Batman Begins (2005)

batman begins poster 2005 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Nice launch to the new series

Ending gets a little messy

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Batman Begins

Studio:  DC Comics/Legendary Pictures

Genre(s): Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Drama

Release Date(s):  June 15, 2005

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

batman begins bats scene

The Bat is coming for you!

When his parents are struck down by an assassin tied to Carmine “The Roman” Falcone (Tom Wilkinson), young Bruce Wayne (Gus Lewis) finds himself orphaned and the ward of his butler Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine).  Leaving Gotham behind and believed dead, Bruce (Christian Bale) is out to become something more than a man.  Seeking training with the League of Assassins run by Ra’s Al Ghul (Ken Watanabe) and his assistant Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson), Bruce learns the means to fight crime…but learns Ra’s plans for Gotham and the world aren’t what he stands for.  Returning to Gotham, Bruce must reclaim his lost name and finds himself reconnecting with his childhood friend Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes).  Unfortunately, a psychiatrist named Dr. Jonathan Crane (Cillian Murphy) is working behind the scenes in Gotham, and Bruce’s new identity could be key to protecting the city.

Directed by Christopher Nolan (who co-wrote the screenplay with David S. Goyer), Batman Begins is a DC Comics superhero movie and the first entry in The Dark Knight Trilogy.  The film was met with positive reviews and a large box office return.  It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography.

batman begins ras al ghul ice fight liam neeson christian bale

We’re going to have to work on this whole “world’s greatest detective” title

The previous Batman movies beginning with Batman in 1989 were a revolutionary take on the character, but over the course of the four movies ending with Batman and Robin in 1997, the franchise fizzled out.  With Nolan as a hot director and a deeper dive into some of the darker side of Batman, Batman Begins was a surefire hit.

As the title implies Batman Begins is an origin story which is maybe the least exciting part of the film.  Most people know the basics of Batman’s origin (aka the classic murder of his parents…even possibly the string of pearls), but at least this film decided to focus on how a trust fund brat becomes one of the most feared men in the world.  The Bruce Wayne of Batman Begins has to stop being soft and coddled and become a menace…we get to see some of his early successes and failures along the way instead of just seeing the established Batman that everyone knows.  This is combined with a story involving some of Batman’s unused in live-action villains including Ra’s Al Ghul and Scarecrow.  The movie trucks along, but I do think the ending gets a little messy and kind of convenient at points.

batman begins scarecrow

I’m you’re worst nightmare…unless you have a taser

The cast is good.  Like him or dislike him (primarily for some of his off screen behavior), Christian Bale always throws himself into his work and as a result his Batman does have the layers he needs.  Michael Caine is the perfect modern day Pennyworth and Morgan Freeman and are great choices for Lucius Fox and James Gordon.  Katie Holmes is good as the romantic interest but was replaced in the sequel by Maggie Gyllenhaal.  Cillian Murphy is a good Scarecrow but it really bothers me that he goes out like a chump.  Tom Wilkinson is a bit over-the-top with his accent, and Rutger Hauer is completely wasted.  I like Liam Neeson, but I kind of wish that there had been more for Ken Watanabe to do.  The young boy in the movie (given the Batarang) is Jack Gleeson…aka Game of Thrones’ evil King Joffrey.

batman begins costume christian bale

Hey Ra’s…how do you like my gruff voice?

Visually, the movie is compelling and Nolan tries to put the “fear” in Batman.  The origin and more real world aspect of the movie allows for things like the Tumbler to replace the classic Batmobile and the fabric of the cape to serve a purpose.  I like the actual use of bats as a means to disguise Batman’s moves and actions (though it probably wouldn’t be too cool for the bats).

Batman Begins is a great start to a good trilogy.  Like Star Wars, the first film holds a special place even if it is outclassed by the sequel film.  Working with established characters and guaranteeing more films allows for more character development and more planning and the first film sometimes suffers, but Batman Begins holds its own.  Batman Begins was followed by The Dark Knight in 2008.

Related Links:

The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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