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Bane and Boxing

23 Jul

Over the weekend MB and I saw Dark Knight Rises. We had mixed feelings. Or rather, I had mixed feelings; MB pretty much hated it due to many insufferable plot holes. While there were a lot of things I liked about the movie (such as that kick-ass motorcycle), there were also many times I found myself thinking:

  • “Why did he. . .?”
  • “Why don’t they just. . .?”
  • “How come he/she/they isn’t/aren’t. . .?”
  • “How come he/she/they don’t. . .?”

It also seemed really long, and this from a person who at the end of each Lord of the Rings movie wanted more.

But overall I enjoyed it, especially Tom Hardy’s portrayal of the villain, Bane. True, he sounded like if Treebeard and Sean Connery had a baby (although Hardy says he based the voice on this Irish bare knuckle boxer), but he was still terrific, especially considering his face was covered the whole time.

In the one-on-one fighting scenes between Bane and Batman, MB didn’t think Batman fought very Batman-like (brute force rather than smarts and gadgets), and even I could spot the Dark Knight’s wind-up punches from a mile away, but Bane/Tom Hardy (or his stuntman) looked awesome.¬†During one scene, I noticed his major hip action. When you punch, you’re supposed swivel your hips, not just move your arms, using power from the sole of your foot through your entire body. I often forget the hip movement, so it was cool to see how it should be done.

I also liked that you could see the bruises on his knuckles in the scene in the stadium when he’s holding the mike. Just like me! Ha, yeah right.

I wanted to know how Hardy trained for the role, but I haven’t been able to find anything beyond the voice thing above, the fact that he gained a bunch of muscle and weight, and that he learned “various fighting styles.” But it looks like he’s already had training for other movies such as Bronson, about a prisoner who becomes a bareknuckle boxer, and Warrior, about mixed martial arts.

Tom Hardy in ‘Bronson’

I couldn’t find anything on how he trained for Bronson – just again how he gained weight and built up his muscles¬†(the formula is apparently the right exercises plus eating right; riiiight, no steroids involved at all) – but I found this one about Warrior.

Apparently, Hardy had no fighting background before this movie, while his co-star Joel Edgerton did karate for 10 years as a kid.

Training involved two hours of boxing, two hours of kick-boxing, two of muay thai, two of choreography, and two of lifting every day for several months. And I thought two hours of classes in one day was hard.

Now if only the Dark Knight Rises script were as tight as Hardy’s abs.