Return of the Jedi, Spider-Man 3, and The Godfather Part III. These were all the final installments of classic film trilogies that wound up falling way short of expectations. And at first, there was a fear that Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises could suffer a similar fate. The first set photos were weak, Bane has looked somewhat underwhelming so far, and there has been little footage released that has really wowed us. Well, that is up until now, anyway.

In just under two-and-a-half minutes, The Dark Knight Rises went from being an enigma, to becoming our most anticipated comic book movie of the summer. The sheer scope and tension in this trailer is simply exhausting. Shots of Gotham crumbling, the police department falling apart, and Bane causing havoc are all mesmerizing. Christopher Nolan isn't creating a comic book movie; he's creating a war film.

The bright colors and tongue-in-cheek jokes found in superhero movies like The Avengers are replaced here with morose shades of grey and the desperate cries of broken people. Batman is a mere shell of himself as the mountainous Bane simply has his way with him throughout the trailer. There are some really haunting moments here that are completely foreign to the comic book movie genre. And to be honest, we couldn't be happier. 

The music, the editing, the emotion; it's all perfect here. Instead of being a mindless blockbuster spectacle, this is high-art starring a man in a mask. 

The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters on July 20.