There are reports today that suggest Batman supervillain Bane’s dialogue in this summer’s “The Dark Knight Rises” has been cleaned up so viewers can, you know, actually understand what the Caped Crusader’s nemesis is saying. There are also reports to the contrary. (A little background: In the movie’s IMAX prologue that runs before “Mission Impossible 4″ and in the recently released trailer, you can’t really make any sense of anything that comes out of Bane’s masked mouth.)
I’m by no means a Batman slappy or a Christopher Nolan apologist, but for my money — which I paid twice to see “Mission 4″ and the attached “TDKR” trailer — I don’t mind having no clue what Bane is saying. I get the point of what he’s saying — it’s conveyed in tone and attitude — and I think that’s plenty. Maybe we’re in a post-dialogue era?
I haven’t been as riveted by a villain’s mere presence since, well, Heath Ledger as the Joker in “The Dark Knight.” And Ledger’s Joker was built on mood, in looks and actions much more than in specific lines of dialogue. I feel like Bane is similar, and his menace is his presence, and Tom Hardy looks to be playing him a lot in his psycho, bulgy eyes (which is good, since his eyes are the only feature on his face not covered up by that crazed mask).
It’s perhaps too great a leap to suggest a villain needs only to be felt and not understood, and despite Nolan’s initial protests, it seems Warner Bros. will indeed fix his dialogue to as to make it intelligible. Which makes sense, sure, but I was kind of excited by the idea of a villain who was made all the more scary by the fact you couldn’t figure him out.