If it's crap ... We'll tell you
After spending a good hour the other day trying, because the server had crashed, I was able to get free passes to see an early screening of 'The Dark Knight Rises' prologue. It was a part of their new viral marketing campaign, and although it meant driving to an IMAX theater just to see 6-7 minutes of a film that doesn't come out until next year, I had planned to see 'Shame' in Boston as a reason to be out and already in the area. Sadly due to my crappy GPS and traffic I missed 'Shame' and spent the day shopping and eating some great pizza, but in the end it was worth it to see a prologue and a few clips of one of next years most anticipated films, a prologue that I might add left everyone speechless. Below I have a quick reaction, followed by a somewhat spoil/detail filled explanation of what I saw and then a tag with a shocking spoiler.
As for what I thought of the footage, I would say I was sort of blown away. It is an incredibly exciting and fast paced action sequence. It is said to be the opening and if so then just like 'The Dark Knight' and its bank robbery, they wanted to start things off with a bang. To make things even better the visuals, shot all in IMAX, looked amazing on the big screen. Nolan really does know how to shot an action scene and his utilization of IMAX is brilliant. My only complaints are that it is hard to hear Bane's voice, but that was less the films fault and more the ridiculous rumbling of the IMAX theater seats.
For those interested in what the sequence was (somewhat spoilerish):
It opens with a group of armed guards escorting a few prisoners, their heads covered, to a small plane for transport. They are said to work for the man called Bane. While in mid-flight the man running the operation to bring these prisoners to some unnamed location begins to interrogate them by holding them out the plane door. During the process one of them speaks up. The man goes over to him, taking off his mask to reveal Bane, who I must say looks amazing. Next we see a larger plane come up behind the one they are on, and Bane explains this is the first step in his plan. Suddenly he gets up and breaks free as the second plane, now above them, releases men who grapple down and start shooting the guards through the windows. They then attach lines to the end of the smaller plane and the one above begins to ascend, lifting the plane Bane is on until it is vertical and its wings break off. The guards on board are all forced down to the front of the plane, except for Bane who holds on to some seats. The men outside the plane then blow off the tail so they can grapple down inside. When in they attach a line to Bane who grabs one of the other prisoners, who seems to be an important figure, either as a hostage of another part of his "plan". As one of the other prisoners Bane was escorted with tries to attach himself to another line Bane tells him to stay and go down with the plane. The man doesn't hesitate. Clearly his men are incredibly devoted. Suddenly the music gets louder, we hear chanting, and the lines outside of the plane blow, releasing the small plane which tumbles to the ground as Bane, who has a line attached, is left flying behind the larger plane. None of which seemed to be CGI, all of these stunts done on and to the plane were very real. Then a few clips followed:
During the clips at the end we get to see Batman holding a new weapon, his new glider in action, a large group of Bane's army charging at a large group of police officers, we also see Catwoman all dressed, Joseph Gordon Levitt opening a door (boring but hey it is JGL), and Bane and Batman beginning to fight on the steps of some building.
Then came the most shocking moment...
I said spoiler!
SPOILER!We see a dark room, water falling....and Bane holding half of Batman's broken mask, like the image in the poster above, and he tosses it aside...SPOILER!!
Hope you didn't read that if you hate spoilers...
Sorry if you did. :P
Then the screen goes black, and the lights came back on, and the entire audience was speechless until they were able to get out a round of applause. Now, I have been very worried about 'The Dark Knight Rises'. Mainly because I think that Nolan might be trying to go too big, trying to one up the second installment, adding way too many actors/characters and a plot more complicated than his already often overly complex films. But after seeing the footage, although I still worry about the final product, my anticipation is through the roof. It should be an exciting conclusion to Nolan's Batman trilogy, with Bane as one of the more brutal and powerful villains any film version of Batman has ever faced. Sucks that I have to wait for it to be released next summer. But hey, at least I got a free t-shirt at the screening that is identical to the one in the image below.
For those interested in seeing the prologue themselves, it will be playing at select IMAX theaters in front of the new 'Mission Impossible'.