'Dark Knight Rises' prologue whets fan appetites

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"The Dark Knight Rises" gave fans a small taste of what's to come on a very big screen, showing a six-minute prologue Friday on IMAX screens including the Carnegie Science Center's Rangos Omnimax theater.

The opening sequence of the third Batman film from Christopher Nolan takes place on an airplane in which military operatives are transporting prisoners with hoods over their faces. One is revealed to be the brawny, back-breaking villain Bane, who wears a malevolent mask to rival Hannibal Lecter's. Bane, new to director Nolan's franchise, is portrayed by Tom Hardy, who was in Pittsburgh to shoot both "Warrior" and "The Dark Knight Rises" and previously worked with the director on "Inception."


Fans on opening day were generally blown away by the visuals and curious about Bane's voice, which with the mask, the plane noises and the British Hardy's German accent seemed muffled and hard to understand.

The plane sequence is followed by flashes of Christian Bale as Batman and Anne Hathaway as Selena Kyle/Catwoman and you might catch a glimpse of Smithfield Street, but the scene belongs to Bane and the aerial effects seen on the giant screen. On Friday at the Carnegie Science Center, where the prologue precedes the documentary "Tornado Alley," the theater was packed mostly with schoolchildren on field trips. About a dozen fans who came just for the prologue did not stay for the documentary.

They did wait for the final visual, a reflection of the newest poster for "The Dark Knight Rises," which shows Bane walking away from a broken Batman mask in the foreground. The tagline reads: "The Legend Ends." The film is due in theaters July 20.

-- Sharon Eberson, Post-Gazette online features editor

First Published December 16, 2011 5:00 AM


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