The six-minute prologue to The Dark Knight Rises won’t hit cinemas across the pond until December 16, and the UK audiences have to wait until December 21 to see it in front of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. But Empire’s Man in LA was invited along with a select chunk of press types to see the footage early.
We won’t be publishing a blow-by-blow of the details, so you need not beware major spoilers, but if you’re looking to see both the prologue and the rest of the movie totally fresh, you might want to skip down until the end.
Chris Nolan himself was there to introduce it, and spoke a little more about why he’d embraced IMAX even further this time. “It's a film format that was invented the year before I was born, but it is to this day, far and away the best format that has ever been created, there's nothing to touch it. The best way to see that, to get the benefit of the action scenes the way we've seen them is on the screen of this size. So we wanted to get it out there for fans to let them know what this experience going to see, why it's worth seeing, and worth seeking out.
“For me as a filmmaker, this format takes me back really to how I was as a child, seeing this incredible larger-than-life format. That's something I wanted to bring back. I've found it an incredible immersive experience, and there's something very exciting about showing people this prequel. So that's why we're getting this out so far ahead of the rest of the film. I haven't started editing the rest, so don't ask me what happens in the end!”
And the lights when down and the fun really started.
Can we sum the footage up in a word? No. A sound? “Woooargh!” Launching with Gary Oldman’s Commissioner Gordon remembering an old friend we met in The Dark Knight, it then segues into the main event. A miniature thrill-ride in and of itself, the prologue features some stunning camera work (clearly Nolan felt like applying some of the tricks and style he mastered on Inception) and the opening sequence, which gives us our first look at Bane (Tom Hardy), comes off like a cross between a Bond movie and everything we’ve come to love about Nolan’s Bat-universe. Highlights include one very confused CIA agent, a truly clever attack, superb stuntwork, some threatening words from Mr Bane himself and a lot of clues about his links to the bigger story.
After the prologue came a brief sizzle reel burst of shots from later in the film, which gave us proper looks at Anne Hathaway in full costume, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and a certain wonderful toy. The major feeling we were left with is that we want to see more, and we want to see it right now.
Trust us when we say you really want to experience this on the biggest IMAX screen you can find. And where might you find the screens in the UK? Funny you should ask! You can find the list here.
The Dark Knight Rises is out on July 20, 2012.