The Dark Knight Rises: Trailer Breakdown

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Well, they’re certainly not messing with the wording. “The Epic Conclusion To The Dark Knight Legend” they’re calling this and, while not going quite as all-out as the Cinema-Con footage revealed to exhibitors in Las Vegas last week, this latest trailer certainly bangs the big-scale drum. The key word has to be escalation: the threat (Bane) is physically bigger, the damage done to Gotham and its residents greater, the stakes are higher. And now Batman has a flying machine…

Some spoilers, inevitably, follow.

This is where we start: Bruce Wayne out of shape both physically and emotionally. You didn’t expect him to hop, skip and jump away from that fall off the building at The Dark Knight’s climax did you? He’s hardly Superman.

We’ve already met him in the prologue and previous trailer, but now he’s sounding somewhat clearer, Tom Hardy’s clipped enunciations suggesting an intelligence as vast as those rippling biceps. And unlike Joker in The Dark Knight, Bane is a man with a plan...

…And that plan involves the kind of wholesale destruction that even Joker couldn’t have pulled off, as he put it in The Dark Knight, with a few cans of gas and a few bullets. If Batman Begins was the origin story and The Dark Knight was a crime epic, then The Dark Knight Rises is a full-on war movie.

Hathaway’s Selina Kyle is shown in custody with Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Gotham good-cop John Blake. “Did they kill him?” asks Blake. “I’m not sure,” replies Kyle, seemingly distressed. This trailer suggests that Catwoman is more friend than foe.

You can’t be in any doubt now that Bane is capably of royally messing Batman up. Or that, for the first time since Ra’s Al Ghul, he knows our hero’s secret identity (see also the later shot of Bane tossing away a broken fragment of Batman’s mask). “Why didn’t you just kill me?” asks Bruce.”Your punishment must be more severe,” replies Bane.

A few quick visual reminders confirm the return of the supporting cast: Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, and, of course, Sir Michael Caine's Alfred, usually called upon for some drily witty asides, but here playing up the emotionalism and emphasising the sheer jeopardy for Bruce Wayne.

Again, we’re seeing Kyle on side as she tells Batman, "You don’t owe these people anymore. You’ve given them everything.” But he replies, "Not everything. Not yet." You could apply Batman’s reply to Christopher Nolan himself. After the last few films, what more could he give us? Answer: plenty.

That’s a neat flip; that’ll be Selina Kyle in prison fatigues, and Anne Hathaway showing off her acrobatic skills.

This shows Gotham police department going into full battle mode with Bane’s troops. And there was no CG crowd replication for Nolan; every body there is real, all 1,000 of them, mixing it up on Wall Street itself.

Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate getting a scant few seconds of screentime. Yes, there you go: she is the love interest. Nice lampshade, too.

That’s a Chris Nolan first right there: a woman beating people up. He’s always gone for the femme fatales, but Kyle — seen fighting alongside Batman here — is his first true action-woman.

Now that is a VERY big vehicle, so big it’s steamed right through that poor little tumbler. We’re betting, though, that it’s heading towards some spectacular kind of destruction, set to top the 18-wheeler head-over-heels in the last movie.

“My mother warned me about getting into cars with strange men…” says Kyle. “This isn’t a carrrr” growls Batman, the exchange reminding us that this trilogy isn’t all about doom and gloom. And no, it isn’t a car. It’s The Bat, a product of Wayne Enterprise’s very own Q-branch which, in the fight against Bane, should certainly help even the odds.


Watch the full trailer here.