Batman Begins (2005)

batmanbegins_2005_poster
Batman Begins (2005)
  • Time: 140 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Crime
  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman

Storyline:

When his parents were killed, millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne relocates to Asia when he is mentored by Henri Ducard and Ra’s Al Ghul in how to fight evil. When learning about the plan to wipe out evil in Gotham City by Ducard, Bruce prevents this plan from getting any further and heads back to his home. Back in his original surroundings, Bruce adopts the image of a bat to strike fear into the criminals and the corrupt as the icon known as ‘Batman’. But it doesn’t stay quiet for long.

3 reviews

  • I’m a big Batman fan, and I got to say that this movie was the best Batman movie till 2005. Even better than the original with Michael Keaton (1989). Christian Bale did an excellent job, he’s perfect for the role of Batman! Michael Caine was definitely the comic relief of the movie and brought some pretty funny one-liners, but overall this movie was a serious, emotional thriller and that’s what made it so great! Superb movie!

  • He’s a billionaire. He is the heir to a very successful private enterprise, and he is devastatingly terrified of bats. Ever since falling down into a bat-infested cave, the bat has been the symbol of his dread. Following the murder of his parents, Bruce Wayne went in search of a way to stand up and fight the injustice in his city, living among criminals in Asia. While in prison, he meets a mysterious man named Rah’s Al Guhl, who offers him a way to fight the world’s corruption through a special type of training. When he realizes that the brand of justice is not the same as his own, Wayne returns to Gotham, and he does not like what he finds. Utilizing the training he had received, as well as the resources from Wayne Enterprise’s Applied Sciences division, Bruce puts on the cowl and cape that we know and love, and he sets out to defend the city that his father worked so hard to preserve.

    The Caped Crusader has appeared in comic books and other mediums for decades, and the quest for a permanent success in a film portrayal was very elusive. Though Batman (1984) was a relative success, the failure in the projects that followed were enough to drown out this spark of triumph. The infamous Bat-nipples and such were too much for comic book geeks and the general public to handle. Thankfully, a new director named Christopher Nolan, who had just come off of a successful project called Memento (2000), took up the reins of the DC Comics icon. With the release of Batman Begins, the once depressingly faulty franchise was up to par with a more contemporary success, Sam Raimi’s Spiderman.
    In contrast to what the previous films in the Batman franchise brought to the screen, this installation brought some major pieces: great themes, realistic action sequences, and depth to the main character(s). With a notably darker portrayal of Gotham’s hero, this movie was a breakthrough for superhero flicks, and it has been a heavy influence on those hero movies that followed it.
    The only aspect of the film that the Academy recognized was the cinematography, which definitely deserved such attention. It was the sequel, The Dark Knight, which grabbed the most attention for Oscar categories.
    The biggest difference in this Batman movie is the themes. While the previous films tried to capture the cartoonish, comic book essence of the character, this one was as realistic as a fictional hero story can be. Tackling deep themes like redemption, rebirth, and standing up for one’s beliefs, Batman Begins is much more than men in tights saying “POW” and “BAM”.
    On a negative note, the acting is not quite up to par with the rest of the film’s quality. Though it is not the worst acting in a Batman movie (see Batman & Robin), it is not the most well performed film either.

    Though this is the predecessor to the best superhero movie of all time, The Dark Knight, I strongly suggest that any interested viewer see this film first, as each of Nolan’s trilogy plays off of the other films. Just make sure that you keep in mind that this isn’t really as family-oriented as the Marvel movies (Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc.). This is the grownup’s turn to appreciate the Caped Crusader.

  • Looking back at Batman Begins, the first installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, in conjunction with its sequel The Dark Knight (2008), it is clearly evident that Nolan’s vision of the popular comic book hero is nothing less than the sum of the parts that make up a truly well-defined and realistically-developed anti-hero.

    In Nolan’s world, Batman is as humanly flawed as Bruce Wayne himself, and the writer-director makes sure that this is communicated to the audience. In one scene, Batman escapes by jumping off a roof in a chase sequence. He lands clumsily and noisily on a retractable ladder that extends itself.

    Christian Bale who plays Batman/Bruce delivers a performance that is neither showy nor restrained. Really, it is not about the intensity of the performance but about the motivations behind the actions that define who Batman is. Even so, by the end of Batman Begins, it is still unclear who Batman really is, though this is explored with more depth in the sequel.

    This is where Nolan hits that rare, illuminating spot that gives us an anti-hero who is well-developed yet has issues with his own identity. Batman is a symbol of hope for Gotham not by fate but by choice, and even then, Nolan throws that symbol in murky waters.

    While The Dark Knight is widely considered to be the epitome of the superhero genre, though I would use the term “superhero” very loosely here, it would be fatal to see Batman Begins as an inferior companion to one of the great crime films of the 2000s.

    Batman Begins is in my opinion a deeper film than its sequel because it lays the philosophical foundation for a character whose motivation to act not only lies in guilt and anger, but also in the desire to confront the very fear that incapacitated him not to act.

    Batman Begins is a film about memory, like a faded photograph. It plunges head-on into Bruce’s backstory and situates it in the present, providing ample illustration of the transformative character arc that Bruce would go through, and presenting an ambivalent identity he continues to struggle to make sense of in The Dark Knight.

    Wally Pfister’s cinematography here is occasionally tinted with golden brown, alluding to that essence of memory. Compare this to the cold and dark bluish tint in the sequel, and it is quite apparent that Batman Begins is a more humanistic and less cynical picture, though it remains considerably dark by genre standards.

    This is Nolan’s first foray into big-budget Hollywood filmmaking, and he treats it as serious as an arthouse filmmaker embarking on a personal, independent project. Despite its role as a tentpole film for Warner Brothers, Batman Begins is distinctively a Nolan picture – a solid blend of realist action and smart ideas.

    Although conceptually different from Tim Burton’s more imaginative vision of the caped crusader as seen in Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), Nolan dares to challenge fans’ perceptions of how a superhero film should be like. By focusing on Batman as a human character with an existential issue that is worth investing our emotions in, Nolan has avoided caricaturizing superheroes as masked vigilantes who are comfortable in their own artificial skins.

    In Nolan’s hands, Batman Begins is a masterful action picture that continues to impress with its brawn and wit. With The Dark Knight Rises slated for release in the summer of 2012, Nolan is under intense pressure to deliver a picture that not only should ideally match The Dark Knight in epic boldness, but should also bring viewers back full circle to the philosophical roots of Batman Begins, and answer the most important question of all: What is Batman?

    GRADE: A (9/10)

Write your review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *