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The Bane of Sony's Venom: Understanding Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy may be one of Hollywood's leading actors, quite often delivering charming performances, but sometimes, he has a tendency of being difficult to understand.

In The Dark Knight Rises especially, fans struggled to understand a lot of what he was saying as Bane, though most fans attributed that to the obvious post-production remixing Christopher Nolan had done to the star's dialogue.

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Alas, in the third Venom trailer, this issue rears its ugly head yet again, leaving us straining to understand Hardy's words as he scours the streets of San Francisco as Eddie Brock.

The trailer does a decent job of showcasing the chaos the film promises, giving us a vicious Venom ready to eat his way to the top of the food chain. When it comes to Hardy's enunciation though, one-word deliveries and short phrases work, but he gets more difficult to understand when he delivers more than one phrase at a time.

From the moment Hardy's voiceover intones "I'm Eddie Brock. I am a reporter. I always seem to find myself questioning things," we have a problem. Not only is his enunciation difficult to understand, the way he delivers the entire intro sounds so disjointed, it's as though it was strung together form a dozen separate phrases to craft a new group of sentences.

Hardy has been perfectly understandable in the past, but for some reason, he's been adopting a vocal style over the last few years in more than a few movies where he mumbles a lot of his words (somewhat similar to early-era Sylvester Stallone), making his delivery indecipherable at times. This was evident in his MMA flick Warrior, as well as Mad Max: Fury Road and Taboo, though he did most of his communication through primal grunts in the last few, which masked the problem somewhat.

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In The Dark Knight Rises the issue was written off to Bane's mask, and fans believed Nolan's tampering with the audio might have been part of the problem. But despite the dubbing and reassurances from the director, Bane's voice in the final product left a lot to be desired. While the mask surely muffled his voice, one can't help but wonder if Hardy's odd accent contributed to the issue as well.

It's not a one-off incident in the trailer, as the problem occurs again mid-way when he tells a bunch of cops in a confrontation, "Guys, you don't wanna do this!" Even in the trailer's final scene, Hardy's found garbling his words yet again after Venom apparently feasts on a thug in a convenience store, telling the scared shopkeeper, "Oh... I have a parasite. Yeah, g'night Ms. Chen."

We're not sure if he's forcing an American accent way too hard, but it could prove detrimental to the film, especially for attentive listeners who want to firmly believe he's a reporter digging for dirt, as opposed to a gangster who's lazily slurring his words.

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Hopefully, this problem is fixed by the time Venom hits theaters, especially when the moment comes for him to pronounce the word "symbiote." After all, amid a multitude of adversaries, the last thing Sony would want is for the real villain of this film to be Hardy's enunciation... or lack thereof.

Arriving Oct. 5, director Ruben Fleischer’s Venom stars Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Jenny Slate, Scott Haze, Reid Scott and Riz Ahmed.

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