When I sat down to see Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, I knew I would probably see the trailer for The Dark Knight Rises, the third (and unfortunately final) Christopher Nolan Batman movie. Heck, I’ll even admit that the lure of the Dark Knight Rises trailer was a good part of why I wanted to see the Sherlock Holmes sequel, which I only had a passing interest in watching. So, anticipating the trailer, you would think I’d have been better prepared for it. Instead, I found myself held breathless as the trailer played out on the screen.
I loved Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, so it’s no surprise that Nolan’s third Batman movie is a picture I’m eagerly awaiting, but on the heels of the trailer that wait is even more painful now. We get a real sense of the threat the villainous Bane poses. Where Joker was a force of chaos, Bane is a force of ultimate destruction, and even worse, he’s a leader of men – undesirable men, but men nonetheless. To me, that makes him even more dangerous. Alfred talked in The Dark Knight about how some people just wanted to see the world burn, referring to the Joker. Bane clearly wants to see it razed to the ground – not burned, but salted and untouchable. Obviously Catwoman is going to pale in comparison to that, but we get a small sense of her “Occupy: Gotham” mentality here as well.
Speaking of Alfred, however, the series continues to get the surrogate parent role right for Bruce Wayne’s butler, and we hear that continue here as well. This series has really focused on the humanity of Bruce Wayne – the cost he pays for wearing the cowl and the effect the city’s need for the symbol of Batman has on both Bruce and those he loves most. I can’t wait to see Michael Caine return to the role, just as much as anything else about the sequel has me excited.
Of course, not everything is praise when it comes to the trailer. People have criticized the previous chapters of Nolan’s saga for the way the director has had Christian Bale play Batman, particularly the voice. From this trailer and the preview footage that debuted in IMAX theaters, it appears Batman may have some competition in the “tough guy but even tougher to understand” category. Bane is challenging to understand and I suspect it’ll be an aspect of the movie Nolan will be tweaking right up to the film’s release. Since he only has one line in the trailer, it’s a minor criticism, but I expect it to become a big part of how people respond to the movie when it comes out in July.