Friday, December 16, 2011
TDKR Prologue Reaction (Warning: Spoilers!)
Hi everyone! So last night my dad and I went to Mosi to see the exclusive imax showing of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocal which featured the very eagerly awaited six minute Prologue to The Dark Knight Rises. We arrived in plenty of time and waited in line among other excited movie goers for a few minutes before being allowed entrance into the mildly disorienting egg-shaped theater to scale its steps and find a pair of seats that agreed with us. After a wait that felt like an eternity in which more and more eager looking people filed through the doors and filled up the rows the theater finally darkened and the familiar DC comics and Warner Bros. logos flashed across the screen amidst a passionate flurry of whoops and cheers, some of them even coming from other people in the theater (ha ha.)
The prologue begins with a shot of somber looking Commissioner Gordon standing before a podium and adressing what I am assuming are a number of Gotham citizens and law officials. Gordon says that he believed in Harvey Dent and it will be a long time before someone inspired people the way he did. Then the scene suddenly shifts gears to a long stretch of land in an undisclosed location. An armored jeep pulls up to a small plane manned by a team of CIA agents and a hanful of hooded prisoners are brought into their custody. To be perfectly honest I am a little hairy on the details of exactly what was going on but basically one of the prisoners is revealed to be Bane who, after decieving the authorities into believing they were at their mercy, forcefully takes them apart in true villainous fasion with his team of mercenaries in tow. The amazing arieal sequence that ensues is both thrilling and chaotic as Bane's crew manages to blow apart the entire rear of the plane as a larger aircraft begins to overtake it. In a scene quite similar to Batman's use of the "skyhook" during his Hong Kong detour in The Dark Knight, Bane makes off with a certain Doctor who I'm assuming is important to his agenda somehow while the ruined plane and its ill fated passengers plummet to their doom below.
The entire scene is absolutely incredible but the only thing I kind of was a little iffy on was Bane's voice. Granted, I really dug the emotionally detached almost Hannibal Lectarish way in which he spoke but the fact that his voice is processed through the mask gives his speech a warbling mettalic sound that, while cool, made his dialogue awefully difficult to understand at times. Judging from other reviews I have been reading, it seems alot of people share this opinion and I am certain the filmakers will take notice and easily rectify this in the months of post production ahead.
From there the action transitioned to a montage footage from the film including Batman taking aim with his fancy new laser gun, some cool shots of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, some shots of what I in which I believe both Catwoman and Batman hauling tail on the Bat-pod, a shot of what looks like the new Bat-plane or whatever the heck that thing is, a shot of what looked like Bane and and a team of his men repelling down the old well that we know from the first movie leads into the Batcave, and a truly awesome shot of Batman and his army of law inforcers colliding with Bane and his army of convicts on the steps of what appears to be Gotham City Hall.
Perhaps the most striking and heart-wrenching image came at the end though, in which we see Bane holding the shattered remnants of Batman's cowl before casually tossing it on the ground as though it were a filthy diseased ridden thing. The action finally concluded with the shattered visage of the Bat symbol unfolded across the screen along with the ominous tagline "The Legend Ends" July 2012.
The reaction, or lack there of, from the audience was palpable. Never since the ending of The Passion of the Christ have I observed a theater full of formerly excited and socially active people turn so silent and somber so fast. The marketing for this film is truly building a sense of dread and suspense the likes of which no prior comic book based movie has ever even remotely attempted before. There were a few sparse claps when the screen again went dark and I offered up a lone cheer despite the emotional gut-punch of the concluding scene.
In closing I thought the proglogue was pretty damn near the epitomy of awesome, and a thrilling and memorable way to introduce what truly looks to be one of, if not the most dangerous and formidable adversary The Dark Knight has faced in his illustrious cinematic career. Mission Impossible was pretty good but honestly I would have paid the 11+ charge just to see this and waked away a happy camper, if not a mildly traumatized camper.
Until next time.