Bane is Crazier Than the Joker! Promise! Really, We Mean It!

Some random thoughts on the latest (and maybe last) Dark Knight Rises trailer …

• It’s pretty freakin’ good. It sticks to the tone of the first two movies while not completely abandoning the action, something Dark Knight did remarkably well. We’re getting a good look at how Catwoman is going to play into the story, first as a foe, then as a friend. Bane’s escape scene looks incredible, something that looks like it might be worth paying the extra IMAX money for. There is nothing in this trailer that should make anyone even the slightest bit less amped-up to see it opening weekend. Not. One. Thing. That doesn’t mean we can’t nitpick …

• There are a whole lotta famous people in this movie, so much so that we don’t get to see them all. Marion Cotillard isn’t in the trailer for a second, but that shouldn’t be that big a deal since she’s a newcomer to the franchise. Gary Oldman only gets two quick shots and no speaking parts despite his promotion to commissioner and the pivotal role he played in the first two movies. Then there is poor Morgan Freeman. You could say, “Well, he quit at the end of the last one, he’s might not even be very important in this one.” But I’d be shocked, shocked, shocked if his part isn’t as big as it was in the first two. He’s just not getting any love in the trailer.

so far so good on catwoman.

• Cotillard might not be getting any attention in the trailer, but that doesn’t mean the other newcomers are being shut out. Maybe a little too much? The movie could handle Bruce Wayne/Batman getting to know two major, new players like Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Tom Hardy as Bane. But it looks like Joseph Gordon Levitt might be playing a bigger role than anyone’s let on. He actually does get a couple speaking parts in the trailer and it looks like he doesn’t get the happiest of endings. I’d rather Batman not bother hanging out with another cop and instead would hope he’d stick to the major players, but who knows? It could work if him and Batman beat up some bad guys then went out for a beer or something.

• The trailer goes out of its way to make Bane seem just as bad ass and nutso as Heath Ledger’s joker. It’s almost to the point of overcompensation. Like when you break up with your girlfriend and you’re miserable, but you go out of your way to trick everyone into thinking it’s all good. You start hosting theme parties, you constantly Facebook post about how you’ve taken up pottery because it’s “what you’ve always wanted to do, you just never got the chance before” and you immediately start dating, promising you’re gonna take it slow — right before you ask her to move in after two weeks. That’s Bane. He’s the rebound. That’s not to say he might not be bad ass and nutso. But I’d be willing to bet 70 percent of the reviews of this movie in July will include one or a combination of the following words: “Heath,” “Ledger” and “Joker.” Bane is the Gene Bartow, the Bill O’Brien. He’s replacing a legend. Hopefully it happens organically, that Bane is a legit threat to Batman on the screen. He sure is in the comic. But I kinda feel like he’s being stuffed down on our throat in a “You thought that last guy was crazy? Just wait!” kinda way.

• One good thing about Bane — the unintelligible speech from the last trailer seems to be corrected. Whether they went back into the studio to redub it, or just changed the audio on it, I don’t know. But it’s been corrected, we can all sleep again.

• I wondered why Warner Brothers would want to premiere this trailer before Avengers, knowing that hardcore Batman fans would consider heading to Avengers to just see the DKR trailer. Premiering it online a couple days before is genius in its simplicity. Now the hardcore fans where there is no crossover don’t have to bother doing that, and the casual fans at Avengers who won’t see the DKR trailer before they go to see the movie this weekend will surely put July 20 on their calendar when they walk out of the theater. So not surprisingly, Warner Brothers is smarter than me.

TRAILER GRADE: A-

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