And it was a hell of a trailer!
Nothing sets the tone like a young boy singing the national anthem, and tone is what the trailer really nails. When you walk away from it, the one idea that lingers is that some bad stuff is going down in Gotham.
This new trailer shares that, among other things, in common with the first. It also begins quietly, just like the teaser. Alfred worries about Bruce, and he probably should. It's been eight years, and not much is good in the city of Gotham. Gordon sits on the chopping block as the city's police commissioner, even though he let his wife think he died to protect the city. That should be mentioned in his performance review.
Selina Kyle plays a much bigger role than we have yet seen. Appropriately, she shows up at a beautifully shot masquerade ball and doesn't bring good news with her. "A storm is coming, Mr. Wayne," she warns. "And you and your friends better batten down the hatches." Her role in all of this still hangs in the balance. Will she be a full-on antagonist for Batman or will she toe the line? She did do Bruce the courtesy of warning him about the storm, so maybe it's more ambiguous than good guy vs. bad guy. She's motivated by an idea, along the lines of what got Bruce started in the first place, so that may be the bond that connects them. What that motivating idea is has yet to be disclosed, but she comes off in the trailer sounding like an advocate for the little man.
Bane, on the other hand, has no ambiguity to speak of. Between the prologue and the second trailer, we finally get a better idea of what to expect from the masked man. I love his entrance into the football stadium. Then the final punch lands firmly with one of the greatest trailer moments in years. Watching the football field crumble in near silence automatically qualifies that scene as one of the best of 2012. Other films have done similar stunts, but not with such an assured hand, so consider me on-board with Bane's supposed earthquake machine. Admittedly, it sounded too hokey for Nolan's Batman movies, but no one can deny the awesomeness of that football scene.
Both the prologue and the new trailer prove that the talk in last month's Empire wasn't just talk. In just the two short clips, Nolan has established Bane's presence and a solid argument for him as the choice for the "Rises" villain. He's big, bad and calculated. Instead of trying to overshoot Heath Ledger's Joker, Nolan and Tom Hardy are aiming in the opposite direction.
If a trailer does its job, we should be left with an idea of what the film will be like without knowing every single story beat. That's where the trailer succeeds the most. While the stadium lets us know exactly what happens in that moment, we don't know why Bane does it. We know that he frees and arms prisoners, but for what purpose? Miranda Tate shows up, but we're still not sure what evil thing — because let's be honest — she'll be doing later in the film. Selina Kyle has an agenda, but who's to say what it is just yet?
Now I want to hear from you. What did you think of the trailer? Tweet your impressions to me via @KPSull,and check back with Splash Page on Wednesday to see some of your responses and a discussion based on those tweets.
Check out everything we've got on "The Dark Knight Rises."