Batman Begins is the start of Nolans’ acclaimed Batman trilogy and the only film in the series to have Batman in the title, random bit of trivia there and it’s about the story of Bruce Wayne and his journey to realizing himself as the Batman, we see the trauma he went through as a child witnessing his parents murder. And we see how he grew up as a bit of a special child with his fortune and solitude, eventually growing into a young and curious man, taking a journey of self discovery, training in martial arts and survival under Ra’as Ghul, as gets closer to creating the Batman persona.
The film stars an all star cast, including the brilliant Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, Liam Neeson, Michael Kane, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Ken Watanabe and Morgan Freeman, with Bale in arguably his breakout role as Bruce Wayne, he’s a perfect fit in the role and envelopes the character with as much enthusiasm, charisma and integrity as you’d imagine Bruce Wayne to have. While Liam Neeson is equally brilliant as Ra’as, the immortal, cryptic leader of the league of assassins, who often has an alterior motive and questionable means to get things done, though he’s not strictly an evil character and is one of Batmans’ best villains. Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) also plays a big part in the story and plans to submerge Gotham into chaos with his fear Toxin, Murphy is great in the role and brings that level of controlled psychopathy that Scarecrow inhabit, while the other charactersare all well cast and great fits, especially Christian Bale as Batman. The plot is great and is very well paced, whizzing by as you watch it because it’s so engaging and entertaining, a testament to its’ great writing and Nolans’ excellent direction as Nolan tends to make engrossing dramas that are intertwined with other genres, from sci-fi to pyschological thrillers, focusing intently on characters, their ambitions, motivations and Begins is no exception
Batman Begins marks the start of the ‘gritty re-boot’ in superhero films, in the sense that films can be dark with brooding heroes and be hugely successful, though Batman Begins is dark, it’s not unrelentingly bleak and its’ highpoints are positive, it’s great to see Batman fighting to save Gotham and the exciting musical score accompanies fight sequences perfectly.
With Bruce donning the cape because Gotham is in a bad way, riddled with crime and without a symbol of justice or a hero that people could look up to. Batman Begins is a great film because it also hits its emotional highs and lows well which is a good thing for any action film, but especially for a comic book film, you sympathise for Bruce when he’s at his lowest, seeing his parents murder, doubting himself as an adequate symbol of justice for Gotham and cheer when he’s at his best, saving the day and being Batman in full flow. The characterization in the film is done very well and importantly, it really feels like a comic book film from the costumes, the street thugs reacting to Bruce when he’s finally Batman, to the great score for the film, everything is heightened to a degree and Gotham itself feels other worldly while still intentionally resembling New York, with its steaming alleyways and urban sprawl and looking visually great all the while.
All in all, Christopher Nolan crafted a believable and enjoyable introduction to his Batman and it’s a fantastic place to start, the characters are great, enthusiastic and well constructed, the action is also great, high tempo and great to watch and the story is still one of the best in any Batman film to date.
. Great performances throughout, especially from Bale and Neeson
. Brilliant score, matches the film well and adds atmosphere, tone
. Very well paced story, engaging throughout