It’s traditionally accepted that third chapters aren’t as good as their predecessors. While that might be unfair to newer movies, there is a baseline for this reasoning: The Godfather, Part III, Spider-Man 3, Superman 3 (you know, the one with Richard Pryor?), all of them build on a successful foundation but unable to live up to the success of the first two movies. It’s understandable this might make some people nervous when it comes to The Dark Knight Rises, the third (and final) Batman film from Christopher Nolan, but if anybody can break out of the trap of a third picture slump, it’s Nolan, and the marketing for The Dark Knight Rises continues to make me think he’ll do so.
Building on the foundation of the first trailer, the second trailer focuses a little more on Anne Hathaway’s character, Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman). We get a sense of her role in the story, obviously working with Tom Hardy’s Bane in some capacity (and motivated out of fear). Considering how low key they were keeping her role in the previous trailer, it’s nice to see more of Hathaway, especially since I’m a big fan of hers.
More importantly, we get more of the tone for the third Nolan film, and it’s pretty dismal. Bruce looks downright broken at places in the trailer – back to the way he looked when he was living the nomadic life at the beginning of Batman Begins. I’m still very curious about how the story will play out – is Bruce this way at the beginning of the movie because of the ending of The Dark Knight or does he become this way after dealing with Bane? Alfred is obviously also concerned and plucks at the heartstrings just like he did in the first trailer.
Most important of all, however, is that Bane is understandable. This has been a huge concern for fans based on the feedback that came from the IMAX preview that played in December: would Hardy’s eccentric take on Bane be understood or were we looking at two hours of incoherent mumbling? Just based on the dialog we hear in the new trailer, I’m no longer wasting energy on that concern (not that I was to begin with).
I know it’s the week for The Avengers, but I still think The Dark Knight Rises is going to be the movie to beat this summer.