Will Christopher Nolan Have To Fix The Dark Knight Rises Prologue Before Releasing The Full Film?

Warner Bros. have premiered the first six minutes or so of The Dark Knight Rises while Chris Nolan is still in the process of editing the remainder of the movie.

They did more or less the same thing with The Dark Knight, and I don’t recall anybody spotting changes in the sequence between the release of the preview and that of the film.

But still, the opportunity for tweaking is there. And it sounds like the filmmakers would benefit from capitalising on it.

Here’s a compendium of comments from bloggers and journalists who have seen the sequence. See if you can spot the recurring theme:

Bane’s dialogue… had most everyone in Thursday’s screening asking each other how much, if anything, they could understand – Entertainment Weekly

It may be early in the sound mixing process, but a lot of key dialogue, particularly that of Bane, who speaks via a mask, was unintelligible – THR

His voice behind the mask is metallic and muffled; another cause for concern – Indiewire

Expect to hear a lot of complaints about the fact that Hardy, under Bane’s mask, was virtually unintelligible. Some journalists were insisting the film needed subtitles – Backstage

You can’t understand anything he is saying. Trust me, he has huge chunks of dialogue in just this short stretch. And its almost all unintelligible – Movieweb

I will say that the mix on the sequence we saw tonight could use some tweaking because while I believe Nolan’s goal is to make it hard to understand everything Bane says, it really felt like I only picked up about 10% of what he said, including an emphatic “The Fire Rises!” at one point – Hit Fix

There was much discussion about Bane’s voice. Muffled by his mask and featuring a British accent, it’s difficult to fully understand exactly what he is saying (but likely intentionally) – Coming Soon

No one could understand what Bane was saying! I spoke to a number of people afterward and we all had trouble making out what Bane was saying. I understand wanting the audience to pay close attention, but Bane’s voice is muffled by his mask. Bane’s words are important to the plot and help explain why he and his henchmen are willing to sacrifice themselves to accomplish their mission. Hardy’s Bane voice sounded distinct and cool, but again it’s pretty important that we hear exactly what he’s saying! – IGN

Movieweb actually deliver a direct quote from Nolan in which he suggests Bane is going to remain every bit as hard to hear once the full film is released. They asked:

Are we going to be able to understand anything Bane says?

Nolan replied:

Probably not. He has the mask on, the apparatus, and he has the accent.

Oh, great.

But I defend Nolan’s decision in principle. It’s not inherently bad or wrong to have a character that can never be understood.

But we’ll have to wait and see if Nolan really has made a film that benefits from a character being unintelligible or if it’s all just a big bungle.

Or if, maybe now that the criticisms are out, he will reconsider and do some ADR to put things straight.

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