@ The Roundtable: Bane and His Technicolor Dream Coat
First words from Gentleman Monster who really likes Batman in all media:
I’m really excited about Bane being in The Dark Knight Rises because he’s being played by Tom Hardy. He was the lead in a 2008 film called Bronson where he played the most violent convict in British history. The character of Charlie Bronson was as close to a Batman villain as you can get, and even better, Hardy was built like a brick shit house for the role and did some brutal fight scenes. His performance really took that film from good to great, and I knew from this picture that he was perfect for Bane. Now we have some pictures of Bane with a shirt and a jacket, and I love it.
The mask was in the first teaser, and I really dig the demonic metal teeth that it gives him. I also think covering Hardy’s mouth makes him inhuman, but leaving his eyes visible gives him room to emote.
It’s always a problem for superhero movies when you cover an actor’s entire face because it hides one of their best tools for showing the character’s feelings to the audience. The mask they’ve given Bane is a great compromise. It dehumanizes him, but leaves Hardy room to emote. It’s also a cool reverse of Batman’s mask.
The coat is a little ridiculous, but I also assume he’s only going to wear it when he’s cold. I do like that it gives a military vibe as if he’s a commanding officer, and Bane is a man that leads an army of criminals.
The vest and belt continue this trend. It combines a bullet proof vest with a weight lifter’s belt to merge the looks of the soldier and the strongman. This fits Bane perfectly. He is best known as the man who broke the bat in hand to hand combat, but he earned that victory through military level strategy. He led an army of criminals through Gotham and forced Batman to fight them for days on end with no sleep. He then cornered an exhausted Batman at his headquarters when he was at his weakest. To me, these pictures show Bruce’s opposite, an armored soldier of fortune dedicated to crime with a small army at his command. I’m really excited, but I’m not the only opinion here.
Onto Darth Healthcare, a moderate Batman fan:
Most of my knowledge of Bane comes from the animated Batman cartoons and, unfortunately, from Batman & Robin. Luckily, even young me had enough sense to ignore pretty much everything about that movie. When I first heard that Bane was going to be in The Dark Knight Rises I thought, “Boy, I sure hope they ditch all that luchador stuff for the movie’s sake.” Then came the news that Tom Hardy was cast for the role, which got me excited because there isn’t a guy Tom Hardy couldn’t hold his own against in a fight. Then there was the reveal of Bane’s costume:
Now I’m not one to badmouth the costume because that’s still Tom Hardy under there, and he will find me and beat me down (I love the costume, Tom, really). So now he’s a mercenary instead of a luchador? Fantastic move. The puffy winter jacket? That’s nothing some layering couldn’t fix. He wouldn’t even need it if he tucked in a few t-shirts under that bullet-proof vest. The mask? He’s got to get his venom from somewhere. Overall I like it.
There was just something about that mask that bothered me. It’s cool that it looks like fangs, but I felt like I’ve seen it before. The head strap looks like it has scales, almost reptilian in nature. There’s an abundance of green in the shot. Then it hit me…
So now I’ve ruined the costume for myself, because until I see Bane in action, all I will be able to think about is Mortal Kombat.
Onto Louis Santiago, who enjoys the Batman but hates the fanboys:
Okay. Okay, look. I’ll keep this brief.
Here’s the thing: I completely understand where the Gentlemen Monster is coming from; he makes a ton of valid points and great observations about Bane’s costume, all of which I completely understand and (like Darth Healthcare) definitely support.
The enduring problem here though is Bane just looks like an idiot. In these pictures. I’m at least 90% sure that when I see him in action (without that coat), he’ll look ridiculously awesome. Especially because Bane is one of those rogues who’s a fighter, not a looker. In his Burlington Coat Factory duds, posing with fists on hips, he just looks silly, but once the coat comes off and he starts breaking dudes, I’m certain I’ll completely stop caring what he’s wearing.
I have to add, however, that if for some odd reason he always wears that coat, I’ll probably never get over it. Maybe that’s silly, but I’m definitely a character designer for my writing projects, overly concerned with what these characters you never actually see are wearing. That said, I wouldn’t be able to get past the lethal combo of that fang-tube mask, barbarian LARP’er vest, and Luchador Chupacabra coat; it would just be too much for me. For some reason, the coat makes the rest of it ridiculous, and try as I might, I can just never get over ridiculous character design. And please, don’t judge me for that, because no matter how great an actor is, you can’t get over bad character design either. What’s that? Yes you can?
Disclaimer: I absolutely loved Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn (that’s Norman Osborn, not Green Goblin). The how and why is my entire point here.
Onto Chaosrayne, who really enjoys Batman but also enjoys Luchadors:
So, my gut reaction upon seeing the new Bane costume was that he looks silly. I’m just not intimidated by that mask. I think Tom Hardy himself can be scary as all heck, but put him in that silly little steampunk ball gag mask and you’ve got him looking more like someone I would brush off outside a fetish club (especially with the Euro-trash fur collar leather coat) than the man who beat Batman in a game of full contact Stratego.
Like Louis Santiago, I’m withholding judgment until I see the movie. Maybe it will work really well. I think Hardy can definitely pull off the role (Gentleman Monster and I first watched Bronson together, so we’ve got similar opinions on the matter) but until they get him out of Vin Diesel’s xXx coat, I’m gonna be at home laughing.
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