Batmania Returns, Preempts Avengermania One Week Ahead of Schedule

Please allow this old newcomer to practice inserting video links. Chances are you’ve already seen this one. Nothing for you to lose if I screw it up, then.

I was viewer #303 when that landed on YouTube circa 11:30 p.m. EDT Monday night. Bragging rights for being slightly ahead of the curve for that brief moment are mine.

And yet…my head failed to explode. I’m trusting the finished product will be exciting and as vital as any other Nolan film. Maybe the ads for this year’s Best Picture winner, Marvel’s The Avengers, have desensitized me to awesomeness. Whatever the reason, I have yet to burst into Caps-Lock cheers or pound my exclamation mark key until it cracks.

Mostly what I see is:

Bale grimaces and suffers. His two previous Bat-performances were much more than that, especially when he wasn’t being outshined by all those elderly Oscar vets. The evidence for this installment is thus far concealed. Again, I trust all the meaty soliloquies and jump-cut brawls are being saved for the actual viewing experience.

Bane sounds stilted instead of garbled. I’ve enjoyed Bane as a comics character in recent years, particularly as a demented father figure among younger villains in Gail Simone’s unfairly canceled Secret Six. There, he was well-spoken and had a twisted sense of honor that spurred him into the most unpredictable decisions in any given situation. In this trailer, his two lines wouldn’t sound out of place in any other Batman film or TV show. Any of them.

Anne Hathaway does martial arts. I’ve had a hard enough time coping with the reality that Princess Diaries graduated to nude scenes. Seeing her perform snippets of rehearsed chop-socky was only slightly less disorienting. In her defense, it doesn’t help that I’ve never cared for Catwoman as a character, not even Julie Newmar’s version. It’s one of my many secret shames that bars me from attending all the really good comic conventions.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is mysterious beat cop. I suspect his average-Joe character will bring unto the film Great Meaning. Either that or he’s undercover Dick Grayson, and/or by film’s end he’ll be the new Batman. His nebulous nature frightens and confuses me. Let’s hope it was worth walking away from playing Cobra Commander.

Batplane Returns. Whether live-action or animated, nine out of every ten Batplane appearances follow the same pattern: Batman flies somewhere he would normally drive. He activates one or two weapons. He fails to win. Sooner or later, it explodes. Spread across his appearances in various media, Bruce Wayne by now has spent hundreds of billions on single-use disposable Batplanes. The Nolan version looks sleeker than most previous versions, but is doubtlessly just as fragile.

Midair plane stunts! Between Bane’s apparent jailbreak and the BatKamikaze, TDKR looks to stay airborne at length. After the accomplishments we’ve seen in the occasionally intersecting oeuvres of Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay, are there truly any new stunts left to perform above the horizon?

There shall be Occupying. Please, no.

What do you, The Viewers at Home, think?

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