Has it already been three years? Well, three years, five months and one day to be exact, but ever since we sat in the theater on opening day to watch The Dark Knight, the second installment in the amazing ‘Batman’ trilogy Christopher Nolan is putting together, we’ve been waiting patiently for the thrid and final film, to complete what is looking to be the best movie arc since the original Star Wars (let’s be honest, Indiana Jones took a dive in Temple of Doom, and the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy was just waaaay too long and complex). Well, we are now one day closer to getting the final film, as an official trailer for The Dark Knight Rises has hit the web, and we couldn’t be happier to voice a collective “Hell Yes!”
A couple months back we got just a peek at the first teaser, showing Gary Oldman‘s ‘Commissioner Gordon’ painfully speaking from a hospital bed, and flashing a glimpse of main baddie ‘Bane’ played by Tom Hardy. A tease if I ever saw one! Combined with The Dark Knight regularly airing on basic cable, we felt it was high time the producers gave us a bit more, and a full trailer we now have. Eerily opening with a boy singing the National Anthem at a ‘Gotham Rogues’ football game, it sets the tone for a movie that promises no one will be left standing by the end of this thing, and we couldn’t be more excited. With Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler Alfred apologizing for failing to protect our hero, a memorial service for ‘Two-Face’ D.A. Harvey Dent, and an ominous warning from a so-far de-clawed Catwoman (played by Anne Hathaway) that would send shivers up the spines of the 1%, we’re confident Nolan’s got quite a movie brewing here. Oh, and not to mention Hardy’s ‘Bane’ blows up an entire football field in front of 80,000 strong; the Rogues will probably be playing the rest of their home games at Gotham U.
An uprising appears to be in the works in this one. With Hathaway’s ‘Selina Kyle/Catwoman’ whispering an address in Bruce Wayne’s ear on behalf of the have-nots, and Bane leading a rousing, AK-47 brandishing band of busted out convicts, the streets that were once safe under the watchful eye of the Bat, will run red with blood in his absence. With Nolan coming out and saying this film takes place 8 years after the last one left off, it appears Bruce has been actually running his companies rather than sleeping during board meetings, and the proletariat have gotten sick of watching the rich get richer and fatter at their expense. A scene in which a fancy house party gets trashed, and tuxedo clad guests get drug out by their bowties, only enforces that maybe Nolan is pulling an “art imitates life” maneuver; expect to see Occupy tents alongside rabid fanboys, waiting outside theaters on opening day.
But what’s the endgame here? The trailer clearly says this will be the “epic conclusion” and a final showdown on the steps of city hall between Bane and an older Batman could prove that this will be a showdown unlike any other. We’re playing for keeps in this one, winner take all, and the whole city is up for grabs. What happens to Gordon who is stuck in that hospital bed from the first teaser? Which side will Catwoman officially fall on? And who is flying that awesome Bat-plane; the one that looks like a stealth helicopter on steroids?! But more importantly, what happens to the Bat, who is out of practice, out of shape, and out of sequels? With the whole of Gotham depending on him, can he save the day and restore peace, society, and economic equality?
So, will it suck?
NO! A hundred thousand times No. With a pedigree like this, and such a kick-ass trailer, is there any way they can miss? Nolan’s built a franchise that could run on auto-pilot and still be more entertaining than Green Lantern, The Avengers and all of the X-Men combined, plus have plenty left over to blow out every other movie hitting screens this summer. Knowing his attention to detail and cerebral history, we’ve just gotta believe he pulled out all the stops to make this one just as good as the last, and even though the deck is stacked against him without the benefit of a Joker running around, The Dark Knight Rises will come out on top as one of the most entertaining movies in all of 2012, and should fit neatly in the textbooks as the proper way to make an action movie. It will be a bittersweet end to a great reboot, but I personally can’t wait, and I would sit through a thousand horrible movies this winter and spring just to watch this trailer over and over and over again. Plus, was that a cameo by Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward…???