It’s been a long, long wait for the third and final installment of Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy, but The Dark Knight Rises promises to bring the story to a close in spectacular fashion.

Thanks to its theatrical premiere alongside Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the Web is already buzzing about the Dark Knight Rises teaser trailer and all its implications for how the story will come to a close – and now the official teaser trailer is online!

If you read our Dark Knight Rises teaser trailer description already, or went to see Harry Potter 7.2 then you’re already riding high on the excitement train – but for those of you who have yet to join the party, check out the official Dark Knight Rises teaser trailer below:

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of The Dark Knight Rises teaser. There isn’t much you have to give away with a teaser trailer (hence the name), and in truth, this was more of an “announcement trailer” than a bonafide “teaser,” so even less was required (or expected) of it.

Moreover: at this point you don’t need a lot to get fans excited for these Nolan Batman films. The Dark Knight teaser trailer had very little going for it when it was released – just a couple of familiar insignias (Batman’s and The Joker’s) alongside some choice dialogue that at once set up the premise and themes of the film. The actual “tease” came in the form of finally hearing Heath Ledger’s Joker voice and laugh (though, if you were following the viral campaign you had already heard both).

One would think, then, that with The Dark Knight Rises Nolan and Co. would feel even more comfortable about resting on their laurels. The Dark Knight exponentially increased the level of love and devotion for this franchise, and you could probably just tell people when the film opens and they would “market and promote” themselves right into the theater. And yet, despite the easy task at hand, the teaser still managed to underwhelm.

A lot of it had to do (in my opinion) with what was actually shown. The scene of Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) lying in a hospital bed was overly dramatic, his dialogue was hammy, had that cringe-inducing line in it (“…and now this evil rises…”), and his speech was garbled and difficult to make out. The sweeping shot of the city landscape-turned-bat-insignia was clever, but the CGI was not the best and it was a little too reminiscent of the final sequence of Nolan’s Inception teaser trailer. Even the white title screen and font of the title all seemed a little bit off (though it does directly contrast The Dark Knight title screen, which makes a bit of sense).

In the end, the only two things I really can say I liked about this Dark Knight Rises teaser were:

  1. The mystery of whether it is “Batman” or “Bruce Wayne” Gordon is conversing with (which is intriguing, either way). [Fans point out that we see a plain-skinned hand on the edge of Gordon’s bed – but again, we don’t know for certain if this is Bruce Wayne or maybe Wayne in some half-disguise.]
  2. The final shot of the teaser, with a seemingly frightened Batman backing away from the hulking brute that is Tom Hardy’s Bane. This shot was pure gold in its implications of the kind of menace Batman will face – one that might finally give us some epic Batman/villain fight scenes, which NONE of the Batman movies have ever really pulled off that well.

Finally, that fleeting glimpse of fatigue and horror on Batman’s face gave new credit to some of the rumors we’ve been hearing about how Batman and Bane’s battle turns out (at least initially). And that had me all kinds of excited for more.

Check out this hi-res pick of Bane to see why we’re buzzing:

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But that chanting… I really do hope it plays a meaningful part in the movie, otherwise I’ll have listened to that crazy mumbo-jumbo cadence over and over again for nothing.

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The Dark Knight Rises will be in theaters on July 20, 2012.