No Time for Love, Doctor Jones!
Violence, action, intensity — yes, that all sounds about right. But hold on a moment. Our friends at the MPAA have also noted that The Dark Knight Rises will contain ”some sensuality.” Admittedly, ”sensuality” is a word that the MPAA mostly uses to mean ”sexual stuff that might freak out your 9-year-old,” but the notion of any expression of physical pleasure in the famously grim Christopher Nolan universe is the biggest stealth surprise of this trailer. (If you haven’t yet watched it, click to see the Dark Knight Rises trailer.)
Grant at Galena
Nolan has established in interviews that Dark Knight Rises takes place eight years after Dark Knight, and earlier teasers seemed to indicate that Batman has been absent from Gotham City for some or all of that time. This shot might indicate how Wayne has spent his time in exile: growing a beard, wearing scarves, and generally becoming the kind of dude who hangs out in lonely houses with rare book collections. Presumably, Batman gets called back into action by the arrival of a certain masked fellow with a breathing problem.
La Femme Fatale?
The trailer gives considerable screen time to Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle — also maybe known as Catwoman. The first trailer for Rises hinted that she might be an accomplice to Bane, but the new spot makes it clear that she’s more of a free agent — she describes herself as ”adaptable.” That’s very much in keeping with most modern interpretations of Catwoman as a morally ambiguous character. (Well, not that ambiguous.)
Richard, What's Happening?
Blink and you’ll miss a shot of Nestor Carbonell, reprising his role as Gotham mayor Anthony Garcia. Carbonell is better known as Lost‘s immortal Richard Alpert — and, intriguingly, also played Batmanuel on the live-action Tick series. It appears that Garcia is present at Bane’s stadium explosion. Does he die?
Gotham Bridge Is Falling Down
The particular geography of Nolan’s Gotham City has always been an intriguingly fluid combination of various post-industrial American cities, with just a touch of Hong Kong. This shot pulls back to show the bridges of Gotham exploding — perhaps indicating that downtown Gotham will become a sealed-off war zone, Escape From New York style.
J-Go to the Rescue!
Besides Selina Kyle, the trailer also gives a lot of screen time to another newcomer. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character has been shrouded in mystery — and his name is ”John Blake,” a name so anonymous that he may as well be holding a sign that says ”I Am the Nolan Brothers’ Reinterpretation of a TBD Famous Character From the Comic Books.” Here, we see Blake apparently on the trail of a captured Batman, asking Selina Kyle if they killed him. What’s Blake’s game? Expect to be surprised.
Sending Our Love Down the Well
Is this Bruce Wayne escaping from captivity? Or does this scene take place earlier in the movie? Bale’s look here is very similar to his Tibetan garb from Batman Begins. And speaking of Begins, this scene also conjures up the visual of young Bruce Wayne falling down into the cave. So it’s probably a metaphor for something.
Bane of Existence
”Why didn’t you just kill me?” asks an apparently captured Bruce Wayne. ”Your punishment must be more severe,” says Bane. Much of Bane’s plot is still shrouded in mystery, but Tom Hardy’s mysterious (albeit suddenly more audible) character contrasts with Heath Ledger’s Joker. The clown was all about anarchy; Bane plans things out carefully.
The vision of the Bat signal replicated in street chalk is clearly important for the movie — it was a key aspect of this week’s viral marketing campaign. The Dark Knight saga began with Liam Neeson explaining to Bruce Wayne how a man can become a legend, a notion which is a key theme of the new movie.
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Just how much of a presence will Lucius Fox be in Dark Knight Rises? We don’t really know. But put it this way: Morgan Freeman is in this trailer about as much as Channing Tatum is in the trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
Everything or Nothing
”You’ve given them everything,” says Selina Kyle, exhorting Batman to set off for warmer climates and leave the people of Gotham. ”Not everything,” he responds. ”Not yet.” Let the debates continue about just how much of an ending Dark Knight Rises will actually be. (Like an ending ending? Or an ”ending” ending? There?s a difference.)
Dark Knight 2: Electric Boogaloo
And here we see a brief clip from the exciting musical number ”Inmates and Outmates” featuring original music by Stephen Schwartz and Alan Menken. No, that’s not true at all. Actually, upon close examination of this brief clip, the person doing the flip seems to be Anne Hathaway. Is she breaking out of prison? Is she breaking everybody out of prison? (Remember: In Bane’s original appearance, the character staged a prison break that led to Gotham being flooded with villains.)
Naturally, She's French
One new character who doesn’t get much screen time in this trailer is Miranda Tate, Marion Cotillard’s high-powered business gal. Except, that is, for this one brief shot…with her smooching with none other than wet-haired Christian Bale. Boy, talk about some sensuality! Anyhow, since this is a Christopher Nolan movie and Marion Cotillard is a brunette, expect her to be dead by midway through the second act.
Destroyer of Worlds
We’d gotten some intriguing peeks at Batman’s new flying machine in an earlier trailer. (Let’s call it the Bat-Plane, although presumably it has a more scientific code name.) This trailer indicates, though, that Bats is engaged in urban warfare against his own technology: There are two Tumblers in this shot. Could this indicate that Wayne Technology has been sold to the bad guys, which means that a guilty Batman has to destroy them all himself? To quote ”Armor Wars”-era Iron Man, ”They stole his technology…and now it’s TOTAL WAR.”
Fly, Bat-Plane, Fly!
You might not have noticed this the first time you saw the trailer, but the Bat-Plane isn’t just doing some spin maneuvers for the sake of looking cool. It’s outrunning a couple of missiles. In short, Dark Knight Rises looks like it’s going to tear Gotham down to the ground. Exciting, eh?
If you haven’t yet watched it, click to see the Dark Knight Rises trailer.