If you make a habit of being on the Internet, you probably caught wind of the crappy-quality Dark Knight Rises trailer that leaked over the weekend. If you haven’t, don’t even bother! Apple Trailers has released the trailer in gorgeous high definition for our viewing pleasure and today we will be dissecting it scene-by-scene like the adorable fanboys we are.
The trailer starts with the cheering of a large sports crowd. We are welcomed to our cinematic tease by a young, noticeably Irish boy partaking in a creepily soprano rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner”. As his undeveloped vocal chords eerily praise our nations flag, the tone is set. Shit is about to go down.
If there is one thing Hollywood has taught me, it’s that the Irish are harbingers of death and destruction.
We pan over the sports crowd standing at attention. A few fans are holding up letters that spells out “Rogues”, undoubtedly Gotham’s favored football team. I wonder if this was the name of Gotham’s team before the Bat showed up, or if this is a title given in honor of their caped crusader. (And some speculate the “R,” is the same one used in the Robin insignia; meaning that Robin will make an appearance in the film. I’d say it’s just a nice Easter egg.)
A quick cut to Tom Hardy as Bane establishes our main villain, although that’s all this shot really does since they don’t actually show him doing anything. I suppose they let the prologue vouch for how much of a badass he is.
We jump again to see a fancy serving tray in what I assume is Wayne Manor. A hobbling figure with a cane approaches, and the stretched reflection in the serving tray leads me to believe this is Bruce, our hero.
Nolan has gone on record saying that this movie, which takes place eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, will show what such a long stint of endless crime-fighting will do to a man. Bruce will be worn out, as any human would be after sacrificing himself day and night for/in a city of infinite crime. It has Knightfall written all over it.
We get some tear-jerking demotivation by Sir Michael Caine (fun fact: if you say “my cocaine” in a low octave you are saying Michael Caine’s name in his personal accent) and we get a shot of Bruce looking haggard as shit. That creepy ginger’s song of doom rings out into the void as we get a classy shot of Gotham and then we get to the good stuff: the typography.
As time goes on, I question whether this is a tool used to build suspense or to eat up screen time.
Two jerks talk about how Gordon is apparently getting the boot come spring-time. The one that looks like Chris Cooper (I wanted it to be Mr. Cooper so I could used my anecdote where I served him deli meats one time, but it seems that I just used it anyway so good for me) says that the reasoning is because Gotham is in a time of peace, most likely due to the crazy man flying around beating the living shit out of anyone who thinks of jaywalking.
The lovely Anne Hathaway begins her sultry voice-over monologue as Bruce saunters into what I can only assume is a normal Tuesday for those in high society. Are Masquerade balls even a thing anymore? Anne’s being remarkably subtle by wearing a mask and cat ears, just in case anyone wasn’t convinced that yes, she is Catwoman and yes, she’s in this movie. After a few viewings her words become all-the-more poignant. There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne.
We jump to shots of some scared cops and Bane walking around some more. This guy has genuine swagger, that’s for sure. Then we cut to a shot of Anne putting on a peal necklace. Although I overlooked this scene as just another shot of Ms. Hathaway being pretty, some scrutinizing Redditor noticed that this act might be much more devious. Suddenly, I’m becoming much more interested in Catwoman. On a side note, I applaud the decision to hold off on the Catwoman costume in this trailer. Anne is more than capable of showing her devious side without the costume (when she angrily whispers in Bale’s ear it makes me go “ooooooh”) and it allows us to focus on what I can only hope is the main villain in the film, Bane.
Gordon almost dies in an explosion, and it looks like he’s pretty shook up about it. Looters are ransacking either that fancy masquerade ball, or maybe even Wayne Manor (this is under the assumption that these two things are not the same). They’re throwing shit down stair wells and ripping helpless victims from hiding spots. It doesn’t look like a fun time.
Anne is whispering again. I’m into it.
We get a quick shot of a prison break. The classy suede pants let you know that it was orchestrated by the fashionable Mr. Bane. Also, do those extras holding guns suck, or what? They just have stupid, blank looks on their face allowing you to see them for the wide-eyed cattle that they really are.
Our cherubic song-singer fades out and we are overtaken by the masculine chanting of who-the-fuck knows what. We also get a violin chord that instantly reminds you of all the high-stress scenes that occurred in The Dark Knight.
We jump around a bit. A quick shot of the opposing team’s quarterback reminds you that the football scene exists. Bane saunters up through the team entrance and you’re starting to put two-and-two together. Then we jump to a shot of a scruffy Bruce in what looks to be either a prison or what I think is the league of assassins from Batman Begins. Is this a flash back, or has Bruce returned to his training grounds for some reason? Bruce is also trying to figure out just what the fuck everybody is yelling repeatedly and we are met with an answer. “Rise”.
Bane casually leans against a wall (I’m really starting to like Bane) and hits the button to whatever Macguffin Nolan has thought up this time. A suspenseful shot of darkness leads us into Bane destroying a football field and all the over-paid athletes on it. Good. Fuck football.
We jump to a shot of Bruce post-ass kicking and Mr. Hardy gives his bad-ass one liner of year. “When Gotham is in ashes, you have my permission to die.” Awesome. I am truly pumped that they’re going for more of the original Knightfall Bane (cunning mastermind who can also beat you up) as opposed to more recent iterations (lump of muscles, likes to growl).
They thought people would like this.
And with that we run through our quick shots of interesting visuals that don’t necessarily tell us anything. We get a shot of the lovely Marion Cotillard who according to IMDB is playing Bruce’s love interest du jour Miranda Tate, although fan hopefuls are spouting prayers that she may actually be the daughter of the Demon’s Head, Talia Al Ghul. We’ll have to wait and see for that.
We get a few action shots. (I assume) Bruce is base jumping off another high-rise. Anne Hathaway walks somewhere. Some stuff blows up. We get more shots of Bane. We get a nice shot of my current man-crush Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Batman and Bane fight on the steps of some city plaza. Then there’s an interesting shot of both a non-Batmobiled Batmobile. Oh, and also there’s a fucking Batmobile-esque jet monster flying behind it.
They figure that is enough to entice you and cut to that familiar visual from the teaser trailer, the Bat Symbol blaring through what appears to be a collapsing Gotham skyline. Fade to white, title, coming soon, we’re done here.
So what do you think?
I, for one, loved every second of it. In just over two minutes it built more suspense and anticipation than some movies do over their entire duration. It gives you just enough to become engrossed in the film, yet when you think about it they didn’t really tell us anything. What do we know? Bane is a bad guy and he killed some football players. Everything else is up in the air. Well done, Mr. Nolan. Well done.
I’ve been thinking about this movie for a bit, mainly due to all the media attention it’s getting from trailer and prologue leaks and I have come to a hesitant optimism for the film. We all know of the unwritten law that the last of most film trilogies is inexplicably bad, but why is that? My thought is that film hype grows exponentially, so you basically consider how good The Dark Knight Rises was compared to Batman Begins and then you inherently expect that amount to double for the next film. Of course, this new level of quality may very well be unattainable, but if anyone were to accomplish it I would think Nolan is our guy.
For now I’ll just have to hold onto whatever shreds of positive karma I can muster and wait to actually see the film before judging it. This trailer has left me with plenty to hold on to.