Say What?: Bane’s Garbled Speech in “Dark Knight Rises”

Tom Hardy as "Bane" in "Dark Knight Rises"

Not only did I see the prologue to Dark Knight Rises but I was excited about it. I’m much more savvy on other comic series than Batman, but I’ve always loved the cartoon and I’ve seen all the movies. Bane is a relatively new addition to the Batman villain roster, debuting for the first time in 1993. I like Tom Hardy, so I was excited to see him in this role, but it’s really hard to be excited about something you cannot understand.

Christopher Nolan is reportedly working on it, but doesn’t plan to tweak it too much. He told The Hollywood Reporter, it was OK if people didn’t understand the prologue as long as they got the overall message. For a person like me who loves visuals and can forgive a poor story line if it’s beautiful (I love all of Baz Luhrman’s films and I’m pretty sure the scripts aren’t that great), that’s fine. Let’s face it: this will probably be a visual masterpiece with Nolan at the helm. But a lot of people really want to know what the characters are saying, especially if they pay $10 to see it. Plus, we can’t forget that Christian Bale’s Batman voice has become such a deep growl that bears come to set because they think it’s a fellow grizzly in distress.

How unintelligible is Bane’s voice? I came up with some quips to explain it better.

Bane sounds like:
• he’s speaking Simlish
• he’s gargling mouthwash
• he’s trying to talk while foaming at the mouth from rabies
• Dark Vader with the flu
• the kid from “Hey Arnold” that Helga always punches in the face

Even though you can’t understand him about 75 percent of the time, Bane will be totally badass. The character’s father was sentenced to life in prison, but escaped and had his infant son serve out his prison sentence. Meaning Bane was born and raised with criminals. He read a lot growing up and had a few mentors, but he also committed his first murder at the age of 8. He’s smart and deadly. Oh, and he was also injected with a toxin called Venom during an experimental procedure. This is all before he busted out of prison to start his life of crime.

Voice aside, the prologue was possibly the most action packed into one scene that I’ve witnessed since I saw The Mechanic earlier this year. The best part about Nolan’s Batman series is that it raises the bar for action scenes, something I don’t think the older films really did. They banked on the character, but Nolan is more interested in telling the story. Which explains why Inception had one of the most complicated yet easily understandable, plots I’ve ever seen.

As long as I can at least understand Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, I’ll be satisfied.

On second thought, I probably won’t, but I won’t regret buying the ticket because it’s probably impossible to hate a Christopher Nolan film.

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