What’s Up With Batman’s Voice in ‘The Dark Knight’? Isn’t It Obvious?

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Three weeks after its release, is there anything left to be said about The Dark Knight? Probably not, but as the film's box-office races past $400 million, we suppose we can't blame the AP for trying. "What's with Batman's voice in Dark Knight?" they ask today, noting that the weird, growling voice Christian Bale gives Batman — "the offspring of Clint Eastwood and a grizzly bear" has been called out as a distraction (a writer for MSNBC says it's something akin to "Brenda Vaccaro doing a Miles Davis impression).

Okay, that Vaccaro-Davis line is pretty good, and not to be all "Leave Bruce Wayne alone!" but here's the thing: He's Bruce Wayne and he's famous! He's a millionaire playboy, he's a man about town, and probably quite a number of people are in a position to recognize him. He has to disguise his voice! What are his other options? Affect a British accent, like Madonna? Hold up signs? That would make it pretty hard to toss off witty remarks while holding people in headlocks, wouldn't it?

Furthermore, the allegedly goofy voice distracts from what? The otherwise unassuming appearance and manner of the guy with the cape, the horned hood, and the zillion-dollar mini-vehicle with the on-board rocket launchers? Is the sound you hear coming from behind his RUBBER MASK not adequately Average Joe–ish? Not consistent with the dark, mysterious, caped do-gooders from your town? What brand of realism are we supposed to be attempting here? Don't these criticisms amount to "he talks like a cartoon character"? Is he not, in fact, a cartoon character? Also, how come nobody ever heard Superman's non-raspy voice and realized that he was really Clark Kent? —Linda Holmes

What's with Batman's voice in 'Dark Knight'? [AP]