Batman Begins (2005)

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8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Nice launch to the new series

Not a huge fan of the end sequence

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Batman Begins

Studio:  DC Comics/Legendary Pictures

Genre(s):  Superhero/Action/Adventure/Drama

Release Date(s):  June 15, 2005

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

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Hey Rachel…I’ve been working on my gravelly voice and lurking…You like?

Bruce Wayne (Christian Bales) is aimless after the murder of his parents in a robbery and a ward of his butler Alfred (Michael Caine). Leaving Gotham City, he finds Ra’s al Ghul (Ken Watanabe), Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson), and his League of Assassins to train him. When he turns on the League, Bruce thinks he is done with him. Returning to Gotham, he’s reunited with his childhood love Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes) who is embedded in a battle against Gotham’s crimelord Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson). When a man calling himself the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) threatens Gotham City, Bruce in his new identity as Batman learns that his old enemy might somehow survived.

Directed by Christopher Nolan, Batman Begins gave a big jump to a series that had grown old and tired. The movie was met with high praise by critics and fans and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography.

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Boo!!!

Nolan’s Batman is a lot of fun. It was written by Nolan and David S. Goyer (who is no stranger to writing comic book movies) and incorporated story aspects of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One. The previous Batman movies had really taken Batman too far away from the dark Batman, but also the gothic look got to be too much.  In Batman Begins, it is back to the basics.

Nolan’s Batman is much more earthy and real. Nolan chose to use few computer images and many of the stunts are real functioning stunts. The great design of the Tumbler Batmobile itself is worth seeing the movie for…even if it really wouldn’t work. The Tumbler is just cool and the car chase on the highway has a much more realistic feel and style than Tim Burton’s surreal version.

The only problem I have with Batman Begins is that ending is a little weak. First, the Scarecrow is developed as this real cool villains with freaky images. He however goes out like a chump with a taser (also Zsasz (Tim Booth) could have been utilized better). Scarecrow does show-up in the follow-up movie, but in a very limited role. The movie also seemed better than the elevated car scene at the end. It was just too much talking and fighting. It was nice to incorporate Gordon (Gary Oldman), but it felt like the Goyer and Nolan were just looking for something for him to do. There was also a lot of build-up to Rutger Hauer’s involvement, but it seemed like a bit of a write-off at the end.

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So…are you going to paddle me or something for this initiation?

****Spoiler Alert**** As a comic book fan, it was pretty obvious that Ra’s al Ghul wasn’t dead at the beginning of the film. It was also obvious that Liam Neeson wouldn’t have had such a bit role (of course Ken Watanabe is a star himself). It was a decent switch-up with his big reveal, and fortunately the movie stuck to realism without mention of the Lazarus Pits, etc. Ra’s al Ghul wasn’t my favorite comic book villain, but at least he was put to good use here.

With the few flaws it has, Batman Begins is a a great film and the nice start to a franchise. It is just what Batman needed to move forward and also establish DC as a viable comic book filmmaker…something it has struggled with and still struggles with. Despite being a “superhero” movie it barely qualifies as once with the emphasis being on the drama and action. If you haven’t seen Batman Begins you need to get on it…especially with its superior sequel The Dark Knight released in 2008 and the third in the series being The Dark Knight Rises in 2012.

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Related Links:

The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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