The Dark Knight Rises Prologue: First Thoughts

It was only a few years ago that I found myself standing in the plaza at Hollywood and Highland in Los Angeles with a few hundred other people, checking my iPhone 1 in desperation waiting for the timer on the website to hit zero.  When the timer finally finished its countdown, there was a mad rush through the streets of Hollywood to find landmarked clues given to us by the Joker via a website.  The mad rush eventually led us to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre where we were all treated to a special advanced screening of the six minute prologue to The Dark Knight weeks before it would appear in front of I Am Legend.  We all walked out of that theatre feeling incredibly honored to have seen something that so uniquely captured the tone of the film and introduced us to its primary villain, the Joker.

Tonight, in theaters across the country, a similar experience was shared as thousands of people were treated to advanced screening of the six minute prologue for The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan‘s follow-up to The Dark Knight and the final in his Batman trilogy.  I was lucky enough to again be in the theatre to witness one of these early screenings and while yes, Bane is a little hard to understand the more important question is, does this prologue live up to expectations?

While this prologue, in many ways, mirrors that of The Dark Knight, it also feels much different.  While the Dark Knight prologue was an intricately planned bank robbery unfolding before our eyes, this is uses much more brute force and spectacle to introduce the audience to Bane.  While I think many people will walk away feeling as though the prologue and the character of Bane aren’t nearly the thrill that the joker was, I disagree.  What the prologue sets out to do is to introduce you to the way these villains think and execute their evil plans.

The Joker, by nature, is a character who is interesting because you never know what side of the line he’s going to fall on.  He has the ability to come up with interesting and sophisticated plans, but theres every chance that mid-way through, he’s going to change his mind and throw the plan into a chaotic tailspin that is so out of control, that only he can escape unscathed.  The Dark Knight Prologue reflected that.

In stark contrast, The Dark Knight Rises prologue sets out to introduce you to Bane who is, in almost every conceivable way, the opposite of the Joker.  Unlike the chaos that the Joker introduces, Bane is a tactician who plans out every step and multiple contingencies.  Likewise, he is an amazing physical threat and Batman’s equal in hand-to-hand combat which the Joker never really was.

The prologue we all saw tonight reflected that.  Bane isn’t out to entertain himself, he’s out to get the job done and because of that, I feel that many people will walk away feeling like this opening doesn’t live up to the one we saw a few years ago.  Instead, what I see is an opening that establishes Bane as a physical equal to the Batman and a superior strategist.  He slips in and out like a surgeons blade, executing his plan with military precision.  While it may not be as exciting or as explosive as the prologue to The Dark Knight, it definitely serves the same purpose.  Namely, it introduces us to our villain and if this is the kind of villain Bane is going to be, I am very excited to see what Christopher Nolan is going to bring us come July.

Oh, and one last thing.  Do yourself a favor and avoid all leaked online copies.  Its worth it to see it on the IMAX screen or, at the very least, to wait until Warner Bros releases a high resolution copy a few weeks from now.  The film, and you, deserve that much.

The Dark Knight Rises Prologue can be seen in IMAX theaters across the country in front of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, opening this Friday.
The Dark Knight Rises opens in theaters nationwide on July 20, 2012.

~ by Andrew Craig on December 14, 2011.

One Response to “The Dark Knight Rises Prologue: First Thoughts”

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more dude. If the prologue did anything for me, it just got me even more excited to see Bane in Nolan’s Batman Universe. I can’t wait!!!

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