly by.

  27. I don’t know how often i have to tell people, but only Marvel movies put things after the credits, not DC

    • Green Lantern…

      • Checkmate! :-D

  28. the movie was epic period… If people would stop comparing it to the second film maybe they would enjoy it more. the film slayed my life … I was very impressed and cannot wait to own it.

  29. In slide 8/10:
    “Gordon and Batman decided to create a martyr out of the corrupted lawnman.”

    I didn’t know Harvey Dent was into landscaping, lol

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