The rising problem of inaudible dialogue - Den of Geek
Yet there's a growing trend now in the world of TV and the movies. And for once, I don't think it's just me that's suffering this. It seems best to explain it with an example.
Recently, I had a chance to see The A-Team movie. The review is being held back until the film's UK release at the end of the month, but I'd like to echo something that many American reviewers have already picked up on: namely, I could barely hear a word that Quinton ‘Rampage' Jackson was saying at any point in the film.
There are two reasons for this, my ears have concluded.
Firstly, we're in an era where film and television shows are putting together very complex surround sound mixes, where backing music sometimes takes too heavy or loud a role in the audio balance. As such, at the point where an actor is delivering what may or may not be a pivotal line, there's so much going on elsewhere in the audio mix, that you're onto a bit of a loser from the off (I'm saying actor, incidentally, because it's almost entirely male performers who I'm finding I can't hear). So loud are parts of the mix, that there's simply too much noise competing for your ears' attention.
Secondly, though, actors are rediscovering the art of the mumble. And The A-Team is the most notable, but not the only, example of this in recent times.
So earnest was Quinton ‘Rampage' Jackson attempting to be in his portrayal of B.A. Baracus, that too often his lines become a mesh of sounds that I couldn't pick up at all. I've checked, too, with other people who have also seen the film, and they report the same thing. He's a character that simply can't be heard properly for most of the film.
My initial suspicion is generally the sound mix in the cinema in which I'm sitting, but on anecdotal evidence, that doesn't seem to be the case with The A-Team.
Nor is it the case in Christopher Nolan's Inception. Here, the wonderful Ken Watanabe is given some fairly crucial exposition to put across, and yet, with the best will in the world, I couldn't make out most of what he was saying.