I seek the means... to fight injustice. To turn fear... against those who prey on the fearful. - Bruce Wayne
Bat-horns off to the Batman Begins cast and crew where they accomplished what I’ve been craving for so damn long : to have the embarrassing Adam West TV show and the four previous Batman movies ERASED from my battered memory and give me the Dark Knight the way I like him; DARK! Although I appreciated the two Tim Burton Batman films on some levels, BATMAN BEGINS is the Batman I’ve been waiting for….the “real” Batman”. What took them so long? No kookiness, crappy Prince music or huge Bat nipples in this mofo; BATMAN BEGINS played it straight and grounded on every level. I was personally incredibly moved by Wayne’s physical and emotional journey to becoming Batman. I actually felt like I was watching an epic in places and you know what? I WAS! Firmly supported by Christian Bale’s arresting performance, this flick explored with depth, intelligence and realism Bruce Wayne’s psyche and tackled in a realistic manner how one would go about dressing up as bat to whoop that ass. It’s about damn time that somebody out there fully capitalized on Wayne’s gloom and mental intricacies on celluloid! Sure they covered some of it in the Burton/Keaton version but it was nothing like this, they went all the way here. THANK YOU!
ARROW NEEDS A SHRINK NOTE: Was it just me or did I find myself agreeing with the extremist mentality of the Batman “training”? I was lapping up the film’s philosophy fervently and am considering donning a “Visa Collector” suit (my worst fear) to go fight evil in my crime ridden city. END OF NOTE
The flick excelled on a production level as well. Gotham City finally looked like an actual metropolis as opposed to an obvious set (see 4 previous Batman films). The detailed oriented designs (loved that train) and the dread filled atmosphere that floated about went on to create a hypnotizing world, one rooted in reality but that simultaneously displayed a dazzling pinch of otherworldly. And the same could be said about Batman’s suit and gadgets; all played for real, with actual roots to them (military prototypes). Granted the Batmobile didn’t look nearly as sleek as the ride we all know so well and love but at least the design made sense in terms of what the vehicle has to do: KICK THAT ASS! What about the action you may ask? Well the film worked wonders for me when tackling broad pow-wow scenarios with the Batmobile’s demolition derby and the extensive finale working my joy button overtime. WOW! The last drop of potent acid on this one’s severed limbs were the arresting villains with the Scarecrow in particular chilling my already cold blood to a Mister Freeze state. Props to Cillian Murphy for his brilliant rendition of the mad Doctor! He often stole the show right from under everyone’s bat noses. And pat on the back to the filmmaker for running with the Scarecrow’s “make” opening the door to some very “horror movie” like imagery. Me likey a lot!
On the downside; I truly didn’t care for the way in which the “hand to hand” fight sequences were edited. All tight shots…I didn’t see shite. What happened to the good old days of "mano et mano" fights being actually “shown” via varied shots as opposed to just implied? That took away from the film for me. Somebody needs to see that pit-fight in Stone Cold again to witness how it’s done right. Now that’s a freaking fist fight! COME ON! The random attempts at levity via “one liners” also felt awkward, namely when coming from citizens who “see” Batman (that kid…urg). Lastly turning the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Rachel into a “love story” down the road felt tacked on. I didn’t pick up anything more than friendship off these two birds! Smelled too much like Spiderman 2 to me!
On the whole Batman Begins was an expertly crafted, highly intelligent and quite moving opus, one that gave me my money’s worth and that already has me yearning for a sequel. We finally get a shot at a GREAT Batman franchise! Run with it gang! RUN WITH IT!