Warning: "Dark Knight Rises" spoilers ahead!
So you're heading to the theater this weekend. What's there to see? For my money, new releases "Step Up Revolution" and "The Watch" have precisely squat on the holdover favorite, Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises."
If you're like me, you may have already seen the film a second time. If you haven't seen it twice, I strongly encourage you to give the Nolan film a second shot this weekend. There's a lot to be gleaned from multiple viewings, from carefully dissecting the plot turns you already know are coming to simply basking in the size and scope of it all.
Here are five tips to keep in mind during your imminent "Rises" rewatch.
The big twist of "Rises" centers on the transformation of Marion Cotillard's character from Wayne Enterprises CEO Miranda Tate to League of Shadows heir and terrorist Talia al Ghul. Knowing this big reveal on your first rewatch yields a lot: you pay more attention to that scar on her back, her story about her impoverished childhood carries more weight, and every time Bane offhandedly beckons for her, you know what those two are up to. I still wish more time had been spent on the fully revealed Talia, but it's still fun to go back and see the thinly veiled signs of villainy in Cotillard's performance.
Flight of the Robin
Similarly, there's an eleventh-hour turn for John Blake, in that his legal name is actually Robin Blake. How much does that change what you know about him? Not much. But it adds poignancy to his gradual transition as Batman's successor. You'll pick up on his growing distaste for firearms, and you'll find a lot more value in the relationship between Bruce and Blake. In the end, they truly are a dynamic duo to watch.
Hear Bane Roar
Maybe you couldn't hear him so well during your first viewing. Maybe 90 percent of what the very talkative terrorist had to say completely washed over you. Well, now you know the plot turns. You know the big moments to target. And that frees you up to focus every other ounce of your energy on listening super-closely to what Bane has to say. Joke about the garbledy-garbles all you want, but if you listen carefully, you'll hear that Bane has some of the greatest dialogue in the entire "Dark Knight" trilogy.
Remember The Autopilot
There's a lot of groundwork laid out ahead of the big autopilot twist that saves Bruce Wayne's life, with mentions of the device first hitting as early as The Bat's introduction. It's revisited when Bruce returns to Gotham, and again right before the big climactic moment. Indeed, one of the folks I saw the movie with swore up and down that you can actually see Bruce ejecting from The Bat before the bomb detonates. (I didn't see such a thing, for the record, but it's something to keep an eye on.) The pieces are all there for the viewer to puzzle out Bruce's survival, especially on round two.
This Movie Is Long
Like, really long. Just 15 minutes shy of the three-hour mark, "Rises" demands a lot of time from its viewers. Not that I'm complaining; there's a lot of story to be told here, and frankly, the movie could probably go on for longer and still have more to say. But I'd be lying if I said my eyelids didn't get heavy during the second viewing. Hop up on energy drinks or do whatever it is you do to keep yourself awake, because at times, you're going to feel as defeated as Gotham's silent guardian
Are you seeing "Dark Knight Rises" again this weekend? Let us know in the comments section below!