Reactions among Batman fans to a new theatrical trailer for Christopher Nolan’s hotly anticipated “The Dark Knight Rises” ranged from euphoric to philosophical after the sneak peek went viral Monday.
Already stratospheric, expectations for the superhero sequel are now orbiting the earth.
As “The A-Team” director Joe Carnahan tweeted after the preview hit the web, “'Dark Knight Rises' isn't going to be big, it's going to create a scale of b.o. success I don't think H'wood has mapped yet. 'Avatar' included.”
The latest look at the superhero sequel arrives on the heels of an extended opening prologue that screened along with select IMAX showings of “Mission : Impossible — Ghost Protocol” this weekend, giving moviegoers a few tantalizing clues about what fresh evil will strike Gotham City this time around.
As a number of commentators pointed out, this latest installment in the Caped Crusader franchise seems to borrow a page from the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Those political undertones came across via a few lines of dialogue spoken during the sneak peek.
In particular, Catwoman’s (Anne Hathaway) warning to Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale) — “You and your friends better batten down the hatches because when it hits, you’re all going to wonder how you ever thought how you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us” — struck some as evidence of distinct Occupy undertones.
“Even if Nolan decided against filming at Zuccotti Park, it seems he may in fact depict Batman as the 1 percent,” Slate's David Haglund wrote.
Asked Entertainment Weekly's Jeff Jensen : "Team Nolan has made it clear that 'The Dark Knight Rises' won't be going gently into the good night of franchise retirement-rebootment. But are you intrigued or alienated by the prospect of a potentially politically charged superhero epic, one that arrives July 20 — about a month ahead of the Republican and Democratic national conventions?"
Politics aside, based on the reactions across Twitter and on movie and comic book blogs, the vast majority of viewers came away stoked for the final film in the mega-grossing series, with many taking the roughly two-minute clip as evidence that the director had delivered a worthy follow-up to 2008’s “The Dark Knight.”
“I think they can stop making movies after 'The Dark Knight Rises.' Really, there's no point…,” Miguel Conceicao, a marketing student, tweeted.
“Nolan's trailer says more in just over 2 min. w/out even trying than M.Bay can say in hours while trying his damndest,” Charlie Berens, a writer and journalist, tweeted.
“Finally saw this last night (I have yet to see the 6 minute prologue footage) and it looks at first blush that Christopher Nolan sticks the landing." wrote Nordling, a blogger on the film site Ain’t It Cool News.
As for the trailer, it remains short of plot points, beyond glimpses of main villains Bane (Tom Hardy) and Catwoman and an eye-popping shot of an exploding football field.
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Not that every element of the trailer inspired the desired reaction in viewers.
“There’s plenty to like in the trailer: the set design, the tone, the chanting, and how the frame is packed with action,” Matt Goldberg of the movie blog Collider wrote. “But there’s one shot that had me cracking up and it’s the destruction of the football field. I watch that and all I can think is, “Bane just seriously f—ed over my fantasy football team.”
One “Dark Knight” character whose presence will be sorely missed is Heath Ledger’s iconic Joker — a chilling and instantly iconic foil for Batman who will be hard to duplicate.
Lucas Shaw contributed to this report