Christopher Nolan's 'The Dark Knight Rises' Preview: What the Media Is Saying

Dark Knight Rises - Movie Still: Tom Hardy - 2011
Warner Bros. Pictures
One attendee at the press preview called the footage "a miniature thrill ride" and another praised Nolan as a "brilliant filmmaker," but several complained that Tom Hardy was hard to understand as the masked villain Bane.

The blogosphere was abuzz Thursday night with reactions to an eight-minute preview of The Dark Knight Rises that was unveiled to press by Warner Bros. and Christopher Nolan.

The preview, which will be seen later this month in select IMAX theaters before Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol, introduced Bane, the Batman movie's major villain, played by a masked Tom Hardy. The footage revolved around a heist involving a plane.

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Those in the audience at Universal City's AMC IMAX theater applauded after the video ended and soon after hit the Internet to post their first reactions to the footage.

The Hollywood Reporter's Borys Kit noted that the crowd was "definitely impressed" with the sequence, which was "grand in scope" and "filled with a lot of tension and dread."

Some attendees "did point out one pickle, however: the sound," he added. "It may be early in the sound mixing process, but a lot of key dialogue, particularly that of Bane, who speaks via a mask, was unintelligible."

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Empire's James White, meanwhile, was one of those who left the theater amazed at the footage.

"A miniature thrill ride in and of itself, the prologue features some stunning camera work (clearly Nolan felt like applying some of the tricks and style he mastered on Inception) and the opening sequence, which gives us our first look at Bane (Tom Hardy), comes off like a cross between a Bond movie and everything we’ve come to love about Nolan’s Bat-universe," he wrote, adding: "The major feeling we were left with is that we want to see more, and we want to see it right now."

SuperHeroHype's Silas Lesnick echoed those sentiments, writing that the preview ended with a "rapid montage of shots" that "feature a lot to excite fans."

"Think less The Dark Knight and more Inception or, even closer, an IMAX version of a James Bond film," he wrote of the footage.

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But he also noted the sound issues.

"Though the response from the crowd was overwhelmingly positive, there was much discussion about Bane's voice," he added. "Muffled by his mask and featuring a British accent, it's difficult to fully understand exactly what he is saying (but likely intentionally)."

Alex Billington of FirstShowing.net tweeted his thoughts on the preview. He also wrote that he couldn't understand Hardy "half the time," but was enthusiastic about what he saw.

"TDKR IMAX prologue was amazing," he tweeted. "I didn't think he could, but I think Nolan has done it, he's made a movie to top TDK. Holy s--- so good!!"

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He then added: "There is Catwoman, Bane, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, it looks like everything I could've wished for and more. Nolan, such a brilliant filmmaker."

The movie marks Nolan's final film in his Batman trilogy, which stars Christian Bale in the title role. The Dark Knight Rises -- which also stars franchise newcomers Anne Hathaway as Catwoman along with Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard and Josh Pence -- opens July 20.