Trailer Analysis: The Dark Knight Rises
With comic book buzz around the corner and starting with a bang tommorow when The Avengers hits theaters at midnight, of course Christopher Nolan wouldn't allow his film to be forgotten about. The Dark Knight Rises final trailer has been released and will be attached to the Avengers. This new trailer is quite surprising in tone, and leads to viewers questioning whether or not The Dark Knight will make it through the entire film. It's something I have questioned since the beginning of development, as I still firmly believe he will die. Now with the inclusion of Joseph Gordon Levitt into the project and his character "John Blake" being quite possibly an orphan, how could you not believe the Bat is in danger. I'll get to that reasoning later though. The happiest moment for me and I am sure other fans was that you could actually understand Bane now. Tom Hardy is a terrific actor but sometimes with his voice it can be hard to understand him Thankfully Christopher Nolan was not going to allow that to effect his final Batman film and Bane's voice is menacing and clear now.
The trailer has plenty of interesting shots, but I am going to focus on this one first. In this shot we have John Blake (Joseph Gordon Levitt) stunned to see something happening in front of him. Judging by the shot after this of bridges being destroyed and by the background of this shot, it seems as if he was trying to get people across only to see first hand how bad things have gotten. I mentioned before in a previous article I wrote how I think this film with follow the "Knightfall" and "No Man's Land" story lines of the Batman universe. In "No Man's Land", the U.S. government officially evacuate Gotham City and then end up abandoning them when things get bad. To ensure everyone else safety, they isolated Gotham by destroying the bridges so no one can enter or leave. Doing something along those lines would give the film the sense of hopelessness that the trailer seems to be going for. The other interesting aspect of this shot of John Blake is the school bus behind him. If you have a keen eye. the writing on the side says "Home for Kids". In a later shot you also see two children looking out of the bus presumably at the destruction of the bridges. Blake is then again seen talking to one of those children later in the trailer. This leads me to believe that Blake has taken it upon himself at a point in the film to personally watch over these children. Now this next part may be a stretch, but I would not be surprised by any means if there is some truth in it. For all we know Blake may be an orphan himself and may not actually know his real birth name which is why he would take it upon himself to watch over these orphaned children on the bus. Now, if he doesn't remember his own birth name that leaves plenty of possibilities as to who he could be. Following the "Knightfall" story line he could be Jean-Paul Valley who took over for the Batman as the vigilante named Azrael when Bane broke his back. The other possibilities are that of Dick Grayson and even Jason Todd. I personally have a hard time seeing him be Jean-Paul Valley because if he does become Azrael then the film could become cluttered, which I doubt Nolan would do. Instead, Nolan could be combining elements of all three of the characters into Blake to create a character that best fits his Bat universe.
This shot of Bane walking away with the broken cowl of Batman is a signature shot. For crying out loud it is even on the poster for the film. The idea of Batman being absent, or heaven forbid dead is alluded to frequently in the trailer and when we see a confident Bane walking toward the camera with the broken cowl. The idea really sets in then. Even more so when we see Blake and Selina Kyle talking, Blake asks "Did they kill him?". That clip is then followed by a scene between a beaten and caged Bruce Wayne with Bane towering over him. Bane tells him he didn't kill him because his punishment needs to be more severe. That could be interpreted in different ways, as it is unsure whether he directs it towards Bruce Wayne the man or Batman the symbol. We all see scenes where Bruce is climbing out of a hole similarly to Batman Begins. We know this film will have flashbacks, so it is likely that those flashbacks will have something to do with Ra's al Ghul and Bruce Wayne. Later in the trailer we even see "Miranda Tate", and honestly I don't think anyone really believes that's her name. I think we all believe that she is in fact Ra's al Ghul's daughter and true love of Bruce, Talia al Ghul. In the mansion we are treated to a quick shot of the two of them embracing each other and kissing. The other aspect of the trailer that harkens back to Batman Begins is when Selina Kyle says to Batman "You don't owe this people anymore, you've given them everything." To which of course the brooding Bat says "Not everything, not yet." This of course can be interpreted to his speech upon coming back to Gotham when he said as a man he can be corrupted but as a symbol he can be everlasting. What better way to become a legend then to die protecting the city he loves?
Other Batman Hubs
- Batman: Catwoman
A character profile of the morally grey Catwoman
- Batman: Ra's al Ghul
A character profile of the immortal villain Ra's al Ghul
- Batman: The Joker
A character profile of the Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker
- Batman: Bruce Wayne
A character profile of Bruce Wayne, a.k.a Batman
- Batman: Bane
A character profile of the villain Bane
- Preview: The Dark Knight Rises
A detailed preview of the finale to the Nolan Batman Trilogy