SPOILER ZONE BEGINS
Nothing is more pleasant than being greeted by councilman Tommy Carcetti – otherwise known as Aidan Gillen to those of you who have not yet enjoyed the famous HBO series “The Wire” – at the beginning of the preview for a movie that does not come out until July 2012 AND happens to be the sequel to the greatest comic book film of all time (quite a mouthful eh?). In any case, Mr. Carcetti is a long way from Baltimore as we see him anxiously waiting in front of a private jet in the middle of nowhere. Carcetti soon finds out that his plan is not going as expected when there are more people than he anticipated being pulled out of an SUV.
Soon we are flying over a somewhat mountainous region while Carcetti makes threats at three kneeling men with black sacks over their hands. Tensions are high as he tries to get each individual to talk, by sliding their heads out of the open hatch of the flying plane. He wants to know something about Bane, and he wants to know it now. Of course the third man, who has yet to have his cranium dangled out of the door pipes up. Well not pipes up per se, more like garbles up (which will be discussed later). The bag comes off and the first view of the pale, bald dome of Bane appears, complete with the breathing apparatus firmly attached to his nose and mouth; this surprises Carcetti a great deal.
There is a bit of throw away dialogue that is uttered and is completely useless to anyone who has not read anything about Nolan’s “realworldization” of Bane. And then it’s on. The tables quickly get turned as a much bigger cargo plane positions itself overhead of Carcetti’s small piper jet. Eventually highly trained mercenaries/terrorists repel down, attach cords to the piper jet and all hell breaks loose. All of a sudden Bane is extracting blood from a doctor, who was the hostage Carcetti was after in the first place for information about Bane (I think), and soon extracts him from the plane as everyone else falls to their death.
There are two tidbits of useful information that we can glean from this scene. The first is that Bane is clearly one calculating man. He has made sure to set this entire thing up so that he can either get this formerly elusive doctor – which we really don’t know anything about – or to kill an adversary, or both. Either way he is clearly the Mensa society version of Bane to the remedial school version from“Batman and Robin”. The second, and perhaps more interesting tidbit, is that there is an exchange in the plane, before Bane allows it to fall to its doom, between Bane and one of his henchmen. The henchman asks something along the lines of, “What about me?” To which Bane replies with something that ends up putting the henchman at ease before he falls to his death. This could add an interesting wrinkle as it seems to hint that Bane either has a very good way of choosing his henchmen, being a good judge of character, or showing that Bane has a sort of power over these men that they would willingly give their lives to the cause.
However, the glaring problem of this entire preview is that Bane is nearly unintelligible. He probably has upwards of ten or so lines of dialogue, two of which I could clearly make out, and the rest sounds like a muffled and garbled 1980’s voice recorder. I had been warned prior to the viewing about how hard he is to understand, so it is not as if I went in nonchalantly; I was prepared to decipher the seeming gibberish that was being emitted from his mask. I failed. If Christopher Nolan and company want their audience to understand what Batman’s main adversary is saying, they are either going to have to do some new voice recording and stick it in there in post-production or turn down the sound levels on everything that is not Bane’s voice whilst he speaks. Other than that we all may have to wade through the muck of a British accent through a megaphone.
One other gripe I have in regards to Bane is that he is not nearly as hulking or as imposing a figure as he has been made out in the comics. Now comic drawings of Bane embellish his altered bulging muscles (which gets left out of Nolan’s reworldization of the character), however this Bane seems like he might not even be the most ripped guy at your local Gold’s Gym. Perhaps it was the loose fitting shirt he was clad in but still you would expect him to be a tad larger than he at least seemed in this preview. When Carcetti looks to be his equal in height something seems off.
SPOILER ZONE END
The preview, however, felt as though it had been done before. It was eerily reminiscent of the extended preview for “The Dark Knight”. Both villains seemed to have the same character attributes. Both the Joker and Bane had everything meticulously planned. They both made misdirection a part of the plan; here with the three ‘hostages’ and in the other with the multiple clowns not knowing which Joker was the real one. It also featured a willingness to take any person’s life in order to complete the mission. For me however, the similarities were unwelcome. Joker is known as a conniving villain who has grandiose schemes for his amusement, and while Bane is smarter than one might think he should be, this is almost too similar. Bane is supposed to be a very intelligent guy, that’s not to be disputed, but Nolan is going to have to walk a fine line to make sure that Bane is more of a hands on villain than the Joker was. If it is Batman just trying to foil Bane’s plots without multiple physical confrontations then he may just be the Joker minus the creepiness and plus some muscles.
Hopefully this scene is only to give depth to the character while the rest of the movie will feature the more herculean Bane everyone is expecting. Given that this preview is just one scene of what is most likely going to be a movie upwards of 150 minutes, that could very well be the case. Bane is an interesting character for Nolan to use and hopefully all of his assets as a character will be utilized, but so far this extended trailer harkens back a little too much to “The Dark Knight” and its extended trailer.