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Christopher Nolan's 2005 film based upon the origins of the DC Comics character.

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A Dark and rich classic, that captures the spirit of the early comics.

  • Jun 15, 2005
  • by
Rating:
+5
Pros: Great Story, good performances and action.

Cons: Holmes is not used much.

The Bottom Line: A true classic and on par with Spider-Man as the best comic adaptation to date.

In the dark of night, a young mans life is about to be forever changed. Young Bruce Wayne, son of wealthy industrialist Dr. Thomas Wayne (Linus Roache), is about to be orphaned in a random act of street violence.

The act will forever scar the younger Wayne, and will install and fuel a dark fire to stop crime and corruption wherever they may be. Fast forward years later and Bruce (Christian Bale), is interned in and Asian prison as a result of his desire to stop crime and an unfortunate series of events that made him flee Gotham City to find himself. Hope arrives one day in the form of a visitor named Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson), who arranges not only to free Bruce, but to train him for his destiny.

High atop a rocky snow covered peak, Bruce undergoes rigorous physical and mental training to hone his body and mind into the ultimate tool to combat crime. As time passes, Bruce eventually is ready to go out into the world that is until an unexpected situation arises that forces him to decide which path he wishes to select.

The aftermath of this decision has Bruce returning home to Gotham City, where he is again under the care of the trusted family servant Alfred (Michael Caine), who informs him that crime and corruption is rampant in Gotham as the crime leader Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson), has many members of the police force and judicial system under his influence.

While touring his fathers company, Bruce meets Lucius Fox, (Morgan Freeman), who makes all manner of high end, and experimental military weaponry and armor available to Bruce. Inspired, Bruce begins to craft his alter ego Batman, and takes to the nights to disrupt Falcone and the criminal activities in Gotham.

Unknown to Bruce/Batman an evil villain known as the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy), is plotting to destroy Gotham, and with Batman being wanted by the police as a vigilante his attempts to cleanse the city are hindered as Bruce/batman must fight a war on different fronts.

For most films this would be more than enough plot to carry a summer action film, but for “Batman Begins”, it is only the setup as the depth of the story is surpassed only by the depth of the intensity and emotion of the film as this is not Tim Burton or Joel Schumacher’s campy takes on the tale of the Dark Night.

Director Christopher Nolan takes the gloves off and shows that his triumphant work in “Memento” was not a fluke as he has crafted a complex, dark, and emotional film that is more of a drama than a comic book caper. Bale does a masterful job portraying the angst and anger of his character without ever being hammy or over the top. He portrays Wayne as a very normal, yet disturbed soul, who clearly has a method to his madness and is not a shallow once dimensional character. When Bruce is not out fighting crime, he is not above cracking jokes, squiring the ladies about town, and spending time with long time friend and the one who got away Rachael Dawes (Katie Holmes).

The film takes many twists and never gets sappy as far too many comic based films do. In fact, the intensity of the film keeps going up until the town literally explodes into frenzy of violence and chaos. Parents should note that this Batman is a very intense film filled with dark images and as such may be too intense for younger viewers as this is a film that is aimed towards a more mature audience.

As I sat through the films nearly two and a half hour running time, I was captivated as the film holds your attention throughout, and is filled with great performances and action. The chase scene with the new Batmobile is one of the best car chase sequences in recent memory and the action scenes move with a crisp and steady pacing. Bale as I mentioned does great work, but so do Neeson, Caine and Gary Oldman in a supporting role as Police officer Gordon. They take supporting characters and infuse them with a touch of humanity that enables them to come across as real people rather than the thin constructs that are far too often passed on as characters in films of this type.

The only real quip I had with the film and it is very minor would be that Holmes was not given a chance to show more to her character other than the duality of the damsel in distress and the passionate Assistant D.A. Her scenes with Bale seem to lack the spark and chemistry of someone who is supposed to have been a close friend of Bruce since they were children.

That being said, the mature nature and gripping and deep storyline as well as the standout performances and action make this film a true classic and rivals “Spider-Man” as the most faithful and best film adaptation of a comic book.

5 stars out of 5

www.sknr.net

Recommended:
Yes

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More Batman Begins reviews
review by . July 26, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****    As a child, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) was subjected to not one but two majorly traumatic events. The first was when he fell into the well just outside of his house and was greeted by a swarm of bats at the bottom, causing him to develop a phobia for the animals. The second was when his phobia took over him at an opera that he was attending with his parents, provoking the three of them to step outside, where the mugger Joe Chill was waiting with a loaded …
review by . November 30, 2010
Once upon a time, Batman fans were disappointed with the aftertaste left by the disastrous Joel Schumacher films. A producer named Christopher Nolan heard their cries and decided to take the franchise back to its roots with Batman Begins. He went back to the dark storyline and rich character development that made the first two original batman movies great, as opposed to the campiness and kid-friendliness of the Schumacher movies. Boy did this work.      This is nowhere near …
Quick Tip by . August 30, 2010
Thoroughly engrossing and clear headed retelling of the Dark Knight's origins, making sure all the nails are hammered down, our hero learns from his mistakes and saves a scummy Gotham City. Fantastic.
Quick Tip by . July 21, 2010
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Steller reintroduction to the Dark Knight after an 8 year absnece and showing his roots, his motives and really getting me to care about Batman again.
review by . December 19, 2008
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Poster
After the first Batman franchise was driven into the ground by a succession of terrible sequels, it seemed unlikely that there would ever be a respectable Batman film again. But then there came a hope from an unexpected source. Christopher Nolan (director of Following and Memento) wanted to reinvent the character in a more realistic and epic way. He teamed up with screenwriter David S. Goyer (The Blade Trilogy and Dark City) and together they wrote an exceptionally smart screenplay.   …
Quick Tip by . August 08, 2010
Best installment of Batman yet. Really deep plot twists and cohesive story that holds together better than ever.
Quick Tip by . July 26, 2010
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Christopher Nolan completely revitalized the Batman franchise. The making of the man was interesting but the culmination of the film seemed to lose the grounding that made the film so compelling from the outset. The scoring definitely made this film.
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
Most beleivable of the Batmans
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Amazing! One of the best renditions of a Batman movie.
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About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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About this movie

Wiki

Batman Begins discards the previous four films in the series and recasts the Caped Crusader as a fearsome avenging angel. That's good news, because the series, which had gotten off to a rousing start under Tim Burton, had gradually dissolved into self-parody by 1997'sBatman & Robin. As the title implies,Batman Beginstells the story anew, when Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) flees Western civilization following the murder of his parents. He is taken in by a mysterious instructor named Ducard (Liam Neeson in another mentor role) and urged to become a ninja in the League of Shadows, but he instead returns to his native Gotham City resolved to end the mob rule that is strangling it. But are there forces even more sinister at hand?

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...

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Details

Director: Christopher Nolan
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Release Date: June 15, 2005
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: October 18, 2005
Runtime: 2hrs 20min
Studio: Legendary Pictures, Syncopy Films, Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Studios
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