Home | Reviews | Exclusive Writings | Great Links | Miscellaneous | FAQ | Contact Us

Batman Begins /

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Produced by: Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Emma Thomas
Written by: Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer
Distributor: Warner Bros.

 

Christian Bale as Batman in Warner Bros. Pictures' Batman Begins

Christian Bale as Batman in Warner Bros. Pictures' Batman Begins

Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes and Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane in Warner Bros. Pictures' Batman Begins

     I first saw Batman Begins on its opening day, during the heat of the last week of the school-year, thoroughly tired and ready for a bit of mental hibernation in the coming months of summer. I walked into the screening expecting a film of escapist derivation akin to that of, say, X-Men. With such expectations, I left the theatre totally puzzled by what I had seen, mainly because I could not understand huge amounts of critical acclaim surrounding the film. I found it to be completely unrewarding, as I had a problem viewing the vengeful protagonist as the hero he was supposed to be. I didnít understand what director Christopher Nolan, the genius behind Memento and Insomnia, was going for. At all.

 

     A week later, after schoolís end, the mentality of the summer season had fully set in and, as was with every other year in the past, I found myself completely bored out of my mind. I decided to give Batman Begins another try, mainly out of the desire to see what other critics had seen in it. Ready to further develop my ideas on why I didnít think it worked, wide awake, and well rested, I returned to the very same auditorium I had seen the film in, just seven days before. I was ready to feel the same way about it that I did the first time; instead, it was as if I was watching a movie I had never seen before. I was swept away in the moving cinematic glory of the experience.

 

     Batman Begins is not the kind of comic-book-adaptation that weíve come to expect out of Hollywood. In a sense, it is the perfect example of the anti-comic-book-adaptation. It is a thinking, breathing motion picture that requires thought and a desire to immerse oneself in its richness to enjoy. Nolanís work displays a true command of the interconnectivity between visuals and themes in film; unlike those in many other motion pictures of this nature, his protagonist always acts on ideas of true substance. In other words, the action in the movie is built around the plot, not the other way around.

 

     As expected, the look of Batman Begins is nearly perfect. The CGI in the movie couldnít have been better implemented, playing an especially remarkable role in the creation of stunning cityscapes, which paint the rough, dark atmosphere of the movie beautifully. Not to mention, without giving away too much, the wonderful evil of the antagonistsí plot is highlighted by the visuals which ensue as a result of it.

 

     Even more remarkable than the material of a computerized origin is the fact that the cast actually acts, refusing to conform to idea of creating the one-dimensional, cookie-cutter characters found in most other films of this sort. Christian Bale is, by far, the best Batman ever portrayed on film, mainly because of his brilliant face-work when in costume. Cillian Murphy, as Scarecrow, makes for a profoundly creepy villain. Morgan Freeman, Katie Holmes, Michael Caine, Tom Wilkinson, and Liam Neeson (despite the ridiculousness of some of his dialogue) round out the cast by providing some terrific support.

 

     Looking back on my experience with Batman Begins, I realize that it isnít so much different as it is well-done. Structurally, itís actually somewhat similar to other films of its kind. Itís the marrow inside its bones thatís atypical, pardon the cheesy analogy. It has all of the massive montages, quiet moments between the protagonist and his subtle love interest, and showdowns between good and evil that make the comic-book-adaptation what it is. The reason why the film is so much more successful than its peers, however, is because these moments, combined, add up to something as meditative and thoughtful as it is exciting and exhilarating. I blame my own wrong expectations and sleep deprivation for not liking Batman Begins the first time and am endlessly thankful that I gave it a second chance. Iím not exaggerating when I say that this is one of the best motion pictures of the year.

 

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


Back to Home
The Bucket Review's Rating Scale