‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Trailer Breakdown: What Did We Learn About the Film?
Of course you’ve already watched the new trailer for ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’ After all, you’re only human and you have the internet. But how close have looked? Join us after the jump to look through this thing with a fine toothed comb.
Although the film isn’t out yet, we’ve gone through this trailer shot-by-shot and are prepared to bring some pretty heavy speculation to the table. Although we’re incapable of actually spoiling anything, some of our ideas and observations could turn out to be true. Consider this your SPOILER! warning.
Here’s our first cinematic look at DC Comics’ brand new and slightly controversial logo. Yep, it still looks awful. Of course, this is only going to stick in the craw of major comic nuts. Everyone else watching this trailer is more interested in Batmen and Banes than corporate logo changes.
How do we know Bruce Wayne is in bad shape? Is it the tired eyes? Is is the invisible weight of the world on his shoulders? Is it the cane we saw him wielding in the previous trailer? Nah, it’s that terrible goatee. What kind of horrors does Batman face that force him to grow that thing?
The early section of the trailer contains glimpses of the scene IMAX audiences were treated to before ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ last year, namely Bane’s insane midair escape from custody. It was exciting then and it still looks exciting now. If there’s one thing Christopher Nolan has proven with his past Batman movies, it’s that he nows how to craft breathtaking practical action scenes.
For a film where Batman is the main character, there is surprisingly little of the Caped Crusader in the trailer. We do, however, get plenty of Tom Hardy‘s Bane (surely the Warner Bros. marketing department remembers how much audiences loved Heath Ledger’s Joker and are acting accordingly). His voice has definitely changed since we last heard it. It’s less metallic and mumbly, for sure. It remains a bizarre choice by any stretch of the imagination: hearing that slightly snobby, upper crust voice emerge from that masked behemoth is disconcerting. Bane is actually manhandling Bruce Wayne (not Batman!) in this shot. Does he discover the true identity of Gotham’s chief protector?
Who the heck is Joseph Gordon Levitt playing here? We know he’s a Gotham cop, but how does he tie into the plot? Is he an ally of the Batman? Fan speculation has him being the Nolan-verse’s Robin or Nightwing, but we think Nolan has something else up his sleeve.
There’s something oddly quiet about this trailer. Heck, even the destruction of several Gotham City bridges feels subdued. The trailer evokes a quiet menace instead of throwing expensive explosions at us ever three seconds.
Anne Hathaway‘s desperate attempt to be seen as a grown-up starts here (and continues with ‘Les Miserables’ later this year). Seeing the former teen star play tough, mean and sultry is…well, we don’t know yet. Her Selina Kyle/Catwoman is definitely a big wild card in a film that many people see as an automatic homerun.
Where has Batman gone? What’s happening to Gotham in his absence? The trailer makes it pretty clear that someone or something has forced Batman to go into hiding. In the comics, Bane defeats Batman in hand-to-hand combat and breaks his spine, forcing him into temporary retirement. Could that be a key event here?
You’ve all surely seen this shot by now, but we’re including it here because it adds pretty definitive evidence that the film will feature Bane breaking the Bat.
Details remain sketchy about Bane’s plans. From the trailers, we know that he has plenty of explosives (goodbye football stadium), an army of convicts and a handful of Tumblers, AKA, the Batmobile without the black paint. Whatever he’s doing, he has plenty of firepower.
Amidst a montage of chaos, here are group of henchmen shooting up a trading floor. There have been rumors that much of Bane’s plan involves attacking the city’s elite and recruiting those who feel trod upon to his cause. Exactly how much social commentary can we expect from a Batman movie?
More Bane. Mainly because the trailer has shown him about six times by this point and Batman zero times. Hi, Bane!
Here are a couple of Tumblers launching an attack on what appears to be a courthouse. Gotham’s finest look hopeless outgunned. Where’s a Batman when you need him?
Aha! Here he is! If there’s one thing this trailer makes clear time and time again, it’s that Batman/Bruce Wayne is in for a very rough time. Between being roughed up and imprisoned out of costume and apparently defeated in costume, Batman will not leave this trilogy without deep scars. In this shot, an exhausted Batman leans against a gate while a seemingly tireless Bane makes his approach.
It’s not just that stuffy, aristocratic voice: Bane also walks like an arrogant British gentlemen torn straight out of Victorian England. Hardy’s portrayal seems to bears almost no resemblance to the comic character (who is far too weird to fit into Nolan’s more realistic films) and we can’t wait to find out more about this guy.
“I won’t bury you. I’ve buried too many Waynes.” Michael Caine has been a vital part of these films, supplying plenty of heart even when the story is at its bleakest. The fact that he cares so much about Bruce, a character who, by his very nature, can be distant and cold, gives us an instant emotional connection. What are the chances that Nolan lets him live until the end credits roll?
Speaking of actors that have acted as incredible anchors throughout this entire series…how good is Gary Oldman‘s Jim Gordon? This character could’ve been The Guy Who Supplies The Audience With Exposition, but Oldman has created an instantly likable guy who wins our trust in his first scene and maintains it through several films. Once again: what are the chances that Nolan offs him?
Oooh, another Batman appearance! If they keep this up, he’ll have half as many shots as Bane in this trailer.
Nolan is not always one to embrace traditional superhero iconography, which makes a shot like this all the greater. If you’ve got a cape, there’s no reason to not stand on top of a tall building and let the wind do its work.
Hello, Catwoman! If Hathaway’s Selina Kyle is anything like her comic counterpart, she’ll start the film as a bad guy before having a change of heart and joining Batman in his crusade against crime. In fact, this trailer opens with her threatening Bruce Wayne and ends with brief shots of her fighting alongside Batman. Case closed?
Is this is the first photographic proof that Morgan Freeman is in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’? ‘The Dark Knight’ ended with Lucius Fox morally compromised and resigning from Wayne Enterprises. Have him and Bruce repaired their damaged relationship? And one more time: what are the chances that Nolan kills him?
It’s not every day that you get to see Batman getting the stuffing pounded out of him. Ouch. Nolan’s gritty, handheld action cinematography doesn’t translate well to bite-sized trailer form (and some would argue that it doesn’t translate to a full film), which means that this trailer is strangely lacking in BIG shots. Thankfully, expensive shots aren’t needed for this thing to be an instant smash hit.
We know that Batman will find himself in possession of a pretty awesome Batplane by some point in the movie, but it warms the heart to see the Batpod back in action.
Even though Bane’s plans remain ambiguous to us mere internet mortals, it’s apparently bad enough to force the police to engage in old school “run at the enemy with a blunt object” warfare.
Could Nolan be borrowing some elements from the “No Man’s Land” storyline, which found Gotham devastated and declared a national disaster area while those trapped inside struggled to survive? Seeing this kind of confrontation makes that feel like a real possibility.
Here is the trailer’s sole glimpse of Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard. Although her character has been very much kept in the dark, anyone with an internet connection and no fear of spoilers can discover the nature of her character. All we can tell from the trailer is that she’s romantically connected to Bruce. Remember what happened to the last lady Bruce cared for?
Bane VS Batman! Oh. Wait. We’ve seen this shot before. Surely there will be something new to check out-
Here we go! We’ve seen a handful of shots of Catwoman, but this is our first look at her kicking ass and taking names. As promised, note the certain masked vigilante fighting alongside her in the background.
This weird-looking weapon has been featured on so many magazine covers and in so many publicity stills that we’ve stopped being curious about what it is and have started being resentful toward it. What is it, Nolan? Tell us! Tell us now!
Yes, this is definitely a pretty quiet and melancholy trailer for a blockbuster release. Still, it is a blockbuster release, hence the car chases and explosions that fill the trailer’s final stretch.
Whatever could this police officer be looking at? You’d think that, living in Gotham and all, that he’s seen everything.
Oh. I guess you really don’t see a Batman flip over a skyscraper every day. Even in Gotham. We already knew Batman had himself a plane (which kinda’ takes the air out of this shot’s sails as a big trailer closer), but it’s nifty enough.
‘The Dark Knight Rises’ opens on July 20. Yes, we all know you already know that and plan to be there on opening night. It’s a formality, really.