Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: Thoughts on the Third Trailer

For those who have not yet seen the latest trailer, check it out here.

I'm going to watch the trailer and give my thoughts in sequential order, including guesses at the plot based on rumors and storylines from the comics. Spoilers will likely abound, so be warned.

We start off with a weary and bearded Bruce Wayne. The Dark Knight Rises is supposed to have an 8 year time skip from the end of The Dark Knight, so it's possible that it's a fashion statement (reminiscent of how Bruce looks in Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns). That being said, I suspect this image occurs later in the movie given that we later see a clean cut Bruce dancing.

The next big thing is a headshot of Bane, surrounded by military personnel. In the original Knightfall storyline and leadup, Bane escapes his prison incarceration before coming to Gotham. That being said, he is freed by some group in the trailer so it may play out similarly. Given that manpower though, it is probable that his backstory was changed so that he was not born in jail.

Bruce and Selina Kyle (Catwoman) dance in an elegant setting. This is not a new pairing, though I am unsure if they will play on the usual "Bruce knows Selina is Catwoman, but Selina doesn't know Bruce is Batman" plotline they often went with before that status quo was changed in the Hush storyline. They seem to have returned to it in the New 52, so there might be a desire to maintain parity with current continuity.

Bane starts blowing up stuff, informing someone that he is "Gotham's reckoning". That's an interesting change, since originally he viewed Gotham as a jewel to be seized by beating Batman. Now the impression I get is one similar to what Ra's Al Ghul  was going on about in Batman Begins about the decay and corruption of Gotham. Given that we know Marion Cotillard is playing Talia Al Ghul, and Bane has crossed paths with Ra's in the comics, I wonder if he might be an offshoot of the League of Shadows in this movie. It would justify Talia being there and bring the plot around full circle.

We get a shot of Joseph Gordon-Levitt looking on in shock as the bridges leading into Gotham get destroyed. This seems reminiscent of the No Man's Land storyline, involving a similar isolation of Gotham. JGL is playing a Gotham police officer named John Blake. 

His next scene includes him talking with Selina Kyle and a lot of possibilities come to the surface here. He asks if "they killed him?" to which Selina replies that she is unsure. There are two major characters this could refer to. The trailer interplays this scene with images of a haggard and beaten up Bruce Wayne, so one possibility is that Kyle and Blake are discussing Bane destroying Batman in a fight. The other one, probably more likely, comes from a previous trailer where James Gordon is shown in a hospital bed looking thrashed. Blake, being a cop, would likely inquire about his superior. I would think that that information would be easily accessible though...

Bruce and Bane seem to square off, though it's not guaranteed. The scene implies that Bruce has been defeated and is shocked that Bane didn't finish the job, with Bane replying that he feels a more severe punishment is in order. Again, this makes me think back to the betrayal of Ra's by Bruce in Begins and introduces a personal element to the Bane/Batman storyline.

A small child asks Blake if "he" is coming back, again pushing the idea of Batman as the MIA character due to the chalk drawing. The timing is unsure if this would be after the Bane fight, or just referring to the 8 year period between The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Blake answers that he is unsure, with a quick shot of Bane dropping a shattered Batman mask.

A voice, I believe Gordon-Levitt's, asks Selina if Bane was the cause of her running. She replies that he should be as afraid of him as she is. This implies that he is not, which makes me think Blake is going to step up in a big way...

More general rampaging in Gotham. Batman seems to be in an underground area (the Batcave?) on a walkway and trapped behind a grate with Bane advancing on him with significant swagger. This mirrors Knightfall with Bane and Batman fighting in the Batcave, and the scene is overlaid with Alfred talking about how he doesn't want to bury another Wayne. 

The next big scene is Catwoman talking to Batman, telling him that he's given the people enough and being told in turn that it's "not everything. Not yet.". The voice here is a bit off from the usual raspy Batman growl that Christian Bale puts on, especially compared to the end scene of the trailer. The more I think on it, the more I believe this means Blake will take on the mantle of the Bat (either temporarily or permanently) in this movie. It mirrors Jean-Paul Valley (Azrael) becoming Batman in Knightfall after Bruce's back is broken, and we also had a recent period of time with Dick Grayson (Nightwing) stepping up to take the role of Batman before the New 52.

The end scene is a bit lighter in tone, but definitively establishes that Catwoman and Batman will be working together before the movie is over.

So we does that leave us? While I claim to know the specifics of the plot, I do think the following items are sure to happen:
- John Blake will be Batman
- Bane will defeat Batman (Bruce Wayne)
- Talia will help Bruce (Lazarus Pit possibly? Information on Bane at the very least)

What are your thoughts on the trailer and my analysis? Leave comments below!

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