Finally, a rendition of Batman that most fans of the comic book would be proud of. At least that was the hope I had when I finally sat down to watch Batman Begins.
Let’s start where the producer’s of Batman Begins got it right. Without a doubt, they nailed the persona of Batman. From the telling story of a troubled Bruce Wayne, to the compassionate, vengeance driven caped-crusader, this movie lays it all out in a well defined manner. Every nuance of what drives Batman is explored. Finally. Next up, the gadgets. We’ve all wondered “where the fuck does he get all those cool weapons and vehicles.” Now we know where they come from, what they’re made of and how they work. Now they’re more than just a prop that he pulls out of his ass to save the day. Another plus is the Gotham cityscape. It is detailed. It is foreboding. Gotham City is explained and presented to the viewer like a living, breathing object. Lastly, Christian Bale, enacts a convincing Bruce Wayne. I felt sorrow for him. I applauded his heroics. The casting directors got it right.
By now, however, I’m sure your saying to yourself, “If the movie is this good, what could possibly be bad about it?” Right? Well there are a few things that irritated me, in a major fucking way. The beginning of the movie takes way too fucking long to develop. I honestly thought I was watching “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” again . . . only with Ducard (Liam Neeson) giving tutelage to Bruce Wayne instead of Obi-Wan teaching Anakin. I understand the need to develop the character, but taking 3/4 of the movie to do it, is just over-fucking-kill. Also, Katie Holmes is atrocious. She adds zero value to the movie. And holy-crooked face Batman, she is not a pleasure to look at! Thank goodness, Bruce Wayne does not hook up with her. The casting directors I previously congratulated, fucked up here. Royally.
What does this mean? Not much in the scheme of things. Batman Begins is undoubtedly the best movie of the franchise (although the Michael Keaton “Batman” was a pleasure to watch too). I think the producers have themselves setup quite well for a sequel (I would love to see who plays the Joker).
July 15, 2005 @ 9:09 am Mr. Fuchsia
Hmm…you give the movie an A+, yet you find flaws with the casting and admit the beginning of the movie was indeed a bit drawn out?
I’ll also agree with you that the movie does chronicle the Batman graphic novels quite well. . .this doesn’t mean however, that his training in Asia has to take up 3/4 of the movie. Also, I might add, my comparison with Star Wars is dead on. One can interchange the characters from the beginning of both movies and they wouldn’t skip a beat.
As I said before, this movie is the best of the Batman series (if you can call it a series). I undoubtedly think the sequel to this will be demonstrably better.
July 15, 2005 @ 10:56 am Nashtradomus
Let me paraphrase what I wrote. I said “She doesn’t hurt the film, but a more polished adult actress may have been a better fit”. One of last lines in my review states that this movie is picture perfect and hence the A+.
I don’t know how much clear can I be on why you cannot compare Star Wars to Batman. There was a reason why Ducard (Liam Neeson) came to Asia looking for Bruce Wayne, he wanted to lure Wayne into his ultimate goal of destroying Gotham City. The reason he wanted Bruce Wayne for this ultimate goal was because of his previous failure in doing that because Bruce Wayne’s father was in the way of getting it done. He thought the best way to do that was to lure him into making him believe that Wayne can be a better human. In Ducard’s judgement he thought by having a mentor-apprentice relationship, he can have this task done in a smooth manner.
I for one don’t see any similarity in the scenes except for the mentor-apprentice relation as a common thread.
July 15, 2005 @ 1:34 pm Mr. Fuchsia
The movie is not picture perfect. You say so yourself, by pointing out several areas in which the movie could have been better. . .
The similiarities between Stars Wars and Batman lie with the whole master/apprentice relationship, not with the why the master sought him out.
Star Wars: Jedi Master
Batman: Ninja Master
Star Wars: Cheesy lines about how the Jedi are there for the good of the universe
Batman: Cheesy lines about how the Ras al Ghul are there for the good of the world
Star Wars: A padawan who breaks the Jedi code
Batman: A ninja apprentice who breaks the Ras al Ghul code
Shall I continue. . .?
July 15, 2005 @ 8:57 am Nashtradomus
Let me start out by saying that this movie was 100% certified f**king great movie!
Now that I have let out my bottled up enthusiasm, let me go ahead with the rest of my views about this celluloid masterpiece. As someone who had collected and read Batman comics as a child, let me come out and say that they got it right this time.
Batman Begins first finds millionaire Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) in Asia where he is searching for answers about the criminal mind as well as answers about the guilt and anger he feels inside. Through flashbacks, we soon see Bruce as a child witnessing the gruesome murders of his parents. Unusual circumstances prevent Bruce from avenging their death sending him on his quest to Asia. While there, Bruce begins training with a dangerous ninja cult leader known as Ra’s al Ghul. Bruce soon returns to Gotham and finds that it is overrun with crime and corruption. He assumes a secret identity after discovering a cave under his home, and Batman begins.
The cast for the film is almost flawless, except for the one question, what were they thinking when they opted for Katie holmes?! The roles were all filled with capable, high caliber adult actors, and Holmes simply comes across as a child playing dress up. She doesn’t hurt the film, but a more polished adult actress may have been a better fit. Personally I think that Bale was picture perfect for Batnman character.
Now having said that, I would like to point out at the comments mentioned by Mr.Fuchsia, the beginning of the movie could have been a little drawn out, but I think it was done tasteful and when you are watching it for the first time, you do not notice how fast the scenes slip by. I also feel that the director had to neccessarily fit in those scenes so we know exactly why Ra’s Al Ghul came after Bruce Wayne and what his orginal intentions were as we later on see the explanation for his previous act. All in all, I don’t see any fatal flaws in the movie. To make a comparison that this was similar to Star Wars is unacceptable. The ninja training on the other side of the world is influenced from several of highly-acclaimed Batman graphic novels including Frank Miller’s “Batman: Year One” which came out and was very popular in the late 80s/early 90s. It tells of the “missing years” where Bruce went off to learn his fighting skills and more in different parts of the world. The film touches on that here. It just so happens that Liam Neeson had to play the role of the teacher.
My final word on the movie is that this movie is by far the best amongst the franchise. Ladies and gentleman, this is the year of the Bat. Treat yourself to movie with a quality and class and pure exhiliration that you haven’t seen a long time. Batman Begins!!!
I rate this movie A+
July 21, 2005 @ 11:04 am Mr. Fuchsia
It certainly does. However, as you point out so eloquently, Matchstick Men and Silence of the Lambs are a different shade of mentor-apprentice movies. Star Wars and Batman practically match up point for point. . .
Close. . .but no cigar for you.
July 21, 2005 @ 11:19 am Nashtradomus
I think you are getting blindsided by the fact that you want to point out similarities and not looking at the entire “picture”. As I have explained in my previous posts, the story of these two movies are completely different. These sequences in which the master – apprentice relationship builds up in these two movies are not under the same circumstances.
In one of them the reason the master chose to take up as an apprentice was because for the fact that the apprenctice has the possibility of becoming the chosen one.
In the other one, the reason the master wants to take the up the apprentice was because he can use the apprentice for his ultimate goal.
Do you see the fine difference now?
July 21, 2005 @ 10:44 am Nashtradomus
These smililarities you are pointing out can be found in different shades in other movies as well. To name a few,
Matchstick Men :
Roy Waller (Nicholas Cage), a seasoned con-man and suffering phobic, is teaching his protege, Frank Mercer (Sam Rockwell), to become the con-artist he has excelled at his entire life. However, the teacher-apprentice relationship backfires when Waller gets conned at his own game.
Silence of the Lambs:
John Hopkins (Hannibal) acts as a mentor in trying to help Jodie Foster (Clarice Starling) catch the psychopath, but in the end Clarice would only act the way she is to win the confidence of Hannibal and nothing more.
Also foreign movies like “Crouching Tiger…” and “The Hero” orginally chinese movies which got released in US under english subtitles had similar plotlines.
The list goes on….
July 22, 2005 @ 7:22 am Mr. Fuchsia
And in another movie somewhere, the master takes up an apprentice cause he wants to have sex with him. So what? The reasons behind the mentoring don’t matter. What matters is, you can mix and match the characters of Star Wars and Batman and not miss a beat.
February 7, 2012 @ 6:36 am Ian Grant
The movie an A+++,It does not get any better