FBMR - Batman Begins
Film-Buff Movie Reviews

BATMAN BEGINS (2005) ***1/2

The Batman franchise has returned to its darker roots, thank heaven. The city is dark again, the characters are sombre, the story has depth. Chris Nolan has done a very good job resurrecting the series from Joel Schumacher’s silly interpretation. Batman has already been campy … in the 60s.

This film tracks young Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), his struggles with losing his parents, his search for himself, and his return to Gotham to fight crime and keep the family company from greed. I liked that Bruce, pre-Batman, was already a brawler, a fighter before he is approached to study under Ra’s Al Ghul. Unfortunately the talent of actor Ken Watanabe was completely wasted in this film, and it seemed a little odd that Liam Neeson was the one who actually trained Bruce Wayne in the ninja arts.

The action scenes were a little choppy and stylized, meaning that you couldn’t always see what was happening, unlike in most martial arts film where the director wants to showcase these scenes. But in this film it worked because it showed how quick and elusive Batman could be to his opponents.

There were some funny little lines that made me chuckle, and not groan. There was interesting chemistry between Bruce and Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes). It was a delight to see Michael Caine as Alfred, and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox who works in the lab at Wayne Industries. And I liked that the villains weren’t over the top like they’ve been in the previous films; this made them seem that much more sinister. Great summer fun!