If I pull that off, will you die?

It would be extremely painful.

You're a big guy.

For you.

This coming Tuesday, one of 2011's finest films, Warrior, will be released on DVD.

I fortunately caught it on the big screen but I was among a minority group: it did not perform well at the box office.

The story centers around two brothers competing in a mixed martial arts competition, one of whom is portrayed by Tom Hardy.

See it: not only for it's superb acting and nicely done action scenes but also as a precursor to Hardy's portrayal of "Bane", the villain in next summer's The Dark Knight Rises.

He sports an imposing physicality and intensity along with top notch acting chops

And now, with that mask, all in all is one scary s.o.b.

I've seen the first six minutes of Rises - it's attached to Imax showings of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - and in it, Hardy's Bane makes hist first appearance.

And if you recall the first prologue to The Dark Knight, with Heath Ledger's Joker making his grand entrance, you will note some similarities.

Let me also mention a general complaint  has been that Hardy's dialogue is difficult to understand (think me on The Loon the day after St. Patrick's Day) with his voice 1) electronically altered and 2) he sports a thick - and convincing - Latino accent.

I was able to understand more of his speech than some seemed to but nonetheless some of it was still tough to make out.

The prologue opens with a brief shot of Commissioner Gordon eulogizing the late Harvey 'Two Face' Dent, whose crimes Batman accepted blame for at the end of The Dark Knight (Director Christopher Nolan has already stated that the new film will take place eight years later).

We then cut to a car driving through a remote field location until it arrives at waiting airplane.

There, a group of C.I.A. agents await the delivery of a "Dr. Paval" (sic) by a group of machine gun toting mercenaries.

They also are delivering three men with bound hands and dark hoods over their faces.

The Dr. is apparently wanted by the C.I.A. and is turning himself in in some sort of plea agreement.

"Why would I want them?", the head C.I.A. dude asks one of the mercs', gesturing to the three hooded captives.

"They work for the masked man", the merc replies.

C.I.A. guy pauses, impressed: "Bane".

Everyone boards the plane and they're airborn. The hooded men are placed on their knees and head C.I.A. guy informs them that headquarters has given him the nod to bring back Dr. Paval and only one of them.

"The first one to talk gets to stay on my aircraft", he tells them as a door is thrown open.

Two refuse to talk. They are cast out the door.

The last remaining hooded guy then asks something along the lines of "perhaps you should try someone who has met the man?", in a weird sounding voice.

We know what's coming.

The hood is slowly removed and we see Hardy as Bane, complete with the ominous facial mask that is strapped to the back of his shaved skull and covers his nose and mouth.

"If I pull that off, will you die?", the C.I.A. guy asks him.

"It would be extremely painful", Bane replies.

"You're a big guy", the agent says somewhat condescendingly.

"For you", Bane tells him.

The agent asks the still bound Bane if getting caught was part of his "master plan".

"Of course", Bane replies pleasantly.

We then get a shot of an even bigger plane flying over the top of the C.I.A.'s.

Bane then says something about the Dr. refusing "our offer" when the C.I.A.'s offer out-bid theirs so they had to tag along to find out what he told the Americans.

"I said nothing!", the Dr. is quick to offer, obviously terrified.

"So what's the next step of your master plan?", the agent queries sarcastically.

"Crashing this plane", Bane matter-of-factly replies.

And let me say, what follows is pretty mind-blowing on the big Imax screen.

Ninja/commando guys descend from the plane above and attach cables to it. The bigger aircraft then yanks it vertically and everyone tumbles to the bottom.

The commando guys then set charges that blow off the plane's wings and tail end. Two more of Bane's men drop in with a body bag and open it. Bane breaks the ropes holding his wrists and knocks out the C.I.A. leader. He then grabs the Dr. with one arm and reaches in the body bag and and pulls out a blood transfusion bag and tube.  He inserts a needle into his arm and pumps his own blood into the dead man's body.

One of Bane's men begins to strap himself into an escape harness when Bane stops him and says "No! They expect one of us in the wreckage, brother".

"We started a fire", replies the man nodding.

"The fire rises", says Bane (this is I assume an indication of how frighteningly loyal Bane's followers are, not unlike the members of Al-Qaeda).

Bane then grabs the Dr., hits a switch and his harness pulls them both up towards his plane while the C.I.A. plane plummets to earth.


As I mentioned earlier, the scene is similar to Joker's bank robbery in the opening of the previous film in that it shows Bane cleverly injecting himself into the chaos and using and disposing of his own people when he deemed their usefulness expired.

Then a quick vignette of scenes from the film follows: we see The Tumbler re built and in original, military camouflage paint job. We see what one can assume will be The Bat Wing flying behind it.

We see Batman standing on the steps of a large, government-looking building fist fighting Bane in broad daylight. There's a brief shot of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Batman riding the Bat Pod.

It ends with a shot of bane walking away while holding a section of the shattered Bat mask and dropping it to the ground (this echoes the latest teaser poster, which I posted a shot of this past week).

Another new two minute trailer that is attached to Sherlock Holes: A Game of Shadows was also released this weekend.

It's footage reportedly suggests that Bane is specifically targeting Gotham City and is unleashing terrorist-like attacks on it.

Agian, the prologue footage that is shown on Imax screens is beyond belief and Christopher Nolan has stated he shot far more of Rises in Imax form than he did in the previous film.

The Dark Knight Rises is out July 20th, 2012.