Finally seeing a movie you've spent years anticipating is a tricky business. The film simply needs to be good. Otherwise, what have you been doing for these past four years? In the case of "The Dark Knight Rises," this has meant frighteningly misguided comments left on negative reviews, some going as far as death threats.
In light of this sad turn of events, we've compiled a list of Do's and Don'ts for fans eagerly awaiting the return of Batman and the ending of a legend.
DO See the Movie Before Forming an Opinion
Here's a simple fact: You have no idea whether "The Dark Knight Rises" is good or not because you haven't seen it yet. No matter how much you love the first two films and all Christopher Nolan's other movies or how predisposed you are to liking this movie, you are entirely unable to form your own opinion, which, for all intents and purposes, is the only one that really matters to you. Just wait a few more days before you get on your soapbox to defend the final chapter, when you can actually cite evidence from the movie and engage in the real conversations that are so much fun with a movie like this.
DON'T Threaten to Kill Film Critics
Just as you may automatically love everything Christopher Nolan does, a film critic has his or her own set of rules and criteria they take into consideration when assessing the quality of a movie. You may totally disagree with their methods of evaluations, but this is OK for two reasons. 1) As sentient, free-minded people, we are all allowed to disagree with each other. 2) As far as your relationship with the movie is concerned, no one else's level of enjoyment affects yours whatsoever. A negative review of "The Dark Knight Rises" or any other film that you like is not an indictment of your taste in movies or how you've spent the last seven years of your life. It is one person trying to do his or her job. Do not threaten to kill them.
DO Brush Up on Your Batman
"The Dark Knight Rises" dives immediately back into Gotham City with the bare minimum when it comes to recapping. From a story aspect, knowledge of the events and characters of the first two films matters for appreciation of the nuances, but it's also important to remember that "The Dark Knight Rises" is a carefully crafted closing to a trilogy. The impact of its emotional payoffs rests on everything that came before it. This story of Bruce Wayne picks up after the man has experienced everything that came before. The movie doesn't just ignore the past. The scars are still on Wayne's body and soul.
DON'T Go in Expecting the Best Movie Ever
I'm not making a comment on the movie when I say that nothing bad will come of lowering your expectations. The nature of this series especially the mystery surrounding it has led to impossible expectations. Many people will protect themselves from these by blindly loving whatever they see, but that doesn't solve anything. Attempt to go in with nothing besides your curiosity, and you won't be disappointed.
DO Realize Each Nolan Batman Movie Is Different
Most filmmakers, Nolan included, are content with repeating themselves. This becomes a problem when you create a successful film franchise. To counteract that, Nolan has made three distinct films with their own tone, style and pacing. "Batman Begins" doesn't look like "The Dark Knight." "The Dark Knight Rises" isn't as bleak as "The Dark Knight." They each play to different rhythms. So expecting "The Dark Knight 2" will lead to disappointment. Enjoy the movie by itself and ponder how it fits in the trilogy.
Check out everything we've got on "The Dark Knight Rises."