JT Film Review

66 – Batman Begins (2005)

Batman Begins REVIEW

4/5 stars

Director – Christopher Nolan

Cast – Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neesom, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer

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– followed by The Dark Knight

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Batman Begins came along in 2005  to reboot the Batman franchise, and there is no denying it certainly did so. It went from the Gothic fun of Burton(Batman and Batman Returns) and campy  adventure with Schumacher (Batman Forever and Batman & Robin) to more gritty fun. The series would later skip styles with Nolan’s own The Dark Knight, which essentially ripped off Heat.

Despite all this I think Batman Begins has recieved too much credit for reinventing the superhero genre as a whole. There were certainly dark superhero movies before this. Take Daredevil for example (the Director’s Cut preferably).

Batman Begins is still a fun adventure movie, for all its grittiness. It has fast paced action, and a couple good one liners. However its succes is in its balance of the fun and serious sides of the movie. There is one sort-of-running-gag involving a coat that is quite funny. Chrsitian Bale as Batman himself is quite decent. He embodies well both the angst-pretending-to-be-playboy Bruce Wayne and the pure kick ass fury of Batman. His fellow cast members also hold up well. I just wish Nolan was a bit better at directing action scenes. He cuts so fast that there are many fight scenes where we just can not really see what is happening. This is a recent (and, in my opinion, worrying) trend, best encapsulated by Quantum of Solace, where an excellent movie was ruined by bad action scenes.

In some ways this Batman is not as clean cut as the “Batmen” of the past. He is actually concerned about what it means to be a killer, and is concerned with making sure he not only does the right thing , but that he does it in the right way. He is no longer about being the ultimate righter of evil, the ass-kicker of bad guys. He is smarter than that. He is emotionally mature. He is “post-9/11” (whatever the heck that means anymore), and he is self aware.

Just like Batman was a classic product of the 1980’s, Batman Begins is a perfect representation of the 2000’s. This is our Batman. I wonder what the version of the next 20 years will be like…

OVERALL

Batman Begins is a good action movie, and even though it’s dramatic center may seem to head off into pop psychology once in a while, it still maintains interest with its fast pacing, introspective mood and sense of fun. It is certainly up around the top when it comes to superhero movies. It is also one of those rare movies (especially rare among action movies) that is quite re-watchable. Recommended.

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TRAILER

“Batman Begins” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia

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December 2, 2009 - Posted by | 4 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Superhero, Year - 2000-2009 | , , , ,

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