Batman Begins (7/15/12)

Batman BeginsMovie One Hundred Sixty Nine

Batman Begins tells the origin story for Bruce Wayne becoming Gotham City’s caped crusader known as Batman.

As a young boy, while playing with friend Rachel Dawes, Bruce Wayne falls into a well and is attacked by a swarm of bats. Later, while at the opera with his wealthy, philanthropic parents, Bruce begins to panic when the actors are portraying bats and asks to leave. In the alley behind the opera house, they are mugged and as a result, Bruce’s parents are both murdered. Much later on, in an even further corrupt Gotham, Bruce (now played by Christian Bale) attends the trial of the mugger and plans to shoot him but the mob beats him to it. Rachel (Katie Holmes), the assistant DA, is ashamed of Bruce. In an effort to infiltrate Gotham’s underworld, Bruce travels the world for training and winds up as a disciple of the Ra’s Al Ghul’s (Ken Watanabe) League of Shadows as Ducard’s (Liam Neeson) disciple, beginning his transformation into Batman.

Are you sick of Batman-related posts yet? No? Good.

Batman Begins brought Batman back from movie obscurity after Joel Schumacher’s embarassing outings. Director Christopher Nolan decided to take Batman back to his darker roots and also put him into a world that feels much more realistic than comic book. The end result is a fantastic movie and a terrific reboot of a great franchise. There is little to fault Batman Begins for as the cast, characters, production values, story, script, special effects, and score are all as close to perfection as a film can hope to achieve. Not only is this one of the best comic book adaptations ever, but it’s a terrific film in its own right.

Even the played out aspects of origin stories for super heroes doesn’t apply here. Batman Begins is almost entirely origin story and yet it’s a fresh perspective and interesting from start to finish. The fact that the villains of the film (Falcone, Ducard, Ra’s Al Ghul, and the Scarecrow) are somewhat lesser-known in the Batman universe, Batman Begins doesn’t miss a beat with them either. What could have easily been a mildly entertaining origin story with an obligatory villain attached for the finale is instead  a complete circle for Bruce Wayne as he becomes Batman.

Since I watched Batman Begins (and The Dark Knight) in preparation for The Dark Knight Rises, I had already known what to expect for the film but it had been a year or two since I had last seen it and I can safely say that it has held up even better than I anticipated. Great care is taken with the source material and Christian Bale emerged as a fantastic Bruce Wayne/Batman. There’s a reason for all the commotion surrounding Nolan’s Batman trilogy and Batman Begins started it all.

I give it 5 “Does it come in black?”s out of 5.

Links:

Rotten Tomatoes

IMDB

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22 responses to “Batman Begins (7/15/12)

  1. Pingback: The Dark Knight Rises (7/20/12) [Spoiler-free] | Andy Watches Movies

  2. I loved this one. The problem with the old series, especially Batman and Robin, is that they felt too cartoony. Batman Begins actually takes the caped crusader seriously. It felt more real than any superhero movie then (until Nolan topped himself with The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises). Good review.

    • Even a cartoony version of Batman, if done well, could be enjoyable. Schumacher’s films were garbage, though. Batman needed a more serious tone so we could all forget those existed.

  3. I was hoping to watch this again before TDKR but only got to TDK. I think this is my favorite of Nolan’s trilogy, even despite Katie Holmes casting. I do think the best work is TDK though, it’s just a better film in terms of scope and also has a more compelling villain. I give Batman Begins 4.75, TDK 5 and TDKR 4, as I do think it’s the weakest of the three.

  4. Great review.

    Favorite Batman movie and no I am not sick of Batman – not even close. I only stopped posted on him because I feared others would sicken of it.

    I watched this last Tuesday and then on Saturday my wife wanted to watch it. I have seen this movie many times so I thought seeing back to back in such a close proximity would hamper my enjoyment for it. It didn’t. I was hooked once again as I always get hooked when this movie is on. In fact, I could watch it again right now. I just never tire of it.

  5. Who could possibly get sick of Batman?!? Some friends and I rewatched Begins and TDK to prepare for Rises and it’s amazing how well they hold up, Begins in particular. I was so happy to see all the callbacks to Begins in Rises. Nolan may not have designed it from the beginning to be a trilogy, but damn if he didn’t pull it off. Curious to see where Warner’s takes it next…hopefully not another origin story. Nolan already stuck that landing.

    • Since nearly every blog I follow has been posting Batman stuff for like the past month things have been covered pretty thoroughly 😉

      I was actually concerned Begins would feel a bit cheesy and dated but it really surprised me. I liked all the touches back to it in Rises as well, and it would be silly for yet another origin story unless they decide to take Batman in a totally different direction.

      Thanks for commenting!

      • The only moment I find cheesy in Begins is the “nice coat” dialogue. Deflates the first appearance of the Batman. And it’s hard for me to believe that same homeless guy has been hanging around the same area for seven years. But if one line of dialogue is the only problem I have in a two hour movie, that’s pretty damn good 😉

        Thanks for following!

  6. i watched this a few days ago and was surprised at how much i liked it. i enjoyed the prison/training scenes a lot. however, it can’t be argued that his costume is just too bulky for the flexibility he shows while fighting.

    • When The Dark Knight came out we actually took my parents to see it on the IMAX and they both loved it, despite not seeing Batman Begins or really caring about Batman. I think that’s a pretty strong statement at just how good these are as MOVIES not just as Batman movies.

      At the time I didn’t even really notice how silly the suit was but after seeing them scale it back in Dark Knight, it does look bulky as all get out.

  7. Great review. The Batman by Nolan films are among my favorite movies, so I try to watch them every few months. I’m watching both tomorrow, actually, in preparation for TDKR (that’s on Friday).

  8. Pingback: The Dark Knight (7/15/12) | Andy Watches Movies

  9. Pingback: My July Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

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