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Who Does Bane From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Sound Like?

Criticwire By Matt Singer | Criticwire July 25, 2012 at 8:09PM

Apparently, the correct answer is "a ton of different people." And maybe even a couple inanimate objects.
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"The Dark Knight Rises."
"The Dark Knight Rises."

From the very first preview, no one could understand him. He came, he claimed, as a "necessary evil" of "Gotham's reckoning." I guess having a non-silly, intelligible voice was not considered a necessary part of necessary evil.

When Bane premiered in the extended "Dark Knight Rises" preview that played before IMAX screenings of "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," he just sounded like actor Tom Hardy with a mask over his face. Christopher Nolan insisted he wouldn't significantly change his borderline incomprehensible voice, but then he did, winding up with some much, much stranger (watch the line at 1:30 of this early trailer, and the line at 1:03 of this later one for proof). Now that "The Dark Knight Rises" is out, all anyone can talk about -- and all anyone can talk like -- is Bane and his slightly clearer, weirdly louder, and still-bizarre voice. Vulture said the original Bane voice sounded like "half-speed Buffalo Bill from 'Silence of the Lambs.'" In my review at ScreenCrush, I likened his pronouncements to a "pompous magician talking into the wrong end of a megaphone." But those are just two out of a myriad of interpretations of what is quickly becoming the cinematic Rorschach test of our age.

Who does Bane sound like? Who doesn't he sound like? I spent the afternoon collecting 50 (!!!) of the finest, funniest, and oddest descriptions of his idiosyncratic intonations. This is the sound of Gotham's reckoning (excuse me, "Gawthum's rehconiiiiiing," sorry Bane). And what an amusing sound it is.

Bane from "Dark Knight Rises" sounds like...

...Vincent Price talking through a window fan. (Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice)

...he's got an Egg McMuffin lodged in his trachea. (Phil Villarreal, OK! Magazine)

...somewhere between Yoda post-testosterone patch and Sean Connery on appletinis. (Michelle Orange, Movieline)

...an imitation of Sir Ian McKellen doing Patrick Stewart. (Tom Charity, CNN)

...Scooby-Doo. (Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle)

...a circus ringmaster trying to reach the cheap seats with a dollar-bin megaphone. (Rick Marshall, IFC)

...Bill Cosby speaking with an English accent through a Darth Vader filter. (samzepus, Slashdot)

...Darth Vader and Andy Kaufman's Foreign Man. (David Edelstein, NPR)

...Darth Vader with an Irish accent. (Dan Blomquist, Easy Reader News)

...Darth Vader shouting, while playing a bass accordion through a Harley Davidson exhaust pipe. (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)

And, from Twitter, Bane also sounds like...

...he's ordering mass destruction on a drive-thru intercom. (@aparnapkin)

...what the Monopoly character looks like he sounds like. (@ABritto76)

...a kind old man who wants to sit in a rocking chair and tell me war stories. (@thejoehenderson)

...a posh, luvvie cat that's meowing from an adjoining room. (@petedonaldson)

...a drunk, eldery Patrick Stewart locked in a cupboard. (@bamblesquatch)

...an old English porn star. (@amayafiyah)

...Anna Faris' burp/growl voice. (@Emersonyeah)

...Darth Vader mixed with T-Pain. (@IngloriousApps)

...Homer Simpson pretending to be Mr. Burns. (@seanedevine)

...the alien from "Earth Versus the Flying Saucers." (@scottEweinberg)

..the talking trees from "Lord of the Rings." (@misterpatches)

...Dumbledore. (@kriziaahh)

...Voldemort. (@jtcs1981)

...Winnie the Pooh. (@Shamrock_NY)

...Count Chocula. (@greyplanet)

...Goldmember. (@chrisrobinson)

...Zoidberg from "Futurama." (@awilson149)

...Deckard Cain from "Diablo." (@14outof20)

...Meatwad from "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." (@Regina_Kara)

...Cap'n Crunch talking into an auto tuner. (@retrocrush)

...General Grievous on pot. (@rozaqmandias)

...David Attenborough on steroids. (@JustinCordery)

...Alan Partridge talking into a Pringles tube. (@red90)

...Daniel Plainview speaking through a walkie-talkie. (@ASimpleDan)

...Bon Scott from AC/DC. (@shlinnnnn)

...Jack Black from Tenacious D. (@CantFeelMy)

...Ian McKellan. (@fuzzydunlopCl)

...Ian McKellan imitating Sean Connery. (@koush)

...the computer from "WarGames" imitating Christopher Walken. (@thefilmcynic)

...Sean Connery. (@oh_keefe)

...robot Sean Connery. (@millerlamotte)

...Sean Connery with bronchitis. (@NathanHullfish)

...Sean Connery over a bad cell phone reception. (@jpthegiraffe)

...a jovial Sean Connery dying at the bottom of a well. (@gilbertcruz)

...a cross between Sean Connery and Krang from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." (@LaurenFairley88)

...the love child of Sean Connery and Darth Vader. (@MikeRockavitch)

...the love child of Yoda and Cobra Commander. (@DCerminara)

...Darrell Hammond imitating Sean Connery. (@tconn)

...Darrell Hammond imitating Sean Connery through a vocoder. (@sternbergh)

...Darrell Hammond imitating Sean Connery while trapped in a well. (@KyleKallgren)

Have your own description of Bane's voice? Leave it in the comments section below. Special thanks to Evan Hughes, Michelle Orange, and Adam Sternbergh for suggesting this piece.

This article is related to: Tom Hardy, The Dark Knight Rises


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