Gotham’s Reckoning: Deconstructing The Dark Knight Rises Trailer #3

Following a worldwide treasure hunt of epic proportions (thanks to those mischievous viral marketing nerds at Warner Bros.), Batman fans have been treated to the third and final trailer for The Dark Knight Rises. The trailer amps up the overriding themes of high emotion, high drama, and grandiose. So let’s take a look at some of the key scenes in this glorious 2 minutes and 19 seconds. Warning, spoilers ahead…, 

Bruce is looking old, and I mean OLD! It’s pretty clear that Nolan is borrowing from The Dark Knight Returns here (a 1986 Bat comic which sees an elderly Bruce Wayne return to action). Remember that this is set eight years after The Dark Knight. Bruce isn’t Alfred-old (40’ish I’d say) but he looks haggard and worn-down by the efforts of being Batman.

Next up is a bunch of shots that many saw back in December from the first six minutes of the movie (or in marketing terms, The Dark Knight Rises Prologue) that will introduce Tom Hardy’s Bane pulling off an epic mid-air plane hijacking (see Deadly Movies review of the prologue here). 30 seconds in and we’re seeing Bane being all kinds of bad-ass, blowing up a lot of stuff (looks like the Mayor is in for it in one of those explosions), terrorising Gotham’s elite, and telling one poor stock broker (lols) that he’s “Gotham’s Reckoning“. Oh and Bane’s dialogue has been rendered clear.., end of worries there.

45 seconds in and Joseph Gordon Levitt’s (JGL from here on in folks) looking all kind’s of gormless and amazed at our first money shot.., Gotham’s bridges are being destroyed. Is that Bane cutting off the city, or the government trying to contain Bane’s uprising? Either way some school kids look sad so it must be bad news.

Now it get’s all super interesting as we momentarily leave Gotham for somewhere more desolate. What appears to be a bedraggled Bruce Wayne in all manner of physical exhaustion being hauled-off somewhere as JGL ponders “did they kill him?”, Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle responds “I’m not sure“. Beware this could be many scenes spliced together leading us on a merry goose chase. When and where this takes place is anyone’s guess. But it all looks very Batman Begins to me. Even down to the satchel and rags Bruce is sporting (flashback?). It certainly looks as though Bane breaks Batman at some point and that he’s all too aware of Bat’s secret identity; “Why didn’t you just kill me” asks a beaten-up Bruce.., “Your punishment must be more severe” replies Bane ominously. Punishment for what? If Bane is in with the League of Shadows (re-watch Batman Begins) is this punishment for derailing Ras Al Ghul?

JGL is back with a young street urchin who’s drawing bat symbols on a wall (a reference to The Sons of Batman perhaps?). “Do you think he’s coming back?” asks the scallywag, “I don’t know“JGL’s sollumn responce. So Batman is missing. And whilst some believe he is a wanted criminal (remember he’s on the run after taking the blame for Harvey Dent’s crimes post The Dark Knight) it seems some in Gotham remain Batman supporters. PS the logo the kid is drawing is the graffiti from both the recent worldwide treasure hunt viral campaign and the free prologue tshirts from back in December.., Now that’s forward planning.

1 minute 20 seconds in and there’s some telling dialogue (interestingly again between JGL and Selina aka Catwoman) – Catwoman warns of of how scary Bane is and Alfred tugs on those heartstrings by telling Bruce that he’s already buried enough members of the Wayne family. This is going to get deep folks. In the meantime Bane seems to be fighting and smashing Batman in a flooded subway (No Man’s Land bat-geeks?). Similarly we see JGL running either towards or away from something in a flooded location. Is he coming to the Bat’s aid? I think he’s a cop on team Batman. Could he even be more? Is he a symbol or metaphor for Robin (and no I don’t mean in the costume)? Will he even try to take on the mantel of Batman when he’s gone? His character is certainly one of real intrigue.

Batman appears through the smoke of Jim Gordon’s flare in a super cool shot. This’ll be great if it’s the moment Gordon is looking for help and Batman returns from exile/injury.

Batman on a bridge! Yay! More money shots of Batman looking all cool and junk. Then the BIG dialogue sequence and I mean huge: Catwoman emotionally says “You don’t owe these people anymore.., you’ve given them everything“, Batman responds “Not everything.., not yet“. That people is Batman saying that his life is the last thing to give. Is Nolan going to kill Batman? Maybe he is! Ahhhh Shiiiit yo.

Batpod. Gordon. Selina’s in prison (interesting.., she is a cat burglar). All cops in Gotham charge Bane and his army. Awesome! Fight, fight, fight.

Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate smooches with Bruce Wayne. This too is a biggy. IF she is Talia Al Ghul as many expect, this links nicely to Talia and Bruce’s long standing romance in the comics. Oh Nolan, you geek tease.

Catwoman and Batman fighting back-to-back. Any doubts that she’s a Batman ally are put to bed now.

Final explosion montage and there are a SHIT LOAD of tumblers in this movie friends (tumblers aka Batmobiles) and then we get to our post title-card finale which is…, Batman’s got a new set of wings! Oh yes, in the trailer’s first and only gram of humour Batman tells Catwoman that their ride ain’t no car, no, it’s a fucking flying-tumbler-cockpit-type-dealy that’s zipping high over Gotham evading heat seeking missiles.

Ok so let’s look at the sum of our pieces and conclude that: JGL has a VERY important part to play in this movie and I think he’s going to get very close to Batman, could he even be Nolan’s Robin or a Batman substitute (again not in costume in any way)? Bane is going to bring the pain to Bruce and Batman in a big way. Bane’s badassness will be bought to you via clear, stereophonic, dialogue! Yay. There may be a direct timeline sequence with Batman Begins, it’s the only way I can figure the outside of Gotham stuff. Catwoman looks cool, well done Anne. Batman is definately gone for a time. and Batman MAY die!

All answers and more on July 2oth which isn’t soon enough!

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4 thoughts on “Gotham’s Reckoning: Deconstructing The Dark Knight Rises Trailer #3

  1. Adam C says:

    “Is Nolan going to kill Batman?”

    Would be something to see, eh. Rumors are that Warner Bros are planning to reboot Batman so that they can fit him in to a Justice League storyline. Nolan’s Dark Knight doesn’t seem to fit that bill.

  2. Kaprre says:

    “… Batman MAY die!” I’d like to see this. But either way, I’m going to see the movie a few times (like I did The Dark Knight).

  3. Frank says:

    At 1:45 in the trailer while Batman and Bane are fighting there is someone in white in the background.

  4. Nik says:

    nice take.

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