“What are you?” whispers (presumably) someone from Gotham’s financial district.
“Gotham’s reckoning,” replies Bane.
Bane’s dialogue is so sharp in the trailer it’s almost sarcastic, as though Nolan said: “You want clean audio? I’ll give you clean audio.”
Still, we’re glad the “Chris wants the audience to catch up and participate rather than push everything at them. He doesn’t dumb things down. You’ve got to pedal faster to keep up” source has finally been revealed to be talking utter nonsense.
Bane’s voice sounds great, and we’re happy we’ll be able to hear what’s sure to be a series of classic quotable lines in perfect clarity.
The fact Gotham's banker asks 'what are you' and not 'who are you' is a firm sign of Bane's monstrous power.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt's John Blake features heavily in trailer 3 – he has dialogue, and several action beats.
This shot interests us the most though – the look of shocked realisation speaks volumes about his character, especially when we see what he’s looking at…
No Man's Land
On first watch you might think just one bridge blows up – but look closely and you’ll see there’s another structure in the background collapsing.
This gives substance to recent rumours that The Dark Knight Rises is at least partially based on No Man’s Land , one of DC’s most significant Batman crossover events.
In that story, following an earthquake that releases all of Gotham’s freaks onto the streets, the U.S Government declares Gotham a no man’s land, destroying the bridges in and out of the city.
So, in the trailer, what looks like one of Bane’s terrorist events may well be the work of the forces of good – hence the look of utter disbelief on John Blake’s face.
Just in case you’ve forgotten the stakes are high in this one, here’s Selina Kyle and John Blake discussing Batman’s possible death.
What’s interesting here is that John Blake - a good cop - is asking Selina Kyle - a prostitute / thief / Carmine Falcone’s daughter (depending on what comic you’re reading) - for an update on Batman’s whereabouts.
Has Bats fallen in with a bad crowd during his period of exile, or is Catwoman a little bit more complicated in Nolan’s universe?
She certainly seemed like a possible secondary villain in Trailer 2 – but in Trailer 3 she is resolutely Batman’s ally.
We expect a few twists and turns to appear in Selina’s twitching tale.
“Why didn’t you kill me?” wheezes Bruce.
“Your punishment must be more severe,” replies Bane.
Setting aside the still slightly surreal quality of Bane’s audio clarity – it really is like listening to a remastered CD version of an album you’ve previously only had on vinyl – this is a nice extension to a scene we first saw in Trailer 2.
Presumably this occurs literally seconds before the Trailer 2 line that’s already burned into the brains of Bat-fans: “When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die.”
But whereas that line made us think Bane’s plan was to continue the League Of Shadows plot to sack Rome (Gotham), here it’s made clear that Batman / Bruce is the target, with Gotham’s fate a mere part of Bane’s true aim: to utterly destroy Batman.
Here we see what inspired the Bat-graffiti viral that led to this trailer reveal – a beautiful example of the perfect symbiosis that Batman viral marketing has always achieved.
Weirdly, we’re going to miss the marketing of Nolan’s Batman films almost as much as the films themselves.
This particular symbol appears to be drawn in chalk, on what looks like carpet. Is it on the floor of the school bus we saw in an earlier shot?
In the No Man’s Land comics, Gordon and his officers left graffiti to mark the areas of Gotham they had reclaimed from gangs – will this symbol appear elsewhere in The Dark Knight Rises ?
Here we see more of the broken cowl scene seen in The Dark Knight Rises poster you can get for free in the latest issue of Total Film (on-sale now!) .
Bane has a swaggering arrogance here – he’s strolling away from what appears to be the ultimate confrontation with Batman – who fought waves of goons in The Dark Knight without breaking a sweat, remember – tossing aside the symbol of Bats secret identity (so important it has its own electrical charge to stop people from removing it) as casually as if it were a chewing gum wrapper.
If there’s one thing this trailer tells us, it’s that Bane is as confident as Joker was chaotic.
This is one of several shots of characters behind bars in this trailer – both Batman and Catwoman are seen caged by circumstance.
It reminds us of the final car scene in Se7en , in which Fincher constantly shot John Doe and Mills’ behind the bars separating them – connecting them through clever framing. Morgan Freeman’s Somerset, despite being in the same car, was never shown behind the bars – he didn’t have the connection Mills and Doe had.
In this trailer, John Blake is seen in a caged area, but never behind bars. Is he more free in The Dark Knight Rises narrative than Batman and Catwoman?
Who is that?
On first watch, we thought this fleeting shot was Bane. But going through it screen by screen for the purposes of this breakdown, we’ve noticed that, despite the fact he’s wearing a very similar outfit, this bloke isn’t wearing a mouth-mask.
Are we going to see more of the kind of shifting identity trickery that we saw in the opening scenes of The Dark Knight – there, what was assumed to be a goon turned out to be Joker, here what we assumed to be Bane turns out to be a goon. Or do they simply go to the same tailor?
But perhaps the question we should be asking is this: who is he pushing to the ground?
Catwoman on the Batpod
The first official image of Catwoman showed her on Batman’s Batpod.
Because of her comic history, we totally assumed she’d nicked it. But after this trailer, we’re fairly sure Batman has handed over her own set of keys,
Later on, we’ll see Batman riding his Batpod – more Trailer 3 imagery that connects the two characters.
Batman awaits his fate
Speaking of which, it’s Batman’s turn to be shown behind a cage, as Bane casually strolls towards him with almost a skip in his step.
Through framing alone, Bane’s character (strolling, confident, powerful) is reinforced, Batman’s struggle (cowed, caged) is confirmed, and two characters (Catwoman, Batman) traditionally at odds are connected.
It’s a moment that seems to exemplify all the key messages of Trailer 3, and it lasts for mere seconds.
Anyone that still believes that Nolan isn’t closely involved in the trailer process needs to be sent straight to Arkham.
One of Nolan’s classic Batman-on-a-high-thing shots, which is almost certain to be rendered in IMAX at the cinema and full-screen on your telly.
We absolutely love these Batman on a building moments that pepper Nolan’s trilogy. They feel as resolutely from the pages of the comic-book as anything seen in Avengers Assemble .
Youve given them everything
Here Catwoman is so supportive and understanding of Batman’s struggle, we’re starting to think Anne Hathaway’s playing Robin.
This is a very different character to the one we’ve seen in both the comics and previous films.
In the comics, Batman and Catwoman have a strong connection, sharing an occasional smooch and even short-lived relationships, but they can never truly be together, because their world-views are so apposite.
It’s part of the tragedy of their respective characters – if they could put aside their differences, they could find love, but they will never be together for longer than a couple of comics.
Here, it seems like they went to the same vigilante school.
And anyone hoping for a Cat-Bat romance will be disappointed by the next shot…
…Because Bruce Wayne is seen kissing Miranda Tate.
If internet rumour turns out to be true, and Bruce is actually smooching Talia al Ghul, that’s entirely in keeping with comic-book lore.
In the comics, Talia is arguably the love of Batman’s life – she knows his secret identity, she’s entirely his equal and, whereas Catwoman always felt like a bit of a fling, in comics like Son Of The Demon , Batman is seen to genuinely long to be with Talia – especially after she falls pregnant with his child.
Yep, Bruce could actually be kissing the future mother of his son in this shot.
Considering the level of darkness that imbibes this trailer with menace, let’s hope he’s carrying a Bat-condom for the time being.
Breaking the Bat
This is a fantastic shot of Bane and Batman fighting – it appears they have VERY similar fighting styles.
It’s a blink and you’ll miss it moment, but it sums up the feeling throughout this trailer that Batman has finally met his match in Bane.
One of the key criticisms of comic-book movies is that there’s no real peril – you know your hero’s going to make it to the end of the third-act.
There’s no such guarantee here – we’re so concerned for Batman’s safety following this trailer, we can barely believe he’ll make it out of the first-act!
We’ve heard of riot police, but we’ve never seen police rioting – Gotham City PD here look more like a rival gang than keepers of the peace.
Again, this ties in to the No Man’s Land plot, in which the Gordon’s men stayed behind to unofficially protect the citizens of Gotham trapped by the actions of the U.S government.
Well, she might not get a smooch with Bruce, but at least Nolan’s Catwoman gets to have a rooftop scrap with Batman.
Unlike Michelle Pfeiffer’s incarnation, this building battle isn’t between Bats and Cats – here they appear to be fighting alongside each other.
And we seriously doubt this particular fight will end with Hathaway licking Bale’s cowl.
It’s final and conclusive proof that in Nolan’s universe, Batman won’t have to worry about whether his suit provides adequate protection from cats.
Dark Knight shatters
We don’t normally talk about titles in these trailer breakdowns, but before we get to Trailer 3’s wonderful conclusion, we’ve got a quick observation about this one.
The Dark Knight Rises is a fairly triumphant film-name – but all we’ve seen from this trailer is darkness and despair.
And even the title is no different – here, the Bat-logo is seen to be shattering, breaking apart into a hundred bits.
We’ve already been told that, in The Dark Knight Rises , the legend ends.
Everything we’ve seen in Trailer 3 suggests that isn’t an empty promise.
This isnt a car
Like The Dark Knight ’s third trailer before it, The Dark Knight Rises Trailer 3 ends on a vehicular gag.
But whereas that particular pay-off revolved around the subtlety of a Lamborghini, here we get arguably the the most direct special effects shot in all of Nolan’s films – with Bruce’s flying Bat twisting away from a couple of rockets in a sequence that wouldn’t look out of place in a Transformers movie.
For some reason, car gags are one of the few things that connect all of the Batman films (“Chicks dig the car,” “I’ll get drive-through”) but this is by far the coolest.
And it’s an exciting end to a fantastic trailer.
If this is indeed the last trailer we see before 20 July (and a large part of us hopes it is), Nolan’s marketing department has gone out in style.
We’re fairly sure Nolan will do the same.