Batman Begins Reviews
I will nitpick it and say that the editing (especially during the fight scenes) is quite choppy, and its hard to tell what is going on at times, and also that the film is maybe a bit too heavy handed and pretentious. However, even then, I think that's sort of a welcome thing, and it helps elevate this type of genre movie, it just goes a bit far with it. This is more grounded in reality, and is a welcome change from the past versions, but I still really like the stylized comic book elements from the old ones, though this take is great too.
I used to really love this, but now it's worn on me, and I think that, while it is really good, it's not the full on masterpiece I thought it originally was.
"But they never talk about the mean one. The cruel one. The one who couldn't fly or bend steel in his hands. The one who scared the crap out of everybody and laughed at all of the rest of us for being the envious cowards we were... Not a man among them wants to hear about Batman."
And until Batman Begins, we never really had. In film anyway.
When a young Bruce Wayne experiences a tragedy, his life is taken down the path of vengeance and retribution upon the criminals of Gotham.
Batman has always been a favourite of filmmakers; iconic imagery, fantastic setting, great villains, heaps of source material to draw from. And yet, before Batman Begins, there had never been an origins story for the world's greatest masked detective. Tim Burton's Batman touched on the beginnings but we had never seen the transition from tortured adolescent to caped vigilante. Starting with this in mind, and keeping the movie firmly cemented in the real, plausible world, Nolan and his team created a Batman who was first and foremost Bruce Wayne and a film in which the man inside the suit is just as interesting as the one throwing himself from building to building. Nolan's attitude towards what was once simply a comic book character is what has given Batman Begins and its sequel such incredible status in the comic book movie genre. Nolan and Goyer's screenplay manages to recreate this superhero with all of his flaws and triumphs while making the human underneath just as complex and interesting. As much as the script is filled with huge action pieces, Nolan focuses on the smaller, heartfelt moments even more. Bruce Wayne meeting Rachel at a hotel and struggling desperately to make her think better of him. A young Bruce surrounded by the dead bodies of his parents, suddenly an orphan. While the script may be broadly funny and often plot-driven, it's moments like these when Nolan's understanding and love for this character beyond his suit and cape shines through. The suit and cape themselves have a clever and expanded history now, as well as the legendary Batmobile. Lifting the prototypes from his company's Research and Development department is a stroke of genius which only adds more to the illusion of plausibility. It's a long time before Batman puts on his suit, but the time spent figuring out Bruce Wayne is well spent. But then, when the suit is finally donned, the script soars even higher. Nolan doesn't shy away from or ignore the real world consequences of a masked vigilante beating up criminals, nor does he over-imbue his character with power. It's always obvious that our hero is just a man in a really thick suit; by no means invulnerable and hardly infallible. It's this factor which gives the action a nerve destroying edge, as it's never a guarantee that our hero will win; cape and all he may still fail. He's not faster than a speeding bullet and he doesn't have spidey sense. This reality makes every victory magnified exponentially, as you're just relieved Bruce actually survived, much less won.
And it's not just the script which makes these action scenes air-punch brilliant. Nolan's masterful work behind the camera gives the viewer a sense of scale which belies its studio limitations. Though limitations is actually a misnomer, as Gotham City was built inside an airplane hangar to the scale of an actual city. The city itself is a sprawling, expressionist wonderland, with the twisting, constantly raining narrows giving a sense of claustrophobia before any prisoners are let out of their cages or the monolithic skyscrapers of Gotham City looming large over a young Bruce Wayne. Nolan's mantra for Gotham's surrounding was 'eliminate whimsy,' and the result is a believable yet subtly effecting environment for his hero. This mantra carries over into the rest of the film as well, with a practiced and precise filming style throughout the film. Nolan's decision to "film Batman from the point-of-view of the criminals" is a brilliant one. Batman's first attack on organised crime at Falcone's shipments gives Batman an almost magical, supernatural ability to appear and disappear at will. And while you realise that it's all theatricality and deception, it never dulls the effect. When Batman appears in the middle of a group of henchmen, all the action takes place in the viewer's mind as all we truly witness is a flurry of feet and the occasional flap of a cape. But Nolan knows that the smoke and mirrors approach only works in moderation and during Batman's climactic battle, he shows Batman in all his glory, soaring through the narrows, perching crouched on railings and beating the hell out of his opponents. It's a clever journey from ducking and weaving through the action to exposing it in all of its balls-out glory and it makes for exhilarating viewing.
Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's collaborative score only adds to this feeling. Not since Jaws have two notes been so successfully used to create an unmistakable theme. The film's score beautifully underscores and accentuates the action onscreen.
But all of this would be for naught without the man underneath the cowl. Christian Bale, just coming off his exemplary work on The Machinist looked anorexic and frail, not the ideal look for a billionaire who spends his nights beating up the criminal underworld with his bare hands. But his understanding and complete inhabiting of Bruce Wayne, coupled with his incredible ability to be whatever size he needs to be for a role, means that his version of the Batman will live on in history as the definitive performance in the minds of many. His performance isn't overly showy or screen hogging, but its purity and simplicity make it utterly believable and totally convincing both as the man in a cape and a man trying to seem perfectly normal to the outside world. Bale has said that his favourite part about the character is that his public persona of Bruce Wayne is the man's real performance, that the Batman is who he really is. Bale's understanding of this character makes this one of his best performances of one hell of a career. The supporting cast do great work as well. It's hardly strange considering that the support consists of Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson and Rutger Hauer, but the cast are uniformly convincing in the respective parts. If there's a weak point it's Katie Holmes' Rachel, but Bale's performance brings hers up by association. The standout of the supporting cast, however, is Cillian Murphy, a relatively small-time star before Batman, who turns in a clever, twisted and often terrifying performance as Scarecrow. He's menacing and cold in equal parts as well as being utterly despicable at all times.
Batman Begins is the first fitting origin for one of the world's favourite superheroes, as well as being a brilliant piece of cinema and a detailed study of a difficult character. That'd be Christopher Nolan's work then.
Batman's first assault on organised crime ending with a very special signal lighting up the sky. A hero is born again.
It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.
Batman Begins is an origin story in every sense of the world. It also shows Gotham City as a terrifying place to live, an urban metropolis that is filled with crime, corrupt politicians, a massive gap between the rich and the poor, not to mention the Scarecrow, a villain who works for some very disturbed people. Among this dark portrayal of the city and of Bruce Wayne`s transformation into Batman, Nolan`s film is essentially about a masked vigilante who is able to scare criminals into making them completely fearful of committing another crime. Batman has become the stuff of legend amid the city`s underbelly,and yet Bruce Wayne struggles to fit back in to life in Gotham.
Christian Bale is the best Batman to date. An accomplished actor in so many other roles, Bale ignites Bruce Wayne with a sensitivity and an inner monologue that creates a fantastic performance. In the suit, Bale has made Batman as scary and intimidating as never seen before. His raspy voice, cold stare, and unsympathetic tone show the audience that this Batman is not only committed to stopping crime, he is very capable of doing it himself.
Everything about Batman Begins works. Liam Neeson, Katie Holes, Cillian Murphy, Tom WIlkinson, and Gary Oldman create some of the most memorable interpretations of their respective characters. The action is expertly staged. The story is entirely engaging, an the tone is undeniably dark - just as it should be. SImply put, Batman Begins is the Batman movie we`ve all been waiting for!
Ra's al Ghul: Gentlemen, time to spread the word. And the word is panic.
"Men fear most what they can't see."
Christopher Nolan washed away the after taste of Schumacher's Batman & Robin when he released this dark and visually stunning superhero masterpiece. This is THE origin story when it comes to superhero films. It's the best origin movie I have ever seen and is my second favorite superhero movie ever behind only(surprise, surprise), The Dark Knight. What Nolan did for the superhero movie can't be overblown because he showed everyone that we don't need silly, campy, cartoonish characters just because a movie is based on a comic book. These characters can be real life people and that's how Nolan presented them. Batman is a human being, as are the villains. They aren't cartoons. Thank God someone finally realized that.
Like I said, Batman Begins is an origin story. We see why Bruce Wayne fears bats. We also see his parents die in front of his eyes, and we see him get his training from Ra's al Ghul. From there, he starts to establish himself as Batman, obtaining all his equipment and going after the head of a major crime family that is tearing Gotham apart. Soon he finds himself matched up against more then just the mob when Scarecrow begins to plot his own little fear factory. Just when you don't think it could get any worse for Batman, Ra's al Ghul shows up.
The best part about Nolan's intro to his trilogy is the introduction to his characters. Bruce Wayne and Batman have never been done better, but he also presents characters like Alfred in a light they haven't been shown in. Lucius Fox is also another great character that we are shown, along with Gordon. The casting decisions could not have been any better either. Bale is now thought of as Batman. Caine is perfect as Alfred, as is Freeman as Fox and Oldman as Gordon. If there's a weak spot in either of the first two movies, it's Rachel Dawes. Katie Holmes portrayal of Bruce's love interest is sort of wooden, but she's easy to look at, so it isn't all bad.
There's just so much awesomeness going on in Batman Begins. The sound is amazing, the score fantastic, the cinematography eye popping, the acting superb, the direction flawless, the choreography intense, and the overall movie insane. The movies pacing is great. Nolan always knows when to slow down for character development and when to speed up for intense action. He made Batman more then just a children's hero, he made him something much deeper.
This was the biggest superhero movie ever made up to this point in cinema history. Nolan would top himself with The Dark Knight, and we'll see how things go with The Dark Knight Rises. The good money is on that it will be amazing. Twenty years from now, Batman Begins will be remembered as the perfect start to the perfect trilogy. If you still for some reason haven't seen this or The Dark Knight, watch them soon and then go see The Dark Knight Rises. You will be in for a treat. I can guarantee that.
Before Christopher Nolan dove into the superhero genre with Batman Begins he was already an established director with three good to great movies already in Following, Memento, and Insomnia. Batman Begins resurected Batman after Joel Shumacher single handedly destroyed it. Ok, Arnold may have had something to do with it too. Nolan brought a great amount of darkness and intensity into this film and really makes the movie shine. The movie shows us the backstory to how Bruce Wayne became Batman and the difficulty of balancing both his life as Bruce and as Batman. The film features two really cool villains in Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghul. The cast is phenomenal, the cinematography and music are great, and the writing is smart and explosive. All of these are trademarks of a Christopher Nolan film. He always puts the right people around him. Wally Pfister is a great cinematographer and has been doing Nolan's films ever since Memento, Hans Zimmer is always outstanding, and Nolan's trusted cast members never fail. As a start to the trilogy, it's perfect and I like aspects of this movie better then The Dark Knight, even though The Dark Knight is my favorite movie. Obviously Katie Holmes isn't amazing, but I do like her more then Maggie Gyllenhaal. I also like Bruce Wayne aspect of this movie more than in the second, but it was much more important here. Ultimately Nolan has a chance with The Dark Knight Rises to possibly make the best trilogy ever or at least rival the likes of The Lord of the Rings. This my second favorite superhero movie ever and the other one is The Dark Knight.