Batman Begins (2005)
What drives a man to an obsession with justice and vengeance? What would cause him to seek a way to strike fear into the fearful? And what kind of a world is it that propels a man to dress up like a bat? After nearly a decade away, the Batman returns to the big screen with a new director with intent on answering these questions while establishing a new look, tone, and audience for the Caped Crusader. Christopher Nolan brings in a new origin/reboot picture, Batman Begins.
As stated earlier, a serious point of interest (and sometimes contention) for me is the accompanying score for a movie. As the film starts there are two deep, pulsating notes that instantly evoke the dark, brooding nature of the Batman and lets me know there is something serious at hand. Its it clear early on, and throughout, that this is a flick that WAY rooted in reality. Chris Nolan has taken the Batman universe and placed it into a real world setting with great result. That sense of realism provides a greater connection to the world of Batman and the people in it. This effect also greatly diminishes the suspension of disbelief, making the notion of a man fighting crime in a bat suit seem like it could actually happen. The story is another very strong element now for the franchise. This marks the first time that the origins of the Batman are seriously delved into on film. The narrative takes a journey through Bruce Wayne’s great tragedy, then shows the path he takes to build himself into the symbol of justice and vengeance that became the Batman. After investing so much time into how Bruce Wayne came to don the cape and cowl, it makes his steps toward that action make more sense and makes the hero mean more for the story.
One of the finest points of this film is how well cast it is. Deeply rooting the film in reality would never have panned out without the actors to make the story seem believable. Christian Bale steps in as Bruce/Batman had fits the role magnificently. He has the look and charm to make the billionaire playboy side of Bruce Wayne work, yet also has the quiet suffering and inner turmoil side to Wayne as well. Bale also fits the physical stature of Batman that would make the Caped Crusader look and feel as imposing as he should. Michael Caine is Alfred in this flick and plays the part wonderfully by adding new elements to the character. He comes in with a younger disposition than seen before and mixes the paternal care and concern for Bruce Wayne with an appropriate level of humor at coping with the fact that he works for a man who regularly wears bat ears. Morgan Freeman is absolutely brilliant as Lucius Fox. Cillian Murphy is calculating, sinister, and creepy as Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow. Gary Oldman is unrivaled as Gordon and Liam Neeson in his (spoiler free; but at this point, shame on you!) villainous role is intoxicating and utterly real. He makes every line he speaks seem completely true.
As the title mentions, the flick is all about how Batman began. Seeing the relationship Bruce had with his parents, especially his dad, makes the upset of their death mean even more. Seeing the depth and lengths Bruce Wayne on his journey to become Batman add a more dramatic and admirable element to the character. Adding the character Lucius Fox, alone, draws realism and credibility to the Batman character by explaining where and how he got “all those wonderful toys.” And this flick proves that a dark, brooding, non-bad-joke making Batman can exist without dousing the entire picture with black paint. Yes, the running time is up there and, after multiple viewings, it will drag in some areas; but this movie maintains strong ties with the source material while being contemporary and entertaining.
- Batman Begins a new journey on film and, “the Force is strong with this one.”
Yes, I know! Batman doesn’t know how to use the Force. Just click RAMARS!! and all will be explained and, hopefully, forgiven.