It goes without saying that Batman and Robin is one of the most loathed comic book movies ever. I don't hate it as much as others but it's still pretty bad and went a long way in sinking Batmans movie francize the way Batman Returns did in 1992 but in a much different and long lasting way.
It took 8 long years to rebuild Batman and it goes without saying that this one film became by far the best of the series, even bigger then the 89 film and went a long way in wiping clean the neon nightmare of Batman and Robin and giving Batman, a more beliveable and fresh start peering into his origins and how things became the way they did.
Watching the Batman movies, any of them before this one I always did wonder where Batman did get his "wonderful toys" who built them? What company keeps it's secrets safe from blackmail or exposing Bruce Wayne and his secrets. A vauge insight was given in Batman Returns but it wasn't enough. Seeing everything laid out from the begining gives a much bigger sense of creedance and beliveability to the surroundings. Even the origins of his parents murder which leads him down the path he does, and his training by a far East clan of martial artist mercenary types fills in some major blanks. The pain he feels towards his parents death is really examined. I don't think they could have done a better job and lets hope this thread about Batman is left alone. It's been a subject for half the movies in the series now.
What I found interesting was how much fear played in this movie. People afraid to do anything against the mafia running Gotham, Bruce is afraid of bats and uses them as his symbol against corruption and the villians plan on using a fear inducing hallucinagin on the city so that it can destroy itself. Watching someone conquer their fears and rise up against them is always nice and gives your heroes that important edge they need.
Speaking of Gotham, juxtoposed between past and present day, what a sterling crystaline clean city turns into the biggest scummy urban pit ever. The ghettos of Gotham where most of the action takes place looks particularily crowded and run down. The casting is a nice mix with Christian Bale as Batman who has the best mix of billionaire and crime fighter without being good at one or the other as other actors were. That infamous voice of his is subdued here and doesn't become a weird disguised growl until the next movie. Gary Oldman is great as Gordan and Michael Caine as Alfred, both of these actors make you forget how great the former stars were in the older movies.
Batman Begins only fault is that between a deep building story of Bruce's past and then shifting into the modern day mission, you almost have two movies that are held together with only a couple of threads together. It's the same way how Return of the Jedi feels awkward with a good portion of the story devoted to saving Han Solo and then the rest of the film.
Batman Begins is a surprisingly awesome movie and until it's sequel The Dark Knight, the best of the Batmans. You almost can walk away feeling like Batman could exist and not just a figment of our imaginations and with no fear.
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Cowritten by the team of David S. Goyer (a veteran comic book writer) and director Christopher Nolan (Memento), Batman Begins is a welcome return to the grim and gritty version of the Dark Knight, owing a great debt to the graphic novels that preceded it. It doesn't have the razzle dazzle, or the mass appeal, of Spider-Man 2 (though the Batmobile is cool), and retelling the origin means it starts slowly, like most "first" superhero movies. But it's certainly the best Bat-film since Burton's original, and one of the best superhero movies of its time. Bale cuts a good figure as Batman, intense and dangerous but with some of the lightheartedness Michael Keaton brought to the character. Michael Caine...