It's finally here, trailer 2 of next year's biggest film, 'The Dark Knight Rises'. Shoddily filmed versions of it have been cropping up on the web over the weekend but it's now been released in all its glorious high definition.
The Dark Knight Rises trailer #2
Epic, bombastic and oh so tantalising, it's a riveting two minutes - but we're going to delve deeper and uncover a few of the secrets director Christopher Nolan has been keeping close to his chest for so long.
It all starts with the US national anthem being sung at an American Football game. Take a look at this crowd shot, the city's team is called the Gotham Rogues and on the left is a sign saying "Demolish the Monuments" which is most likely the other team's name. The Metropolis Monuments perhaps? Either way, rogues demolishing monuments? That's called foreshadowing folks.
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There's also a nice little nugget for fans here. As Cinema Blend have pointed out, the R of Rogues is very similar to the classic R of Batman's long-time partner in (fighting) crime, Robin. The Boy Wonder will almost certainly not be in the film but it's a nice little nod to the series' roots.
The anthem continues to be sung as we see a man with a cane walking towards a table. It's Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) who we next see being lectured by an emotional Alfred (Michael Caine). He says, "You are as precious to me as you were to your mother and father. I swore to them that I'd protect you... and I haven't." Caine's years of experience can be heard in every word of this brilliant line.
Next up is a scene outside the newly refurbished Wayne Manor. It's a memorial service for Harvey Dent with the Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) taking to the stage. "The mayor's going to dump him [Gordon] in the Spring," we hear, because, as the police captain puts it, "This is peace time".
It's an indication that in the 8 years since 'The Dark Knight' Gotham has recovered and, perhaps, Batman isn't needed. Not yet anyway. We then see a shadowy figure atop Wayne Manor, he has a cane, so it's most likely our hero, still filled with regret over what happened to Dent.
Next up is a fancy party with Wayne and Miranda Tate (Marion Cottilard) in attendance. Wayne finds himself talking to Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway). She delivers her lines beautifully, which should ease the doubts of some fans. "There's a storm coming Mr Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches because when it hits you're all going to wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us." She's also wearing cat ears!
Selina Kyle's character is traditionally from a poor background which makes sense in the context of what's she's saying to Bruce. However she's also traditionally a shade of grey to the white of Batman and the black of whoever the lead villain is - in this case Bane. Expect her to be conflicted as the film goes on and ultimately side with Batman (as always seems to be the way).
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We see footage of a building being ransacked by, presumably, Bane's thugs with the police captain from before caught in the middle. Next is a shot of Bane's thugs chanting as he springs them from prison and/or Arkham Asylum.
A bizarre looking room is next, it's a bit 'Inception-y' in fact. Wayne is there all bearded up and asks of the chanting, "What does it mean?". "Rise!" a man replies. Is this a place of solitude Bruce goes to after the events of 'The Dark Knight'? A place similar to the League of Shadows' haunt in the original perhaps?
Then we have the The Money Shot. Bane detonates explosives and collapses the football field from beneath the feet of the players. Some argue this is a bit too "Hollywood" for Nolan's Bat-flicks (it reminded us of disaster movie '2012') but it sets up the scale of Bane's attack and ups the ante on the Joker's antics in the last film. Where the Joker was methodical and maniacal, Bane just wants to kill people.
Cut to, we reckon, the same 'Inception-y' building as before, because later we see the place being attacked. Bane tracking down Batman to his hiding place is potentially a great set up. Wayne is seen injured as Bane gets his own killer line: "When Gotham is ashes, you will have my permission to die." He's easier to understand than in the prologue... but only a bit. After the negative reaction to the IMAX footage shown in front of 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol', Nolan may consider tweaking the villain's mechanical garble. Tom Hardy still looks menacing though.
Next comes a succession of shots. Marion Cotillard's character appears at the same party Wayne and Kyle have their little talk. Both will likely be love interests for Wayne and, if theories are correct, will play big parts in the film's finale. There are rumblings that her character Miranda Tate is in fact Talia Al Ghul, the daughter of the first films Ra's, played by Liam Neeson. This makes sense as Bane is almost certainly part of League of Shadows, who wanted to bring Gotham to its knees back in 'Batman Begins'.
Selina is then seen at the stadium which is later bombed. Joseph Gordon Levitt's character John Blake is also glimpsed for the first time. Both characters are still a mystery. Nothing of Catwoman has been seen other than a split second following the prologue and this is all we've seen of Levitt's character.
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JGL plays a cop who is integral to the story. Why is that? Because he's a character of Nolan's own creation and wasn't in the comics. There have been more than a few theories saying he may take the reins of Batman's legacy if Bruce Wayne is killed, which is another rumour. We reckon Bruce Wayne could be paralysed rather than killed, which suits Nolan as he definitely likes to give his main characters tragic ends (apart from 'Inception'… possibly). It's doubtful that JGL will don the suit but he might take up a similar role (possibly Nightwing) once the trilogy comes to a close.
A camo-coloured Batmobile is then seen firing a mounted canon as the war for Gotham begins. This is the scene filmed at Wall Street which sees Bane's thugs take on the law of Gotham. Expect Bane and Batman to be on the front line and to clash. The aforementioned shot of Wayne's hiding place being assaulted is next up before the final shot; the Batwing in all its glory chasing two of Bane's Batmobile's down the empty Gotham streets.
That's it. There's plenty here to mull over and theorise about before the film's release in the summer. But, fun as all the theories are, the best bit is that when we finally sit down to watch the final product.
'The Dark Knight Rises' is set for release on 20 July 2012.