Batman Begins

july 17, 2005

I have to admit, when I first heard that the Batman franchise was returning to the big screen, I was not that excited. And how could you blame me if you have also had to suffer through Joel Schumacher's schock "Batman Forever" and "Batman & Robin"? But, after seeing the previews, I noticed one thing: The movie seems to take a different focus on the whole Batman character. And it was because of this that I was intrigued by the movie. Tonight, to get out of the heat, my wife and I went to see Batman Begins. I have to say that this is the best Batman film out of all of the five made so far. The long period between this one and Batman & Robin (which was released in 1997) was a good resting period for the franchise. Christopher Nolan, who did Memento and Insomnia, makes a film that is worthy of the name Batman. He and David Goyer (best known for his writing skills on Blade) put together a script that looks deep into the mind of Bruce Wayne and explores where Batman comes from. If you are looking for a pure action flick, you'll be a little disappointed as Batman Begins. Nolan puts together a film that doesn't show Batman for the first half. Instead, Nolan puts together a character study of Batman (and Bruce Wayne). We all know how Batman came to be, but Nolan goes deeper and this makes the film very engaging. It also helps that there is a strong supporting cast (Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Liam Neeson all steal their scenes). Christian Bale is Batman. Michael Keaton was good. Val Kilmer was OK. George Clooney -- what was Schumacher thinking? Bale slips right into the role and has an intensity that makes the character believable. And believability is something that Nolan seems to have wanted to root the movie in. No Mr. Freeze moments here, Nolan keeps the movie rooted in reality and that is very welcome -- as Batman is one of the only real superheros who has no superpowers, it is nice to see him in the real world. I really enjoyed the film and give kudos to everyone who made it. This is the Batman film that I have been waiting for. And if Joel Schumacher discovers the series again, someone please stop him from trying to make another Batman film. Leave Batman to Christopher Nolan! He knows how to make a Batman film correctly.