Reviews & Counting
# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Batman Begins(2005)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Christopher Nolan

Christian Bale/Batman
Katie Holmes/Rachel
Liam Neeson/Henri
Cillian Murphy/Dr. Crane/The Scarecrow
8 10
When younger, rich kid Bruce Wayne (Bale) saw his parents axed out before his eyes by a petty thief. Now a man, he seeks a way to right society’s wrongs via fighting evil head on. And what better way to do the latter than by donning a bat outfit while giving crime a lesson… old school? This IS Batman.

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!

The film didn’t sport any graphic gore but we do get minor cuts, blood and some frightening images.
We finally get a PERFECT Batman, one that totally works as Bruce Wayne and the winged avenger. As Bruce Wayne, Bale displayed darkness, a tough physicality and a cockiness that worked in the part’s favor (I caught shades of Patrick Bateman via his show…nice!). As Batman, I so got off on hearing that CRAZY VOICE and seeing the insanity bursting out of the man’s eyeballs. How would a man that dresses up as a bat act in and out of costume in real life? Just look at Bale’s solid display and find out. Although the part was nothing to bone over on paper, Katie Holmes (Rachel) is just so damn likeable that I couldn’t get help but get into her role (now if I only could get into her pants).

Cillian Murphy (Dr. Crane/The Scarecrow) was freaking dazzling as the bent Doctor/villain. He actually scared me more out of costume than in costume. Great freaking show! The man will own in Red Eye! Liam Neeson (Henri) is a strong actor all around; here he raised the role to a “classy” level via his presence alone. Grade-A bit of casting! Speaking of bang on casting, who else but Michael Caine (Alfred) could’ve played the role with so much dignity and pizzazz? LOVED HIM! Tom Wilkinson (Carmine) was a riot as the “last” mobster in Gotham! Gary Oldma (Gordon) rocked as per usual within his limited screen time and the same can be said about Ken Watanabe (Ra's Al Ghul) and Rutger Hauer (Richard). I would’ve adored more screen time for all three gents!
T & A
The ladies get a buff Christian Bale shirtless and we get a buff Christian Bale shirtless to inspire us to hit the gym more often.
Nolan served up an atmospheric, moving and visually stimulating show. He did his Batman graphic novels homework that’s for damn sure! If only his editor (Lee Smith) hadn’t half cocked the hand to hand fight sequences….if only…
The rousing score by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard oozed of emotion and power. I was humming it on my way out of the theatre and you bet your bat-ass that I will be purchasing it.
Batman Begins was in my eyes a BIG SUCCESS! Sporting an ambitious script, stellar visuals, smarts and top notch acting from an amazing cast, we couldn’t have asked for more from this re-introduction to one of the world’s most famous avengers. Finally we get a Batman film about Bruce Wayne/Batman first and the villains second! With that said, Studios please take note: Quick cut/tight shot fight sequences SUCK! We can’t see shite! Why did Bale train for all that time? SHOW IT TO ME MAN! Let’s hope for the sequel, we actually get to see Batman punch somebody out. I’m done!
Lookout for the little hint at the sequel's villain near the end.

Christian Bale's trailer said "Bruce Wayne" as opposed to his name. Go Method Boy go!

Katie Holmes beat Natalie Portman and Sarah Michelle Gellar for the role of Rachel.

Darren Aronofsky was set to make a Batman movie based on the graphic novel "Batman: Year One". Frank Miller was to write the screenplay. A first draft of the script and story boards exist.