Since I saw a press screening of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, I did not get to see the Dark Knight Rises prologue that is going to be attached to theatrical showings starting December 16. Fortunately, Christopher Nolan himself hosted a press screening of The Dark Knight Rises prologue and an extra minute of goodies. Don’t worry about spoilers. I’m going to be vague as sh** describing this.
The Imax looks amazing. It’s like watching a Blu-ray on a 10 story screen. They even use it to enhance the widescreen footage. The opening shot of the movie looks like super widescreen, like even wider than Lawrence of Arabia. It must be more than 3:1. So Nolan plays with the screen space both ways. I wonder if there will be more footage in ultra wide screen later in the film.
But the main opening sequence is a full Imax spectacle. It’s not in Gotham City but it’s a real world location full of scenic beauty and aerial shots looking down at the majesty of the world in Imax detail.
It’s a criminal plot like the opening of The Dark Knight, although even crazier than crashing a bus into a bank. In the same way, it shows an outrageous criminal operation grounded in reality, establishing a world where superheroes and supervillains are real, not science fiction.
In the same way, this prologue builds up the film’s villain, with minor supporting characters referencing him. You do hear that voice you’ve been waiting to hear. There are many elements that make it hard to make out the dialogue. You’ll want to see the footage again to try to pick up more lines.
Hans Zimmer’s score has a unique theme this time around, but in the same vein as his previous Batscores. It’s not the same twang and rhythm as The Dark Knight, but it definitely comes from the same world.
The prologue sequence features a major stunt that looks totally practical. Seeing it up close in Imax adds to the reality of the amazing feat some stunt men accomplished. This stunt may be a twist on some other genre stunts, but it’s never gone this far. It’s creatively original when you consider the entirety of all the elements put together.
An extra minute of quick glimpse goodies shows off more Dark Knight Imax glory. We’re going to see full screen close-ups on fights and confrontations, and also intimate character reactions. Nolan will use Imax to look down on Gotham City streets, giving us a literal birds’ eye view on storming Gothamites. And lots of new Bat toys.
You can see the beginning of The Dark Knight Rises if you go see Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in Imax starting December 16.