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The Dark Knight Rises Prologue teaser at IMAX

TheDarkKnightRises.jpgI was lucky enough to get tickets to see the six minute preview of The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX and even though I live an hour's drive from the cinema and the preview is hitting IMAX screens before Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol which I'm also going to see, I still wanted to head over and see the preview.

People thought me mad for driving that far for a six minute preview of a film, but then I'd done it for the thirteen minute Avatar (Filmstalker review) preview footage and loved it. Yes, it was double the length but this is Christopher Nolan's last outing for his Batman and this time he's up against Bane. How could I say no?

Things are different with me for this preview, I just wasn't looking forward to it as much as I was with Avatar because of a bad day and a less than enthusiastic mood, as well as the fact that The Dark Knight Rises feels less of an event for me with less hype and build up to it, but also it was a mere six minutes of footage compared to Avatar's sixteen, and for a preview ten minutes is a long time.

One great thing about the preview was that they were giving out free t-shirts for the film, and since I was with my wife we got two, and it just so happens that we got one Bane and one Batman shirt each, here they are:

The Dark Knight Rises Prologue free t-shirts

Okay, so to the teaser. Now I'm not going to do a step by step description of it because I think you should see it for yourself, which I believe you should be able to do for the IMAX release of Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol screenings, well that's what was said at the IMAX screening in Glasgow anyway.

Instead I'm going to talk about some of the key points I took from the footage which went by in a flash. Six minutes is not a long time especially when you add in the introduction title sequence and the usual closing montage of clips, however let me skim you through some of them.

The opening title sequence was interesting because I've forgotten what the voiceover was saying, but I do remember watching something that looked like cracking glass or ice, as though a great weight was on it slowly causing the cracks to form, and that these where spreading across different layers which rather subtly made up the Dark Knight logo.

The next scene had Commissioner Gordon talking at Harvey Dent's funeral and saying the key words "I believed in Harvey Dent". It was a really good tie in scene that talked about the need for heroes and someone to believe and trust in, obviously a comment for more than just Dent.

The main sequence, which took up the rest of the footage, was of the CIA transporting three prisoners in a private plane, one of them was the prisoner they were expecting to be transporting, Dr. Leonid Pavel, and the other two were handed to them by those transporting Pavel, hooded and bound.

It's pretty obvious how this sequence is going to play out, and for the most part it did just that, but it's the stunt that amazed. Very reminiscent of a Bond film (see if you can guess which one) where a plane is hijacked in mid-air from the outside in, and in a very ingenious and amazingly filmed sequence, the people who need to be are evacuated from it.

It's a fantastic stunt sequence and it looked amazing on IMAX, however there was one very big problem I found, I couldn't understand a word that Bane was saying.

The mask and the voice alteration makes it very hard to understand his lines, and I'm sure that once you're introduced to the character in his opening scenes you'll tune into the way he speaks, but my wife and I understood perhaps two lines out of ten or fifteen.

So after this fantastic sequence time was almost up, it was at this point we were treated to the montage of shots from the rest of the film. A couple caught my eye, the huge gang battles in the street and various stunts with Batman's vehicles seemingly coming off worst. There was one superb moment with his new flying vehicle which did look great as it turned a corner in mid-chase, looking just like the camera footage of the actual street filming but without all the wires, etc!

Catwoman was there in her outfit, racing the bike, and at one point looking drawn, haggard and decidedly unhappy in an orange jump suit aboard a prison vehicle.

The most striking image though was the closing shot with the camera focussing on the bottom half of a character that turned to the camera to reveal something in his hand, a cracked and shattered Batman mask.

Is he dead? Has he been revealed? Who knows. The preview ended and there was a scattering of applause, it was all too short.

My big concern though is Bane, I really hope there's more work to be done on his voice so that we can understand his lines, or that there's a decent introduction sequence for him that we can tune into what he's saying. As it was I was really trying to concentrate on his lines but I hardly made any of them out.

Still, none of this dampens my desire to see The Dark Knight Rises, and indeed it does increase it. It wasn't as impactful as the Avatar preview footage, but it was good.




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