The Dark Knight Rises Prologue
Six minute preview introduces audience to the film's badass villain, Bane.
December 20, 2011 12:20 amR. Wesley Matheson
A week before people will be spending time at Christmas parties and holiday gatherings with their loving families, caring friends and thoughtful loved ones, they had the chance to do something they actually enjoy: see The Dark Knight Rises prologue in IMAX. I was among that crowd and I say it was spectacular.
Last Friday marked the debut of the prologue, which played at select IMAX theaters across the United States in front of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. (That movie was equally as awesome and is being reviewed by a fellow FYG writer). The prologue reveals the first six minutes of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, due in theaters next July, and introduces audiences to the main villain, Bane (played by Tom Hardy, Inception, Bronson). The movie will complete Nolan’s Batman trilogy comprised of Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008).
SPOILERS AHEAD (I’m not going to give the play-by-play, but will summarize a few main points).
The prologue begins with a brief eulogy of the late Harvey Dent, then takes off to some remote area in what I’m guessing is somewhere in the Middle East. Mercenaries hand over a scientist and a few hooded fugitives to a CIA agent (played by a popular actor from HBO’s Game of Thrones) and his colleagues and they all board a private plane. Mid-flight, it is revealed that Bane is one of those hooded figures. His cinematic reveal is paced well -- slow and very foreboding. Chaos ensues, stunts occur, a kidnapping happens, a-doings a-transpire, death comes to some, survival for others, etc.
Then, after all that shit goes down, we get roughly one minute of extra stuff that features Batman and his new gadget (as seen on the Empire magazine cover), and glimpses of Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), more Bane and a crumbling, chaotic Gotham City. It is pretty intense.
Let me first discuss the elephant in the room, or, should I say, the Bane in the plane. If, like me, you’ve been scouring the web for the past year for anything to do with TDKR in between Photoshopping your face onto the bodies of attractive models and crying onto your keyboard, you’ve probably read somewhere that Bane’s voice is incomprehensible. It is. I caught two lines total. But all his lines just seemed awesome, even if you didn't understand their content. (This weekend, I read the transcript of the prologue, which is available online, and it confirmed the awesomeness of said lines.)
That’s about the only complaint I have. And I only complain, because, if his voice is hard to understand the entire movie (which Nolan has indicated it may be), then I can visualize a theater where everyone is turning to the person next to them, saying, “What did Bane just say?” after every one of his lines. However, Nolan may still work in some post-production magic.
Now for a summation of the good stuff that revolves entirely around Hardy’s Bane being a fucking badass. And the score.
I’ve always liked Bane in the comics, but never loved Bane. Hardy seems to capture the elements I like about the character. He is capable, cold and calculating; he is charismatic, menacing and fearless. And, thank God, he doesn't have a wrestling mask. With his new mask (that looks like Shredder's from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies) all you can see is Bane’s eyes, and Hardy seems to put on his best crazy eyes for the role. He stares intently at everyone and you know he’s just plotting ways to break the shit out of their faces.
One of the coolest elements of the prologue was the score, composed by Hans Zimmer, who did Nolan’s other two Batman movies. Again, if you’ve been scouring the Internet for clues about TDKR and its production, you’ll know Zimmer has decided to go with a soundtrack that consists of the steady, rythmic chanting that played at the end of the teaser trailer. Well, it is in the prologue and it is a very nice addition. You don’t even realize it’s playing until it builds to its crescendo, and that’s usually when all hell is breaking loose.
If this prologue does indeed set the tone for the film (which Nolan has said it will), then I’m looking forward to it.
Again, some fans are upset about Hardy’s appearance and, primarily, voice for Bane, being a mix of British and Darth Vader and Hitler. I, however, find the voice and character intriguing and I can’t wait to see and hear more. His unique voice should resonate with fans who love impersonating popular Batman villains, like Heath Ledger’s Joker, on their way to and from work, at children's birthday parties or during a quiet dinner with their girlfriend’s family last week that made everyone at the table laugh uncomfortably and proceed to stare at their plates in awkward silence for the remainder of the meal. But no one is weird enough to do that. Why so serious, people?