Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Tom Wilkinson, Morgan Freeman
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Written By: Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 20 min
Despite some respectable efforts from Tim Burton in the late 80’s, I never felt the Batman character got the movie it deserved until I saw Batman Begins. Dark and brooding, intense and superbly written, this is a Batman you can believe in. This film properly explores the ideal behind the Batman character, and develops it in such a carefully crafted way. If Tim Burton’s Batman was a really good comic book. Nolan’s Batman is a classic graphic novel.
There are a couple of weaknesses in the film however that are worth pointing out. The first is due to its obligation to tell Batman’s origin story. Something that anyone remotely familiar with the character is already fully aware of. It is well done, and actually necessary to build a proper foundation for a believable masked crime fighter. I just would have preferred a little less time with the setup, and more time with the Bat! The other weakness is the explosive finale. To me, it lacked the carefully crafted quality that the rest of the film displayed. It also felt a little rushed.
Forget all other movie versions of Batman. This isn’t like anything that came before it. This takes a serious look at the Batman origin story, and focuses on the character of a man who would channel his fear and resources to help his city. The setup is a little slow, but worth it, as it creates a perfect foundation for the rest of the film. It’s not really that violent but the subject matter, and tone of the film may be a little too intense for younger viewers.
Gotham city looks fantastic, and the psychotropic drug enhanced point of view shots towards the end are really cool. If your local theater was re-screening this certainly try to catch that showing. At home, HD is recommended.
Best moment for me:
Batman snares a corrupt cop called Flass (Mark Boone Junior) and hauls him up about 50 feet into the air to question him. The moment Batman snarls ‘SWEAR TO ME!’ – Brilliant! Love it! Batman absolutely begins!