I partook in Operation Early Bird to watch the first six minutes to The Dark Knight Rises and walked away from the theater using my fingers to count the number of months to watch the rest of the film (it’s seven, by the way). The opening sequence introducing Bane had plenty of pulse-pounding action, and the montage shown after the scene surely made fanboys squeal with excitement.
This will be a spoiler-free post, so there is no need to worry if you’re reading this and already bought tickets to the IMAX screening of Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol. The Dark Knight Rises prologue clearly shows Christopher Nolan’s range and skills as a director. It is only fitting the first six minutes to his upcoming epic is attached to the new Mission Impossible with a well-executed action sequence that would fit perfectly in a James Bond or Ethan Hunt film. The only criticism to The Dark Knight Rises opening is Bane’s dialogue. Tom Hardy’s voice muffled by the device on his mouth and his hard accent will force you to listen very closely. If you sneeze, you and the people sitting around you are pretty much screwed in trying to figure out what the hell is going on. I was able to catch several words and piece them together to somewhat understand the context and scene, but it was difficult. Nolan is a smart director and has reasons for everything he does, whether we comprehend it or not. So maybe he wants Hardy’s character to be difficult to understand?
Nolan also treats fans to a short, but breathtaking montage of clips after the prologue. It showed nothing and everything at the same time (I know that doesn’t make sense, but it does…wait, now that doesn’t make sense). Even if you are one of those click-happy fans that has seen spy pictures and videos of the sets, you will still be surprised to see everything come to life in film. And in typical Nolan fashion, he leaves us with one powerful image that will only fuel many different theories as to how the director will end his story of Batman.
It’s only natural that people will watch the The Dark Knight Rises prologue and immediately compare it to its precursor, as well as scrutinize the new villain, which is very unfair. The Joker is such a compelling character because of the dynamic between him and Batman. Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the psychotic clown was brilliant, and he added a unnerving charm to the villain. Tom Hardy’s Bane is far from Heath Ledger’s Joker, however, that is not a criticism of the British actor. Bane looks physically intimidating with his bulky presence and muffled voice. Batman’s intelligence and moral code was tested in Nolan’s first two films, but Bane will be the first to challenge the Dark Knight physically, and I am very curious to see how our hero faces that kind of opponent.
The Dark Knight Rises, directed by Christopher Nolan, hits theaters July 20, 2012 and stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Morgan Freeman.