I had been planning on launching a new weekly blog section called “Trailer Trash” in which I rate and comment on new and recent movie trailers, which, as anyone who shelled out twelve bucks to see John Carter knows, can be the best part of the movie.
So what better time to get started with that than with the release of the third and final trailer for this summer’s much anticipated The Dark Knight Rises, and it’s a doozy, sure to keep all the fanboys (myself included) happy until the July 20 premier.
Let me elaborate on fanboy remark by stating straight out that I’m a life-long Batman fan who still watches The Dark Knight or Batman Begins at least once a week, dresses like The Riddler every Halloween (in a costume I made myself!) and who keeps all of my boyhood Batman action figures in a box in my closet, never, ever to leave my life. So director Christopher Nolan could have released a video of monkeys dressed like the Joker banging on buckets and I would have been happy.
But this trailer really delivers the goods, building slowly until it looks like all hell is breaking loose in Gotham. The horrific Bane has obviously unleashed a rein of terror, including the bombing of the city’s bridges, mob violence, and the exploding football field that highlighted the second trailer. The shot of the exploding bridges is particularly impressive.
It’s also very Anne Hathaway/Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Tom Hardy intensive, and their characters (Selina Kyle/Catwoman, beat cop John Blake and the evil terrorist Bane) take center stage. Trusted faces like Michael Caine’s Alfred, Gary Oldman’s Jim Gordon and Morgan Freeman’s Lucious Fox make brief appearances.
But the trailer also highlights a weary Batman/Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) who by the looks of things takes quite a pounding at the hands of Bane, who seems to have targeted Wayne for something. From what I know of the film (which is a lot, if I can pat myself on the back), Bane leads an attack on Gotham’s financial centers, and the movie touches on a lot of the ‘have and have not’ themes that have become hot topics during the recent economic upheaval and Occupy protests. It makes sense for Bane to attack Gotham’s richest man.
The film takes place eight years after the events of The Dark Knight and Bruce Wayne is a broken man, still recovering from his battle with the Joker, and the deaths of Rachel Dawes and Harvey Dent, both of which the Batman was partially responsible for. But Gotham is at peace, and the Batman has not been seen in that time.
Enter Bane, a swaggering brute of shrewd, cunning intelligence who must wear inhale a drug called Venom that keeps him alive, hence the freaky mask. Freakishly strong, Bane is one of the Batman’s more formidable enemies and he famously broke Batman’s back in the comic’s 1993 “Knightfall” arc. If the Joker challenges Batman on a psychological, philosophical manner, then Bane is all about physical brutality.
The trailer sheds no light on why Bane wages war against Gotham, but reportedly Bane is working in league with Ra’s al Ghul, played with such Zen-like menace by Liam Neeson in Batman Begins. The good news is that Tom Hardy’s garbled voice that freaked everyone out after the second trailer has been cleared up and sounds pretty cool.
Of course, there are lots of explosions, nicely edited action sequences, romance, Hans Zimmer’s pounding score and lots of cool Batgadgets. But those looking for a resolution to the plot will have to wait until the film comes out, because the trailer shows you a lot, but it tells you very little.
But all in all, this Batgeek gives the new trailer an A+. Just the sight of the Batwing at the end was enough to make me giddy with anticipation.