NOTE: This article contains spoilers about The Dark Knight Rises footage shown at the MTV Movie Awards.
I can shamelessly admit to not watching almost any of the MTV Movie Awards. I don’t really care to see Twilight gain any recognition for anything. Anyhow, I did tune in for a short five minutes simply because I knew one thing that was going to happen. Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were to present footage from the highly-anticipated final film in Nolan’s epic trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. I figured it would be like all other “Sneak Peak” clips that we’ve seen at awards shows like this one: a few lines about the movie, then a 30-second clip or so. But that’s just not how Christopher Nolan rolls.
Smoke oozes from under the stage as a giant glass case rises from below the stage. In it, rests the Batman suit,
one we haven’t seen on screen since July 2008 when Nolan introduced his pop culture phenomenon The Dark Knight to the world. Then, Bale, Oldman, and Gordon-Levitt (who play Bruce Wayne/Batman, Lt. Gordon, and the newbie to the franchise John Blake in the upcoming film) strut onto the stage amidst heavy audience applause. After each one of them speaks, footage is shown from both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Applause can be heard over it as the iconic shot of The Joker (played miraculously by the late Heath Ledger, as you all know) leaning out the window of a police car comes onto the screen. It all culminates with Bane, the newest villain to be released onto Gotham City, flashing up before the blue smoke and bat symbol is shown, transitioning us back to a teary-eyed Bale, who confesses how nice it was to see Heath Ledger up there. It was a raw and surprising moment from Bale and the MTV Movie Awards, and segued perfectly into Christopher Nolan walking onto the stage to a standing ovation. But I’m not here to talk about how the presented. I’m here to talk about what they presented.
Selina Kyle (or as you guys may know her, Catwoman, played by Anne Hathaway) sits as John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) tells her she can’t run from him, not with her record. She responds stoically with “Maybe it’s not you I’m running from.” Immediatey I’m drawn into how freaking awesome that clip alone was. But it only gets better from there. It would be a waste to explain it all, since only watching can do it justice, but I have chosen my five favorite moments from the nearly 2 minute montage.
5. “Don’t Be Shy”: It’s a short moment, lasting only a second, but it puts to rest any doubts anybody had about Hathaway’s chops as Catwoman. She sits in her leather suit and simply says to someone off-screen, “Don’t Be Shy.” It’s not very revealing, or important to the footage, for that matter. But it struct a cord with me. It had the mysteriousness, coolness, and slyness of, well…. a cat. It’ll be interesting to see how Hathaway does in the final product, but I wouldn’t be surprised (or unhappy) if she stole the show.
4. The Score: I guess you could say this is cheating, because it isn’t really a moment in the footage, but it did nearly steal the show from anything else on the screen. It was Hans Zimmer’s score, bringing something completely new to the Batman franchise (something more electronic, you might say) while also keeping the best part of his previous soundtracks for Nolan (you can even see hints of Inception here). I’m intriguied to see the final product.
3. Bane’s Henchmen: This is kind of two moments in particular, that pefectly portray how much of a grasp Bane will have on Gotham in the upcoming installment. The first, shows two armed mercenary-looking type guards, standing in front of a wall made of smashed vehicles. It’s eerie and apocolyptic, and brings into question just how much Bane will kick ass in this film. The next moment is a longer clip, showing two similar guards pushing an innocent-looking (we don’t know, though) civilian into a chair in front of a large crowd, a community hide-out of sorts, for Bane and his men. Then, the creepy-as-ever Bane ascends scarily upon the man. We don’t know what will happen there, and it is highly likely that we won’t until July 20.
2. Back On The Batpod: Batman is not out of the woods yet. As you may remember, at the end of The Dark Knight (Spoiler Alert… I guess. But seriously, if you haven’t seen it… come on) Batman takes responsibility for the murders of Harvey Dent/Two-Face (Aaron Eckhart) and then flees from oncoming cops on his motorcycle of complete badass-ness, The Batpod. This new shot shows Bale, donning the suit of the Caped Crusader, once again riding The Batpod through traffic, ahead of over twenty cop cars whose lights light up the night. Batman may have to fight Bane, but he’s definitely got some other issues here.
1. “He’s Behind You”: Perhaps what’s best about this footage is that one clip puts to rest many worries. One: Bale’s voice. And two: that Nolan won’t make the movie fun, and only dark and brooding. What a lot of people forget sometimes is that Batman Begins is a really fun movie. The Dark Knight, also a fun movie, but more of a masterpiece than anything else. This clip shows Catwoman, in some tunnel of sorts, appearing in front of another armed guard and saying “He’s behind you.” Naturally, the armed guard replies with “Who?” and turns around to see Batman himself, hanging upside down. He retorts, “Me.” Here’s why this is great: a) It’s awesome. You can’t really argue with that. b) It hints that this movie is going to be a lot more fun than we are expecting. and finally, c) although Bale only says one word, it seems he’s found the balance between sounding like a normal guy in Batman Begins and sounding like a broken garbage disposal in The Dark Knight.
Overall, the footage was surprisingly good and featured a lot of new footage. It put to rest a lot of fears about Catwoman among other aspects of Nolan’s final film. We still know nothing of the plot, but with Nolan, that’s how it’s supposed to be. We just have to trust that he’s know what he’s doing (not a very hard thing to do, considering his track record as a director) and wait impatiently until July 20.