Fear the Batman and his raspy voice!
As a boy a young Bruce Wayne watched in horror as his millionaire parents were slain in front of his eyes, a trauma which led him to become obsessed with revenge but his chance is cruelly taken away from him by fate. The discovery of a cave under his mansion, and a prototype armoured suit leads him to take on a new persona, one which will strike fear into the hearts of men who do wrong, he becomes Batman (Christian Bale).
Since everybody and their mothers have been hyping up the release of the epic conclusion of the Christopher Nolan Batman Saga, I thought it would be a good time to go back and check out what these other two did to have all of this excitement. However, it only got me more and more excited for what’s bound to come July 20th.
What Nolan does here with this Batman flick is give it a whole new look, edge, and feel to it. Instead of going for the slap-happy, goofy type of Batman we usually see from Adam West and the terrible Joel Schumacher, we get a real serious Batman that works a lot better. That’s right, no Prince jams, no Bat nipples, and no hammy villains: everything is played straight to the core and that is one of the main things that Nolan does here perfectly. Nolan actually gets into the character of Bruce Wayne more and find out how, why, and for what reasons he goes off from being this million dollhair playboy, to all of a sudden becoming a kick-ass dude dressed in a Bat suit. Of course being dressed as a Bat when you’re laying down the law on somebody is a little kooky in its own right, but they actually bring that up amongst other topics, and it all comes together perfectly.
Nolan also knows how to make this film look great with some perfect shots coming from the cinematography, but also with the sleek and dark look this film had the whole time, especially when it came to Gotham City itself. Gotham City here, actually looked like a metropolis rather than just a set with some fancy designs on it and it got me into this setting where every one and everything is just dirty as hell, everybody and their mothers are all corrupted, and there is no law being brought down on anything bad happening. Gotham City has never looked better and it only gets cooler and cooler to look at once Nolan begins to bring in some of Batman’s cool gadgets and whatnot, all of which, are going to make you want to head on back down to the local Toys R Us and play around a little bit. I’m probably alone on that one but it’s just another excuse to go and play with my toys.
There was plenty of action that worked, especially the finale which kept the energy flowing, but it start to bother me after awhile. Yeah, Nolan gives us the action we want but whenever he does, the camera is constantly up each person’s asses and you can’t see anything else other than a couple of figures throwing punches and kicks at one another. With all of these “hand to hand” combat fight sequences being edited so tightly, it was really hard for me to even get a feel for who was hitting who and who was doing what to whom, and I guess I just also wanted that “awww shittt he just broke that bulls….” moment that I usually get whenever I watch a superhero/action movie. Instead, I just guessed who was winning and who ended up winning and 9 times out of 10, I was right.
Christian Bale was a great choice for Bruce Wayne/Batman because the guy can look and act the part no matter what it is that he does, and he is no different here. I like how Bale gave off this dark but cocky attitude about him that made his character seem more like Patrick Bateman, which isn’t such a bad thing considering that is by-far one of his best performances of all-time and it’s definitely a lot easier to cheer on this guy when it comes to the beat-downs. Katie Holmes was pretty damn flat as Rachel and I think that’s mainly because the writing didn’t give her much to do, other than constantly bitch at every one around her, especially at Bruce and then act like they’re in love at the end. Yeah, didn’t really believe that after all of the hissy-fighting but maybe she was just tense. Then again, that’s always an excuse for ladies.
As for the villain(s) of this flick, each and every single one of them do fine-ass jobs and give a lot more to this story, even if it is without any real iconic villain that we all know and love from the Batman series. Liam Neeson is sinister as Henri and seems like the type of dude you really don’t want to mess with, even if it is Oskar Schindler; Tom Wilkinson was freakin’ funny (in a good way) as the last mobster in Gotham City; and Cillian Murphy does a great job playing up that whole crazy-persona here as Dr. Crane, and thankfully, he doesn’t overdo it one bit. Oh yeah, another surprise is that The Scarecrow is actually scary this time around. Never going into the corn fields ever again.
Consensus: Batman Begins is not perfect but it’s a very dark, bleak, and serious type of superhero film that works due to it’s inspired direction from Christopher Nolan, and some awesome performances that all of the cast gives out, with the exception of Katie Holmes which was pretty predictable.
Nice review! I always felt that The Dark Knight was far superior, so I’m excited to see how you review that!
Thanks Logan! It will probably be up soon, so be ready!
I’ll be waiting!
You didn’t even mention that it has one of the coolest endings to any film ever. After watching the film, thinking it was pretty cool and a decent Batman flick, that meeting on the rooftop made me want to see Nolan’s Joker immediately!
True! I mean I already saw the sequel, but that ending still gives me the goosebumps.
Easily one of the best teases ever. I initially thought it was a tie-in to the 1989 Batman, but when I found out it was going to lead to a sequel, I was psyched.
I remember when I first saw images of the Bat Tumbler, I thought it was horrible. Then I saw it in action in this movie and I was completely blown away. Awesomeness!!
Awesome use of the Bat Tumbler!
Adore this film. It set up the new Batman trilogy and some people forget it in the light of The Dark Knight. Sometimes I think the plot and story in this is tighter than TDK but both are epic comic book films.
It’s a lot tighter but The Dark Knight may be just a tad bit better than this one. Just a tad.
Nice review, Dan. Very good film, and Nolan shows, for the first time, that it’s possible to do a fairly dark Batman and still have it be good.
Thanks Morgan! Nolan also shows, that he can pretty much do no wrong when it comes to directing.
At least we very much hope so. 😀
OK, now I have to rent this. I haven’t watched a Batman movie since Batman and Robin. I guess it is time to forgive and forget and give this trilogy a chance. Good review.
Chris Nolan serves gritty realism that imposes terror to society with these lunatics running loose and that makes Batman’s universe ground zero! Awesome 😀
Ha ha, that voice, that voice! What a bad, bad choice, I mean it’s really one of the big blunders of Nolan’s revisionists dream. You’re definitely on the mark with the look and feel of Nolan’s take on the characters, the city and the sentiment, and he’s nothing if not a master of composition and action – dare I say too much at times, often to be honest, and like you I was a bit flustered with the kitchen sink approach – then again, it’s Batman. As for Bale, absolutely. He’s really one of the top actors working today and he brings so many layers to his characters that other, lesser actors wouldn’t know what to do with it. Have you seen the Fighter? http://rorydean.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/the-fighter-2010/ and what about The Machinist? I haven’t reviewed the latter but soon. Nice detailed review as always. Cheer-s>