Batman Begins

Batman Begins (Christopher Nolan, 2005)

Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Katie Holmes, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Morgan Freeman

After training with his mentor, Batman begins his fight to free crime-ridden Gotham City from corruption.

Watching it not for the first time, I was struck by the pace of the editing in the action scenes, particularly in the fights between Bale and Neeson. I suspect that neither has a black belt in karate, and that it's the editing of tiny bits of movement together that is meant to create the illusion that they are moving with amazing speed and agility.

As usual I was disgusted with the waste in the destruction of real automobiles. And as usual, I was least interested in scenes which were essentially CGI. That's animation; animation doesn't have real actors. I'm interested in films with real actors doing relatively ordinary things, like living and dying. At least the batmobile is real - but each of the four they made cost $250,000 - enough money to complete several modest but worthy Australian films.

There is some attempt to discuss the morality of vigilantism, but the story is just another variation on tale of the 'good' individual (James Bond etc.) vs some guy/entity who aims to rule the world. A children's story for our time.

The buildup is steadily engrossing. That’s because Nolan keeps the emphasis on character, not gadgets. Gotham looks lived in, not art-directed. ... Cillian Murphy ... as Dr. Jonathan Crane, a skinny shrink they call Scarecrow when he puts a burlap bag on his head. Each person sees his own worst fears come to life when they gaze at the bag. The low-budget headgear is typical of a movie that succeeds best when it hews to the rule of less is more. Beginner’s luck evaporates when Nolan ends with a tricked-out car chase and a doomsday plot about a poisoned water supply. Nolan’s too good for Bat business as usual. His secret for making Batman fly is as basic as black: Keep it real. Peter Travers, Rolling Stone.

Cf. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008), The Dark Knight Rises (Christopher Nolan, 2012)]

Other Batman movies: Batman (Tim Burton, 1989), Batman Forever (Joel Schumacher, 1995; Batman & Robin, 1997); Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Zack Snyder, 2016).
Other Batmen: Michael Keaton (Tim Burton, Batman, 1989), Val Kilmer (Joel Schumacher, Batman Forever, 1995), George Clooney (Joel Schumacher, Batman & Robin, 1997).
Other reviews. Luke Buckmaster on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Zack Snyder, 2016).


Garry Gillard | New: 8 September, 2018 | Now: 8 September, 2018