The Dark Knight Rises (2012) doesn't hit screens until the 20th July, but the first reviews from preview screenings have started to trickle in. Even though director Chris Nolan had to go some to top The Dark Knight (2008) not many people envisioned him screwing up the final part of his Batman trilogy. And the early word is he hasn't.
The Mily Miracles said "This may go down as one of the best movies ever....if this does not break the mould and win Best Picture, no comic book movie ever will". Comments were similarly glowing after a Warner Bros press screening this week, "Quite speechless at the moment, it was everything I wanted it to be", "...perfect final chapter in the trilogy", "...one of my favourite movies I've ever seen, it was unbelievable" were just a selection of the tributes that followed a post showing standing ovation. Par for the course then you might say given the months of gushing we've endured over the various Rises trailers that have been doing the rounds.
Whether preview audiences were made to sign non-disclosure agreements or not who knows, but actual spoilers have been few and far between. Most fans, myself included, would prefer to head into their first Rises showing with no pre-conceptions. But for those that can't wait nine more days there have been a few small story carrots dangled. Look away now if you don't want to know the results:-
- Bane, while not reaching the heights of Heath Ledger's Joker, does up the nasty anti, including one particularly violent moment with a Wall Street type who meets a sticky end. Parents have been warned about taking their kids along, on the basis of this one scene
- Catwoman's origin story pulls in aspects from a number of her origin tales, not just one.
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt does not become Robin, but his beat-cop character is more important to the story than first thought.
- The last 20 minutes is pretty much just Bane vs Batman, with slow-mo camera to highlight all the heavy blows.
- The story, as Nolan hinted at, is very intertwined to the previous two films.
- The rumoured ending (and it is just rumours at the moment) is that Bruce Wayne leaves for Europe with Selina Kyle/Catwoman and leaves Wayne Manor and the Bat Care to Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character to do with what he will, implying that he will step into Batman's shoes at a later date. Whether this fits into the ongoing rumours sparked by the Dark Knight Rises toyline press release which showed pictures of a figure that looked very much like the Azrael character (from the infamous Knightfall comic story where Bane breaks Batman's back and the Azrael takes his place while the Bat is out of commission), we'll have to wait another week to find out....