'Dark Knight Rises': What Does Movie Awards Debut Mean For Trilogy?

By Ryan J. Downey.

The 2012 MTV Movie Awards gave DC devotees and lovers of Bob Kane's most famous creation everywhere the two things we've wanted most from "The Dark Knight Rises" footage thus far: a better look at Bane, the man who broke the Bat, and more time with Selina Kyle in both of her guises.

For starters, Catwoman and Batman appear to be working together in a fantastic scene reminiscent of one of most seminal moments from "Batman Begins," where our hero pops into frame hanging upside down like "Spider-Man." Of course, he's not about to kiss Mary Jane. He's punching somebody.

And even as we continue to bask in the optimism and brightly-colored, world-saving fancy of Marvel's gargantuan "Avengers" movie, we were reminded of the grim and sobering counterpoint of the dark, brooding and somber world of Bats. Especially as Selina Kyle sits with the Gotham City cop played by Christopher Nolan veteran Joseph Gordon-Levitt and dishing out the foreshadowing about Bane's scariness like a bowl full of catnip-laced milk.

No problem understanding the bit of dialog spoken by Tom Hardy as Bane in this trailer. No problem understanding how much he means business when he catches Batman's fist and stares at him from behind his mask. The Joker was filled with gleeful chaos, but the more we see of Bane, the more his studied, measured, calculated and unrestrained brutality becomes clear. Whatever elements of the classic "Knightfall" storyline we may or may not get from this movie (kind of hard to imagine Azrael will show up with an armored-looking Batsuit, but you never know…), we've come a long, long, long way from the campy sideman who palled around with Poison Ivy in 1997's disastrous "Batman and Robin," played by a former professional wrestler.

The darker turn the Caped Crusader took in legendary Frank Miller tales like "Year One" and "The Dark Knight Returns" has certainly achieved an onscreen counterpart with Nolan's movies. The more we see of "Rises," the more confident we are feeling about its worthiness as a successor to the nearly flawless "Dark Knight." Sure, Heath Ledger's jaw-dropping/Oscar-winning interpretation of a certain smiling, enigmatic arch villain gave the last movie some unrepeatable mojo. His loss is still felt on multiple levels, as we were reminded when Bale choked up last night.

But Bane is a completely different type of villain (though he does share the Joker's penchant for blowing up landmarks), and "The Dark Knight Rises" footage seemed more tied than ever to the first flick in the trilogy, in terms of vibe and tone. It can't be an accident that Nolan and crew have been trotting out footage from the first two films, going all the way back to Ra's al Ghul's training of Bruce, while rolling out glimpses at "Rises." Just as Nolan tricked the audience into thinking Liam Neeson was playing someone other than Ra's during the first section of the movie, maybe, just maybe… The point is, while we've seen a lot of "The Dark Knight Rises" at this point, there have got to be more than a few surprises still in store.

One more thing: let's not forget that look at the Batcave! Bats iconic HQ burned down in "Batman Begins," but it looks like it's finally back up and running. There probably isn't a T-Rex or a giant penny in there, but from what we saw in the footage, there was plenty of cool to make up for that.

Worried about spoilers? We're still sitting pretty, even with all of our footage analysis. Because as we've all learned, the movie is nearly three-hours long! At 2:45 minutes, it's going to be the longest of Nolan's trilogy by at least 15 minutes.

What did you think of the "Dark Knight Rises" footage at the Movie Awards? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!