Special Preview Review: The Dark Knight Prologue

daniel cohen reviews the hotly anticipated prologue to Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film, which premiered in front of Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol in IMAX this weekend …

With the exception of maybe Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, I can’t think of a movie in my lifetime I have anticipated more than The Dark Knight Rises, director Christopher Nolan’s final chapter in his Batman trilogy. Ever since I walked out of the theater in 2008 after watching The Dark Knight, I have been thinking about what this third film would be. And the anticipation hasn’t slowed down once since that fateful day. It seems like only yesterday we were reading BS rumors about Johnny Depp as the Riddler, Angelina Jolie as Catwoman, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin … remember those? But those days are long gone, as today I have seen six minutes of footage for The Dark Knight Rises, which comes out July 20, 2012.

Shown in front of Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol on specific 70 mm IMAX screens, the first six or seven minutes of the film (the prologue) was showcased for the first time. To be honest, I was hesitant about seeing this as I wanted to go in with a pure experience on July 20, 2012, but I just couldn’t resist.

Tom Hardy as Bane

I’m not going to really go into detail here, but the sequence introduced the big villain of the film, Bane, played by Tom Hardy. Hardy was Eames in Nolan’s Inception, and also gave a fantastic performance in Warrior earlier this year. If I had to describe the scene in one word, it would be ‘riveting.’ Holy shit, this was ridiculous. It’s an aerial sequence, and that’s all I’m going to tell you. The end of the scene is truly awe-inspiring. With the majority of this film being filmed in IMAX, you can tell with this prologue that Nolan wants it to be seen in IMAX.

My only complaint is with the audio. It’s hard to hear anyone talk, and Bane in particular was impossible to hear. I imagine this will be rendered for the final film.

Bottom line, I’m glad I saw this. If you are like me, and salivating for this film, get to an IMAX and check it out. Remember though, it has to be a 70mm IMAX screen. Call your theater to make sure. Also, at the end, they show a quick sizzle reel of other quick scenes, and the last shot of the entire thing basically sent me into convulsions.

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.