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

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The Legend of the Batman Begins

  • Dec 19, 2008
Rating:
+5
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.
Poster
The filmmakers have thoughtfully evaluated the mistakes made in the previous films (mainly poor acting, shallow characterization, campy humor and mindless action) and avoided repeating them. They've brought a new level of depth to a genre that has recently been overexposed and streamlined. This is an intellectual superhero film. It deals with dark thematic subject matter, which is only appropriate considering that Batman is essentially a guilt-ridden vigilante who symbolically avenges the death of his parents.



The story looks at the origins of Gotham's Dark Knight. As a young boy, Bruce Wayne fell into a dilapidated well where bats attacked him. The incident would haunt him much of his life and helped to shape who he was to become. His parents, the wealthy Thomas and Martha Wayne, are altruistic and philanthropic. His father owns Wayne Enterprises, a large manufacturing company but he spends most of his time volunteering at the hospital. But one night when the Wayne family was leaving the opera, they were approached by a desperate criminal who shoots Bruce's parents.

Years after their death, Bruce tries unsuccessfully to get revenge but ultimately learns that it wouldn't solve anything to perpetuate the cycle of killing. He attempts to infiltrate the criminal underworld so that he might better understand what drives people to "prey on the fearful", but he is caught stealing from his own company. He's thrown into a prison in an unnamed Asian province, where he daily fights the other inmates for "practice". A man calling himself Ducard visits him unexpectedly. He offers Bruce a "path" and suggests he joins a secret fraternity, The League of Shadows, which seeks to bring balance and sanity to the world. When he agrees he is subjected to a brutal training regiment that takes him to the breaking point. Mentally and physically exhausted, he is accepted into their ranks providing that he display his devotion to justice by executing a criminal. Bruce refuses to knowingly take a life and a great battle ensues.

After barely escaping and saving Ducard from a fiery demise, he heads back to Gotham alone. He is reunited with his former girlfriend, Rachel and his parental butler, Alfred. He secretly assumes the identity of Batman. When Alfred asks, "Why bats, Master Wayne?" he responds, "Bats frighten me. It's time my enemies shared my dread."

Soon Batman uncovers corruption within the police force, the legal system and even within Wayne Enterprises. But at the heart of this new crime wave is an insidious conspiracy being carried out by a psychotic psychiatrist and an old acquaintance. Ducard returns and reveals his intentions to destroy Gotham City by releasing a "fear-inducing toxin" upon the population. And only Bruce, his former apprentice can stop him from succeeding.



The film features an excellent cast featuring Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred, Liam Neeson as Ducard, Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes, Gary Oldman as Police Sergeant Jim Gordon, Cillian Murphy as Dr. Crane / The Scarecrow, Tom Wilkinson as Carmine Falcone, Rutger Hauer as Earle, Ken Watanabe as Ra's al Ghul, Linus Roache as Thomas Wayne, and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox.

Arguably the best "comic book movie" ever made, Batman Begins resurrects the Dark Knight with style and sophistication. Rarely do these kinds of films touch upon philosophical beliefs, psychological disorders or social corruption and yet this film does so with ease. Batman Begins breathes new life into the legend and is the first chapter in a thrilling new Batman saga, which will be continued in 2008's The Dark Knight.

The Batman
Poster Batman takes wing!

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July 24, 2010
Hm, seems like my comment got lost along with Trashie's...I will feature this tonight.
July 24, 2010
Yeah, I miss our friends. You hear from them much?
July 24, 2010
Nick gave me some new links to shop from. Chris is off and around Epinions. Frank is solid in that site too. I tried Epinions, it was pretty good but the folks there can be brutally honest, (Scot always gets rocked there as he always gets criticized for lack of detail and sometimes accused of not reading or watching what he reviews) but I always had an issue getting a product page to review from and they don't allow reviews to go through when your review has a name like Konishita.
July 24, 2010
LOL! That is a problem. I really like Blogger at this point. I'm still hoping people will give it a chance.
July 24, 2010
check out the new review I dropped.
July 24, 2010
so....I guess I have to say SPIDER-WOMAN to make you come running? ;)
July 24, 2010
Yep, that'll do it...
July 24, 2010
I knew it!! LOL!
July 25, 2010
Yeah, my response to Marvel's female superheroes is somewhat predictable. ; )
July 25, 2010
you should make a list. As for Blogger, I heard it was a little harder to manuever.
July 25, 2010
No, it's really easy once you get going. It's just set up a little differently because you can't search for things in specific. You have to have the URL for what blogs you want to read, but on the upside that means you get to control who reads what.
 
July 08, 2010
Cillian Murphy is one of my favorite actors out there, loved him in this and loved the film as well.
 
April 22, 2009
Nice writeup. I personally feel this is the best comic book movie to date (that includes the 2nd one, The Dark Knight).
April 22, 2009
Thanks, and I couldn't agree more. It's nice to see a comic book-inspired move being directed by a filmmaker who actually cares about the subject and is capable of creating an intelligent adaptation.
 
1
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
posted in Movie Hype
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.
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
posted in Movie Hype
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.
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
very good, turning point in the batman series
Quick Tip by . June 15, 2010
All around beautifully executed.
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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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