Seen the new trailer for the new Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises? If not, watch it on Facebook or below since spoilers will follow.
Great story telling & teasing
First, setting it up as Nolan’s last Batman film tells us all bets are off. Characters can die. Batman might be stopped. Knowing that Bane, the man who broke Batman’s back in the comics, is in this film certainly raises the stakes.
Next, cutting to an infirmed Jim Gordon is brilliant. Oldman has nailed Gordon as balancing realism with idealism, a driven, flawed man who needs to do the right thing but is not ignorant of the dangers he faces. In the hands of a lesser actor, this scene—and the trailer—would lack a lot of power. Here, it begs the question: What happened to Jim? I want to see this movie to find out.
And what happened to Batman? At the 0:43 mark, Gordon says “And then you were gone.” Not “he was gone,” but “you.” Since we gather that Gordon is talking to Bruce Wayne (since Christian Bale is using his normal Bruce voice), has Gordon learned Batman’s identity? Then he says “Now this evil rises” and begs Bruce for the Batman to return. “He must,” Gordon gasps. “He must.”
Is Bruce retired, no longer having the pain that drives him to be Batman? Or is Bruce injured beyond his ability to be Batman? After all, we never see Wayne in that scene, just Gordon. Is that because Wayne is in a wheelchair?
So, what’s happening?
What is the evil Gordon talks about? Like many have said, the League of Shadows returns in this film. In Batman Begins, fire played a major role with the League. Is the viral campaign “The Fire Rises” talking about the League burning Gotham? Does Gordon have an oxygen mask because of smoke inhalation?
And when does that scene take place? At the beginning, setting Batman on his path? The middle, as Gordon and Wayne need to figure out what to do? At the end of the film, with both Wayne and Gordon broken and beaten, but knowing Gotham needs its hero to rise again?
A few more question
At the 0:51 mark, we see someone climbing out of a well. Is this the same well Bruce fell into as a child? And is this new footage for the film, showing Bruce emerging into the light (perhaps after recovering from a devastating injury?) or is this footage cut from Batman Begins?
Same with 0:58 with Bruce doing push ups. Is that new footage, or rehashed footage from Batman Begins? It looks a lot like Ra’s al Ghul’s lair.
Finally, at the 1:23 mark, we can see someone behind Batman in the top-right. Hugo Strange? Ducard / Ra’s al Ghul?
Everyone has their theory about the plot of The Dark Knight Rises, so here’s mine with what little information I have (but also knowing how Nolan loves to borrow from the comics):
With the death of Harvey Dent and the Batman thought a murderer, Gotham has given up. For the League of Shadows, they realize even though the Joker, their agent, has been stopped, he succeeded in breaking Gotham’s spirit. Now they need to destroy the last man in their way: the Batman. They unleash Bane, an alchemic monstrosity, telling him what they did not tell the Joker: Bruce Wayne is the Batman.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon and Batman track down the daring and charismatic burglar Catwoman, one of dozens of costumed villains that have emerged. With Batman’s reputation tarnished, their partnership is secret while Bruce Wayne wonders if he has it in him to continue.
Yet both men are unprepared for the arrival of Bane, who opens the gates of Arkham Asylum, pushing Batman and the Gotham police to the limit to round up the escaped criminals. Exhausted, Wayne returns to the newly rebuild Wayne manor, only to be confronted by Bane and left paralyzed.
With the dark knight defeated, the League, led by Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter Talia, move on Gotham, but find Bane is not willing to surrender what he views as his territory. The war between the League and Bane’s criminal army—with Catwoman hoping to destabilize both forces—threatens to physically destroy the city.
With Jim Gordon injured during these battles, Bruce Wayne confesses to him that he was Batman, but no more. Gordon implores him that the city needs Batman to rise, to fight back.
Hoping to find a successor among the League’s ranks, Wayne is taken before Talia. Recognizing they have a common enemy, Talia reveals to Wayne that her father had another alchemic trick, this one for regeneration. As proof, she takes him to the re-built training facility in the Himalayas where his wounds are healed. And Talia shares the secret with how to defeat Bane: the breathing apparatus on his mask.
Returning to Gotham, Batman and Catwoman unite to take down Bane, which Batman is able to do, but at the price of killing the monstrous man. Recognizing Bruce Wayne can do more to re-build Gotham than Batman, Wayne fakes the death of the dark knight. Catwoman, recognizing the damage costumed heroes are having on Gotham, also retires. Together, they agree to help rebuild Gotham if the League will leave it alone. Otherwise, they will expose them.
OK, not great, but I’d see that movie.