Thursday, July 19, 2012

Batman Begins (Christopher Nolan, 2006) Review

Yes! Here we go! A good Batman film. It's about damn time. Here we can begin Christopher Nolan's trilogy of Batman films known as 'The Dark Knight Saga' or 'Trilogy'...which ever floats your boat. After the epic failure of Batman & Robin, the Batman film franchise was a dead zone. No-one wanted to go there. Even Joel Schumacher's Batman Triumphant (with Scarecrow, Man-Bat, Mad Hatter and Harley Quinn as potential enemies) was cancelled. Apparently, Christopher Nolan saw hope in the Batman series and decided it was about time for a reboot which began with Batman Begins, naturally.

After the death of his parents, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) leaves Gotham City in order to find himself (it's deep). While in an Asian prison, he is let out by a man named Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) who claims to work for a man named Ra's Al Ghul (Ken Watanabe). Bruce masters his training from Ducard and destroys Ra's Al Ghul's base, killing Ra's in the process. With the martial arts training mastered, Bruce returns to Gotham in order to bring justice in the form of Batman. With the threat of Dr. Jonathan Crane (Cillian Murphy) and his Scarecrow persona, Batman must protect his childhood friend Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes), Police Lt. Jim Gordan (Gary Oldman), Wayne family butler Alfred (Michael Caine) and Wayne Enterprise worker Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman). Can Batman bring justice to Gotham? Will he stop Scarecrow? What is Ducard's secret? You should really know the answers by now...

Batman Begin was risky as hell. No-one wanted to go near Batman after Batman & Robin and it's clear to see why but Batman Begins really pulled through and restored the series to greatness. GREAT CASTING IS HERE! YEAH! Christian Bale is a great Bruce Wayne and, in this one at least, is a fantastic Batman (I'll explain what went wrong in the next film). Michael Caine is fantastic as Alfred, Michael Gough was good along side the previous Bruce Waynes so Michael Caine works well with the new Bruce Wayne, Christian Bale. Gary Oldman is better than Pat Hingle...that is all. Rachel is the best female lead in a Batman film up till this point. The other ones weren't very well developed but now we know that Bruce actually HAD happy memories as a kid and even a best friend. Thank you Nolan. Lucius Fox is just Morgan Freeman, and that's a good thing! Finally, the villains in this film are a MAAAAAJOR improvement from last time. Scarecrow was long overdue and Cillian Murphy creates a great role that makes me wonder if he's listening half the time or just lost in his head. Liam Neeson's character creates the whole 'I created you' villain as he was responsible for Batman's origin and practically created him.

There are still problems, it's by no means a perfect film but my problems are your problems. The camera in the action scenes is terrible. It is far too shaky and it makes it near impossible to see what's happening at certain points. It died down towards the end with the final problem but at the's bad. Another things is, while this is 'if Batman was real' (mainly due to Nolan wanting to make Batman as realistic as possible), there are some things that are just a bit too far-fetched. I don't care how tough Batman's armour is, I doubt he could survive being set on fire and thrown out of a window or survive being pulled by a train. Also, I don't think we needed to see the origin of the Bat signal. Batsuit, yes. Batcave, yes. Batmobile, yes. Bat signal, no. Other than these, I can't find any other problems with this film. You done good Nolan, you done good.

Batman Begins was the start of a new era. It was the rise of Batman's popularity...again and it proved that even comic book films can be up there with the greats! It was a gamble to see if they can bring the good Batman back and it definitely paid off. It's good to see a Batman film that is FANTABOUSLY (that's a word now) amazing. It made the Batman universe great (I actually cared about Thomas Wayne/Bruce's Dad this time!) and, tomorrow, we dive deeper into what can be possibly be one the best films ever (look it up), The Dark Knight.

A great reinvention of the Batman franchise. Nolan did good. I can't wait for more (wait a second...)

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