As the all-out lovefest surrounding The Avengers continues unabated, many fans have already proclaimed it the victor of the 2012 superhero movie faceoff. The marketing machine driving The Dark Knight Rises has been in relative hibernation, making the margin of victory seem all the wider. Unwilling to concede defeat so early, the Batman emerged from his cave late last night to drop off a 3rd trailer for The Dark Knight Rises. Like the film’s marketing campaign, this trailer alters its mood and intensity to maximum effect. It wants us to know that something truly big is on the horizon.
The trailer begins ominously, with delicate music playing beneath foreboding dialogue and distressing images. Destruction and chaos unfold over calming notes. It’s made clear that Batman will be out of commission for a good portion of the film. It’s also made clear that Bane’s “breaking” of Batman is both literal and symbolic. This particular villain is emerging as the James “Clubber” Lang of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. The sound mixing on his vocals has obviously been redone, resulting in a clearer, more bass-heavy tone. Whereas The Dark Knight was clearly an allegory of 9/11, The Dark Knight Rises alludes to the “Occupy Wall Street” and the resulting fallout.
Though I’m an ardent defender of The Dark Knight, I concede that the film’s detractors do raise some valid questions. Maybe Nolan’s take on the material doesn’t have as much depth as it lets on. Still, this trailer conveys the necessary levels of dread and finality. Whatever his faults, Nolan knows how to elicit the desired reaction from the audience via the marriage of sound and images. Whether or not the finished film deserves to take itself so seriously is anyone’s guess. Whatever the case, this trailer allows me to dream lovely dreams about the film that might actually be in store for all of us come July 20th.