Even two weeks after "The Dark Knight Rises" prologue debuted before select IMAX showings of "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," everyone who saw it can't seem to stop talking about Bane and what he says — or at least what people thought he said.
Ever since the preview's premiere, there has been talk of tweaking audio levels and lowering background noise in order to make Bane more intelligible. Just Tuesday, a rumor circulated that Warner Bros. had provided IMAX projectionists with an adjusted soundtrack for the prologue. Warner Bros. denied the claim, but talk of changes persists.
If you've already seen the prologue, adjusting audio levels now won't help you until the July release of the finished film, so we've gone over the footage and decoded each story element and every line of Bane's dialogue for you. (Major spoilers ahead!)
Most of the confusion about what's going on starts before we even see Bane. We jump right into the story without much explanation of what's going on. "Leaked" CIA documents, used as part of a viral campaign, fill in some of the blanks.
Dr. Pavel, a missing Russian nuclear physicist, seeks asylum in the United States with the help of the CIA. Pavel believes he is in immediate danger and goes into hiding. A group of mercenaries find him and negotiate with the CIA to deliver the scientist over to them safely, at the cost of $3 million. The prologue begins with that exchange.
The mercenaries bring along three unexpected guests to the party with the CIA. The leader of the soldiers informs the head agent that the men work for Bane. Eager to learn more about the masked man, the CIA agent brings the three men onto the airplane but only promises safe passage to the one who talks the most. Bane then speaks his first line as the agent threatens his men.
"Or perhaps he's wondering why someone would shoot a man before throwing him out of a plane."
Bane and the agent exchange some words, during which we get some background on his character. His mask keeps him from experiencing severe pain caused by a yet-unknown ailment. It also was what made people pay attention to Bane in the first place.
"No one cared who I was until I put on the mask."
From here, we see Bane's master plan play out. A large plane hooks onto the smaller one flown by the CIA and drags it into a nosedive. There's a small fight inside, but Bane and his men win handily. They lower a dead body in a bag into the plane and perform a transfusion with Dr. Pavel, so when the wreckage is found, the DNA matches the missing doctor.
As the group prepares to exit, Bane informs one of his younger partners in crime that he must stay behind in order to avoid suspicion. When the man asks Bane if they have started a fire, he replies with the now-famous line: "The fire rises."
Pretty straightforward, right?
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