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The Dark Knight Rises Prologue Impressions

Feature; Dec. 19, 2011; Channels: Movies; By Kyle James Hovanec
Subtypes: Preview
The Fire Rises! The Fire Rises!

Despite being months away from a theatrical release, a six-minute prologue to The Dark Knight Rises was released this weekend, showing before Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. While it may seem odd to release a small portion of the film for public viewing before the actual release, what was done here worked incredibly well and functioned better than most movie trailers, with their spoiler-rific details. It introduced a key character, retained the mystery of the upcoming movie, and now has me even more excited to see the final result.

The Dark Knight Rises

I'm going to try and remain as spoiler-free as possible. Some key scenes to be on the lookout for:

  • One of the subjects of this prologue is a man named Doctor Pavel, who according to the early viral campaign, is a Russian nuclear physicist gone missing. The prologue explains how he goes missing but does not explain why.
  • Pavel is traveling with a team of CIA agents. The lead agent knows all about Bane and how dangerous he is.
  • Bane is in full and present form, and he is not what most people will be expecting. One thing that does remain the same is his very scary and sinister presence. This is not done through physical intimidation, as Bane (played by Tom Hardy) is a strong and efficient fighter but no where nearly as physically imposing as his comic and recent video game incarnations.
  • Bane is shown to rely on his intellect and his ability to pull elaborate plans together with perfect results. He almost reminds me of the Joker from the Dark Knight and his elaborate schemes.
  • Bane is very, very hard to understand. His voice is muffled due to his mask with a mixture of mechanical intonations and a strong British accent underlying it all. I'm not sure at this point whether this is intentional or due to a need of final ADR recording, but there were very few times I fully understood what Bane was saying. It came off more creepy and sinister than annoying, though, so hopefully they can retain the voice effects while making the dialog easier to understand.
  • The key action scenes in the prologue are spectacular, all the more so on the IMAX screen. Christopher Nolan has insisted that 70 millimeter IMAX screens are the best way to see the movie, and it's understandable why. Sweeping landscape shots and some daring and exciting shots in an airplane reminiscent of a certain scene from the recent FPS Modern Warfare 3 made for scenes that were filled with tension and excitement. The increased image quality and camera angles made me truly feel that everyone on the plane was in incredible danger and made Bane's presence incredibly menacing.
  • Bane does something toward the end of the prologue that was creepy and very odd. I already have my theories, and I'm sure you'll have your own, too, after seeing this.

The Dark Knight Rises prologue was an excellent way to get audiences excited for the final film, set to head to IMAX and regular theaters July 20, 2012. Please remember that this prologue is showing on 70mm IMAX screens and not digital ones. If you happen to have one of those nearby, check it out before Mission Impossible. Its a great way to show off IMAX technology and set in motion what is sure to be an interesting film.

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