A largely pointless breakdown of the Dark Knight Rises trailer

Tuesday May 1st 2012


The full trailer for The Dark Knight Rises finally hit the internet this morning and set the blogosphere alight in a blaze of isolated dialogue, dissonant piano and context-free effects shots. It doesn’t look like I’m going to get much else done today, so here’s a breakdown:

0:09 – This is the first live action movie to utilise the jazzy new DC Comics logo (which does somewhat call into question the authenticity of my exclusive back in December) and I for one am a big fan. I do, however, find it slightly unsettling that the C in the logo doesn’t match the C in the word ‘COMICS’ underneath. Sort it out.

0:11 – As with all good Batman films, the action begins with a cityscape at sunset. The desolate striking of a piano confirms the tone as ‘sombre’.

0:13 – We meet Bruce Wayne, who’s grown a load of facial hair since we last saw him, probably because beards are cinematic shorthand for ‘reclusive’. Personally, I reckon he should carry the hirsute vibe across to his alter-ego. Maybe then he can be the hero Gotham needs, am I right?

0:24 – “There’s a storm coming,” murmurs Anne Hathaway over silent footage of planes being torn apart. Because if there’s one thing we’ve learnt from a decade’s worth of Chris Nolan films, it’s that he fucking loves a good cross-cut.

0:28 – “I’m adaptable,” she reassures a disappointingly clean-shaven Bruce. In case you haven’t gathered yet, this conversation is metaphorical.

0:34 – Now, I know a lot has already been said about this, so I’m not going to go off on one, but I am slightly concerned about Nolan’s decision to record all of Bane’s dialogue on one of those little pens with a built in microphone.

0:43 – I’m starting to get tired of the piano now. JGL’s face is emotive enough, I don’t need my sense of tragedy ramped up by a slowed-down version of Gary Jules’s cover of Mad World.

0:49 – I’m imagining this is one of the film’s more major set pieces, possibly involving one bridge filled with prisoners and one bridge filled with inexplicably idealist civilians, more than happy to sacrifice themselves and their children to preserve a strict moral code.

1:03 – Here’s Bane again, sounding about 200% more intelligible and 15000% more ADR’d as he promises Bruce that his “punishment must be more severe”. Maybe he’s planning on walking into his eyeline.

1:09 – The speed with which the little kid in the trailer draws this chalk bat symbol is truly astonishing. I’ve been trying to replicate it for the last twenty minutes and I’m genuinely not sure if it’s possible. This is the closest I’ve got.

1:20 – Topical financial chaos is topical.

1:30 – “I won’t bury you. I’ve buried enough members of the Wayne family.” It’s good to see Alfred’s still getting all the juiciest emotional lines. Let’s have more of this and less “the lam-bor-gee-nee then” nonsense.

1:32 – Does anyone — ANYONE — actually keep track of what movie trailer intertitles are saying? We all blindly accept their presence, but when each one is 20-30 seconds apart in the midst of overlapping dialogue and fast-cut action sequences, how are we supposed to keep track of what they’re actually telling us? For those who care, The Dark Knight Rises‘s titles read:

HOPE IS LOST
FAITH IS BROKEN
A FIRE WILL RISE

They’ve got the workings of a nice haiku there.

2:05 – Well, there it is, and I can’t pretend I’m not massively excited about it too. But wait, before we go, there’s just time for the obligatory ‘funny bit after the title’, which given how entirely laugh-free this trailer has been, should be a refreshing change of pace:

2:08 – “My mother warned me about getting into cars with strange men,” says Hathaway, making way for Bale’s hysterical final line: “Where we’re going we don’t need roads.” “This isn’t a car.”

2:13 – A policeman stares up into the night sky in awe as Batman illustrates that indeed it is not a car, but a…

2:15 – … plane with the ability to fuck up continuity.