As the early reviews of The Avengers have come in, two things have crossed my mind: 1). holy crap, I’m so grateful that Joss Whedon directed this 2). I’m so excited for Thursday at midnight and 3). God, I hope people don’t start damning The Dark Knight Rises. It’s going to be hard to not compare the two films: both are directed and acted by talented people who absolutely love these characters, both are sequels that are a culmination of their earlier films and both are set to be major blockbusters. Dark Knight Rises already has huge shoes to fill after the juggernaut of the last Batman film – now it has to compare with a fellow superhero movie that has already shattered international records.
But I have faith in Christopher Nolan and his vision of the Batman. Actually, every trailer has brought another interesting layer to what I’m expecting from this final chapter of his trilogy. In this newest one, we finally get a little more of Anne Hathaway’s Selena Kyle/Catwoman, but we also get something I love about Nolan’s style – the absolute silence:
In a world where action film trailers are set with the rocking-est of rock ballads, Nolan hits us with that wavering silence that brings so much tension and even terror. I love how the gang’s chant (which I am a part of) slowly creeps into the painfully slow string music before taking over into chaos. I also got chills when I saw that bridges fall without a sound; the man knows how to build drama. And that’s really what I’m expecting from Dark Knight Rises … I’m expecting the drama and tension that comes with Batman’s last stand.
The trailer here gives away the working theory I have; to paraphrase Bruce about midway through the trailer, he has one more thing to give the people of Gotham – he’s going to give them his life. Remember that the two Nolan Batman films before it are titled what happened at the end of the movie. Bruce only really begins his life as Batman fully only at the end of the first movie. The second movie ends with Gordon telling his son that Batman is now Gotham’s Dark Knight (only time the title is actually said in the movie, by the way). And the last film is The Dark Knight Rises. I have no doubt that the Dark Knight will fall, only to have someone rise in his stead. I’ll give you one guess who I’m thinking will be Batman’s heir …
Back to the trailer, what I love about Nolan’s movies is that they’re very literary-focused works. There’s plenty of symbolism and a real focus on the character’s journey in his work, and I eat that stuff up like candy. Bane looks to be a formidable antagonist for both our hero and the audience – he’s not as obvious as the Joker, but that’s what makes him that much more dangerous. And let’s face it, the Joker made it clear that he didn’t want to kill his new favorite toy … he didn’t even necessarily want to break his new favorite toy. Now Bane … well, Bane is ready to break the Batman. Make of that what you will, but like watching Sherlock and Moriarty, I am prepared for a fall.
OK, on to Catwoman – we see quite a few versions of her in the trailer. In her words, Selena is adaptable, and I fully expect her to play both sides. Hathaway seems to be able to pull off some of the slinkier lines (and I liked her quippy last bit when she accepts a ride from the Bats), but I’m still waiting to see if she can maintain that effortlessly sexy aura we expect from Catwoman. We also see a little of her true feelings for Batman and I really just hope that she doesn’t just become the woman behind the man. I want her to stay her own person even while she’s helping Batman. However, we do get to see her kick some ass before the trailer was through, so that’s a good sign.
Oh, and did I mention we get to see the Batjet? … Or, you know, whatever they call it in the movie, but we all know it’s the Batjet.