Is Bane’s dialog totally unintelligible in Dark Knight Rises?

I wasn’t one of the lucky handful of writers who got invited to watch the Dark Knight Rises six-minute prologue (which plays in advance of Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol screenings at 70mm IMAX theaters next week), but among the journalists who did attend, the consensus seems to be that Bane is pretty hard to understand. (I’ll put some more spoiler-y details after the jump).

“And prepare to scratch your head at much of Bane’s dialogue, which had most everyone in Thursday’s screening asking each other how much, if anything, they could understand. I did catch one moment, when someone asks Bane if he’ll die should his now widely seen mask be removed. Bane’s reply: “It would be extremely painful — for you.” –EntertainmentWeekly

“…Bane himself, who’s almost impossible to understand due to his Darth Vader-y breathing apparatus and weird accent.” –I09

“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.” –HollywoodReporter

A lot of people point out that it could just be an early sound mix, but it seems to me like the time it takes to mix sound is negligible compared to rendering much more complicated visual effects (also, would you really release a prologue with a rough sound mix?). And as long as we’re on the subject of Chris Nolan and Tom Hardy, I watched the Inception trailer and entire movie multiple times without being able to tell whether Tom Hardy was saying something about “vigor,” or “One musn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling.” (Apparently it was the second one, but no way I would’ve been able to tell you that at the time). I don’t think the problem is the mask, the weird accent, or the breathing apparatus, it’s Tom Hardy’s big, pillowy lips. Clearly those were designed for whispering sweetly while lightly brushing against your ear, not projecting to an audience. BUT THAT COULD JUST BE THE CHARDONNAY TALKING, AM I RIGHT, GIRLS??

More spoilery stuff:

It appears the rumors were true: the prologue involves Bane on a plane. In particular, there’s a trio of masked hostages that some apparent terrorists are trading to the CIA for cash. The CIA guys start interrogating the three captives, trying to pressure them into giving up Bane’s location, and it’s clear that Bane is a big fish to these guys. And then — surprise! — one of the hostages turns out to be Bane himself, who’s almost impossible to understand due to his Darth Vader-y breathing apparatus and weird accent. The CIA guy asks Bane if it was his plan to get caught — and Bane responds that it was his plan to crash this plane. Which he does, using a bigger plane that swoops down with metal cables and a squad of commandos. (No Trog and Bird, I guess.)

The prologue ends with a few glimpses of other scenes, like the “Batwing chasing the Batmobile” scene that we’ve all seen set photos from. And a bit of Batman punching Bane in front of a riot. And Anne Hathaway as Catwoman. And finally, a startling glimpse of Bane holding Batman’s shredded, ruined cowl in his fist. [I09]