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Batman Begins More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Frighteningly superb

Author: B_a_S_t_A_r_D from United Kingdom
15 March 2006

After an excellent film, a great film and two diabolical films, there is finally a brilliant Batman film. Tim Burton's Batman offerings were undeniably superb and eclipsed their follow ups in greatness, but even then there were severe weaknesses in the Batman franchise's transfer from page to the big screen. Burton didn't manage to fully shake Batman's unfortunate "camp crusader" persona that the Dark Knight picked up from the terrible 1960s TV series. Though considerably darker, the high camp, pop art undertones that were never intended in the Batman comics were still present in Burton's films. Then of course, "Batman Forever" and "Batman and Robin" took that to an incredibly unnecessary extreme. Batman was lost. Thank heavens for Christopher Nolan. Obviously as disillusioned with the failing franchise as most of the disgruntled comic book fans, Nolan has managed to not only restore the dark, Gothic ambiance of the comics, but also take Batman to new heights, and "Batman Begins" is far more than a comic book adaptation. For the first time in a Batman movie, Bruce Wayne's introduction and character foundation is so fascinating and emotionally charged, that you are not merely waiting for him to put the Bat suit on for the first time. Being the first chapter chronologically in the Batman saga, Wayne's character pre - bat is essential to the success of the narrative. His motive for wanting to fight injustice and his childhood traumas are told so beautifully that the movie would almost work well enough if the Batman alter ego never came into play. But, of course, when he does, Batman really begins. Christian Bale is quite simply the best Batman audiences have ever had the privilege of viewing. For the first time, Batman really is a symbol of fear, as was the comic's intention. This is all thanks to Bale's flawless performance as the dark Knight. Criminals and do-gooders alike fear Batman. But, frightening as he is, he is just another Superhero in terms of fear when it comes to Cillian Murphy's Scarecrow. With the genius use of hallucinogens to enhance the fear, Scarecrow might just be the most frightening antagonist since "The Exorcist's" demon. The point of view shots from his victims are a more effective alternative to his character than just giving him superpowers. That way, Nolan manages to hold onto the film's overall sense of reality and drama. The film's most effective aspect is the darkness. The stunning set piece creates a nightmarish world that is pure fear incarnate, and with fear being the film's driving force, the darkness is perfectly placed. All of the supporting actors, bar none, are without imperfections in this movie, particularly Katie Holmes, who proves that she is more than a tabloid friendly teen idol. Its just a great shame that her performance in "Batman Begins" was very much overshadowed by her bizarre relationship with Tom Cruise. Michael Caine is severely amiable as Alfred, and the eternally impressive Gary Oldman delivers yet another excellent performance. But of course, it is Bale who steals the show. Obviously relishing the role, Bale makes Batman a character we've never had the privilege of meeting before. More than a straight talking superhero armed with one liners. Batman, thanks to Bale, is now an emotionally unstable, fear inducing warrior. Batman Begins is free from superhero cliché and camp humour. It is, finally, a real Batman movie. The dreaded prison break scene is no less than amazing, and the subsequent parade of justice and optimism, combined with a considerate reference to a legendary Batman enemy, make this film perfect from start to finish.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

The bat is back***************

Author: keithlivingstone from United Kingdom
15 November 2005

All i can say is thank you Chris Nolan,,,I still think you will have to be a magician to beat Tim Burton's Batman film's but Nolan has is well on his way to becoming Houdini. This is a film that describe's Batman as he was in the comics and i think as Bob Kane imagined...So how has Nolan done it..Simple..i've seen the xtras on the Region 2 DVD and it appears that he didn't rush anything and really worked hard on this and recruited the best of the best in the movie making business,it's an extremely hard character to portray and a risky franchise as a director to do a good job as Joel Schumacher found out. He has had some good films like The Lost Boys etc but his take on the Batman was purely a joke and i think he had potentially ruined a huge money making franchise...But however it has been saved with Nolan's amazing take on Gotham and Christian Bale's Dark Knight which truly is an amazing likeness to the comics,,,This film has everything that we wanted and more because it has a beginning a middle and an amazing end which makes batfan's itching for more and a sequel which promises just that,,,it has an all star cast too,Morgan Freeman and doing an amazing job in succeeding the great Michael Gough's Alfred we have Michael Caine..The villain is the Scarecrow but in true Gotham Style there are more corrupt going's on in Gotham than good and who are they gonna call to clean it up..Simple.....THE BATMAN...This film has more gadget's and lifelike special effects than any other Batman Film so it's definitely one to watch..Thanks and i hope you enjoy it as much as i did..

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A New Beginning For A Classic Hero

Author: jsterry from United States
2 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For those of you who were disappointed with the last few Batman movies, 'Batman Begins' redeems the caped crusader in a big way. 'Batman Begins' takes us on a journey through Bruce Wayne's tragic past again, giving us a real insight into what drives and fuels his quest against suffering and injustice. We discover how the billionaire came to be trained in the martial arts, develop his alter ego, and acquire his technological arsenal. Christian Bale gives us a riveting performance as not only a very dark hero, but also a tortured soul looking for the means to combat the wrongs of society, a society that we see is also responsible for the death of his beloved parents. Another thing we notice from the beginning is this story does not tie into that of the other movies in the series. This is however not a disappointing feature, in fact it seems to breathe new life into this timeless classic. So for all of us who have followed the Dark Knight's journey's, strap yourself in for a wild and inspiring ride.

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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

What's all the fuss? It's just OK

Author: Wayne Malin ( from United States
4 July 2005

Batman redone. It gives us a new origin of Batman (Christian Bale) and how he got his powers and such. He still plays playboy Bruce Wayne while fighting evil as Batman. His first two villains are the Scarecrow (Cillain Murphy) who produces intense fear in his victim with a gas and Ra's Al Ghul--who trained Batman and knows ALL his weaknesses.

OK--it's MUCH better then Tim Burton's dreadful movies but I still wasn't too impressed. I didn't like the new origin at all and it's a full hour before Batman even shows up! It does have good parts--Bale is dead on perfect as Bruce Wayne AND Batman. He also pumped up for the role (we have at least two shirtless scenes). It LOOKS great (if very dark) and it has elaborate special effects left and right (with tons of explosions thrown in too). But I was mostly bored. The training sequence at the beginning just went on endlessly--it was more like The Shadow's origin than Batmans. Also this movie was WAY too heavy on darkness and atmosphere. At one point it was raining and I noticed nobody in Gotham pulled in their clothes from their lines. This isn't nit picking but obviously it was all out there to add an "atmosphere" to the scene. Also when you find yourself worrying about little things like that the movie just isn't doing its job (i.e. entertaining you). However Batman's costume, the Batcave and the Batmobile are all explained pretty logically.

Acting varies--Bale was just great. Michael Caine (as Alfred) matched him. Even Katie Holmes (a limited actress) was good--too bad she won't be in the sequel (this inexplicable romance/marriage with Tom Cruise is destroying her career). Laim Neeson was very dull as a teacher--he appeared to be drugged out. Gary Olman was (suprisingly) terrible as Jim Gordon--he seems VERY unsure of how to play the role. But Rutger Hauer, Linus Roache (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Bale) and Morgan Freeman were all great.

To be totally honest I looked at my watch more than once. I couldn't wait for this thing to get over. All the praise this is getting is beyond me. I give it a 7--and that's mostly for the acting.

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16 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Spider-Man who?

Author: racegirl9729 from United States
16 June 2005

Since "X-Men" and "Spider-Man" came on the scene, the comic book movie genre has experienced new life. Those films were filled with action, witty dialogue and good acting. "Batman Begins" is certainly no exception. It leaves the previous movies in the "Batman" series far behind- in fact, it's no use comparing them. The movie is practically seamless; there are very few complaints to be made about it.

Christian Bale is the perfect Batman. He brings a new perspective and depth to the character that is unmatched in any other comic book film. The supporting cast is also extremely good, including such great actors as Michael Caine, Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman. This cast takes the movie far beyond just a comic book film. They make it into a movie that stands on its own, even if you've never heard of Batman before.

The movie itself is excellent. It manages to avoid most of the corniness that is evident in many comic book film adaptations. True, there are a few moments where the script leaves something to be desired, but these moments are very rare. When they do occur, the actors make them much less corny than the moments could be in less capable hands. The action in the movie is present, but it doesn't take over.

In short, this movie is a must-see. You'll notice that I didn't discuss the plot at all; that is because it contains many unexpected twists and turns and revelations. The attention to detail is incredible. Truly, you must see this film in order to comprehend it. It leaves all other comic book movies far behind.

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34 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

Eat your heart out, Schumacher !!

Author: Seif from Cairo, Egypt
16 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Finally, A movie that pulls a franchise with excellent potential out of the swamps of "Joel Schumacherism"!! This could well be one of the best (if not THE best) movies ever. It has all the elements of a successful movie, and comic adaptation as well. The beauty of this movie is that it is as realistic as.. I dunno... reality! let's just break this down: 1) Characters: I couldn't have imagined a better Wayne than Keaton, but after I've seen Bailey he completely disappointed me, because I kept betting he'd suck as Bruce Wayne.. he didn't... Absolutely brilliant this kid is. Gordon (Gary Oldman) is as great as ever -although a bit under-nourished. Michael Caine was just born to be Alfred, Ducard (Liam Neeson) was legend and Watanabe, even with a small role, flying him all the way from China was worth the effort.. and Cillian... oooh Cillian just blew my head off with his performance, I don't think we could have seen the Scarecrow on screen better than we did here (although I missed the ragged costume and the hay and all).

2) Gotham City: Forget all about Schumacher's "City of Light"... also forget about Burton's Gotham "Dark even at day" city. This is Gotham as it should have always been, the big rotten apple... pretty and shiny on the outside, but rotting and full of maggots on the inside.

3) Christopher Nolan: Need I say more? anyone who's seen his previous work will know what they're up against. Great camera work, Psychotic motion effects. Pure art if I might say.

that's about it... I could have gone on forever but I'd rather leave it here and let you guys see this masterpiece that brought the DC world back to kick major Marvel behind.

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15 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

A great summer blockbuster – dark, interesting, exciting and more than an antidote to Schumacher's childish vision of the character

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
16 July 2005

Bruce Wayne is not a happy fella. Being trapped in a cave full of bats as a child left him full of fear, and he can only blame himself for the death of his parents at the hands of a typical street thug. However time has perverted this hurt into a bitter, hollow anger that has led him to the Far East where he fights criminals behind bars, seemingly to seek to quench his thirst for what he sees as "justice". Taken into a remote training facility for the League of Shadows by Ducard, Wayne learns the arts of deception, movement, combat and others but when he understands that justice is death for this group he leaves and returns to Gotham City. In his absence, the city has fallen into corruption and crime and, seeking a symbol of fear for the criminals, Wayne uses his skills and considerable assets to try and bring down this rule by way of a vigilante personae – The Batman. However, with few allies in this fight, will he be able to counter more than the smaller fish in the pond?

Although I don't agree with those IMDb users who have put this film into the top 250 ever made, I do see why they did it, because after the decreasing returns of the modern Batman films I was almost relieved that Begins made a massive leap away from the childish mess that Joel Schumacher had produced. Although not perfect, Nolan's Batman is dark where Schumacher's was day-glow; interesting where the other was puerile; exciting where the other was tiresome; this Wayne is a person where the other's was a child's action figure; this film almost stays in the real world where the other was set in some fantasy world that Schumacher must see when he shuts his eyes. So I can see why people love this film so much – it is such a massive jump up in quality that it is easy to see it as the greatest film ever made; compared to Batman & Robin this IS Citizen Kane. The plot sounds silly at the start but the structure of flashbacks and desolate reality make you forget of the lack of logic (or even explanation) behind Wayne being in prison. From here the training is swift and exciting while more cuts give us the back-story we already know. Back in Gotham Batman truly begins and the build up is as good as the delivery – he is not full of quips, in fact at first he is barely seen. While building the usual "baddie with a big weapon" story the film blends characters, other baddies, themes and action so naturally that it makes it look easy – but Schumacher will assure you it is not.

Nolan's direction and the design of the film are big reasons for it working; although the material is fantastic, somehow it all feels like the real world and not like B&R for example. It feels gritty and it makes the characters more real and therefore interesting. Also appreciated is the fact that it is not only dark in visuals but also content. Personally I would have liked Wayne to have been more twisted and confused but what it did was good enough, more important though was how scary bits were – the Scarecrow, the paranoid visions, all combined to produce some dark images. Oh, and many thanks to the genius parents who saw this film advertised and thought "hmm, a darker Batman film with a rating for over 12's – I know, I'll take my 4 year old to see that"; needless to say several families in my screening will not be aware of the ending of the film – who'd have though a 12A would frighten pre-school children? Tossers.

The cast do well with what they have. Bale is a great Batman and I struggled to reconcile the man I saw with the man I saw a few months back in The Machinist. Although the script only gives him basic emotional building blocks and not a real inner struggle, Bale still does well with it and far from being the straightman to Batman's entertainer, his Wayne is the most interesting thing in the film. Neeson makes for a good trainer and his darkly interesting character does enough so that we accept the mythical body he represents. Holmes is OK, pretty good but really I could have coped without her character. Caine is a great choice for Albert and he seems to enjoy it. Freeman may have just followed the Alec Guinness model of taking the payday but he is also enjoyable Q to Bale's Bond (bet they wish their franchise had gotten him first). Murphy is interestingly creepy even before he becomes genuinely scary as his villain. Oldman does less than he is capable of but he is still a good addition – ditto with Wilkinson.

Overall this is not one of the best films ever made but it is a great summer movie and, more importantly, it is a massive improvement on the Batman that Schumacher gave us – everything that it failed to do, this does well. A worthy blockbuster that is engaging, dark, exciting, scary and fun – well worth seeing and probably one of the better blockbusters this year.

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19 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Batman: Teasing Begins

Author: Gigo_Satana from Oriental State of Mind
19 June 2005

It's such a rarity when a director of Christopher Nolan's caliber and background decides to take on or rather expand on a franchise of this magnitude, especially after two of its more than imperfect outings were considered a flop. Similarities were bound to emerge and making comparisons was extremely easy to account here since there was both the good and the bad to look back at.

I tried to keep my expectations at a normal high, even though the product was featuring a cast of very respectable actors and a stellar director. Batman Begins starts out with an somewhat orthodox style of comic-to-film story-telling, something every film of similar roots needs to do in order to build the much needed momentum. I guess after witnessing the wide range of actors portraying Batman, I was positively anesthetized and open to what Bale had to bring to the table, more so since I've enjoyed majority of his work. As the many well known actors started to resurface within the story, to no ones surprise their delivery and level of sophistication was unwavering and well intended, but since the film was set to revive the series and basically start from scratch, I enjoyed the freshness of Cillian Murphy more than I did of the others. However don't let this serve as a negative since the present ensemble was far more superior than the circus crew of the last two films.

So with actors in place and a story rolling with strong force, it was the action that had the potential to further prosper the experience. Unfortunately not much action was present this time around, and I say 'this time' because the ending feel of this film in a sense was similar to that of Spider Man 1. No, it didn't share the lightness and tiring melodrama of Spider Man, on the contrary it was far more suitably darker, but as the movie was nearing the end there was a feel of something more grandiose lurking in the path of Batman. As much as I like to be teased ultimately I was left hungry for more conflict between the good and the evil. But with the main villain taking his leave of absence for the most part of the film, the deeds of the troublemakers were left in the hands of two characters, Falcone and Crane, both of whom were made to look rather harmless and easily subdued. As Ducard made his way to Gotham, not enough time was left for him to wreak havoc and again I can' be too harsh since the movie had a lot of ground to cover and understandably not enough time to simultaneously improve and originate on every level.

On it's own Batman Begins was a good effort, compared to last two films it was flawless, but the fact that it could evolve from this form to something better, is a notion that keeps me leaning on the good side of things rather than the not so good.

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21 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Batman Begins To Smell

Author: Adrianapolis from California
30 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sorry to upset die-hard Batman comic book fans, but I really hate and detest this movie. It is an insult to the 'Batman' I love and remember from my childhood. The Burton/Schumacher pictures were marvellous fun because they did not take themselves seriously. All I got from this one was a king-size headache and a sore bottom where I was bored senseless for the best part of two hours. Chris Nolan thinks 'Batman' should be taken dead seriously. A rich man who goes out at night in a rubber suit designed to resemble a bat? Oh, come on! Putting the Caped Crusader in a film like this is like making 'Austin Powers' the star of a Daniel Craig-type Bond film. Worse, the chief villain - The Scarecrow ( Cillian Murphy ) - is another nut, only this one runs round with a sack on his head! Michael Caine's 'Alfred' cannot hold a Bat-candle either to Alan Napier or Michael Gough. The story of this film...well, was there one? All I saw was a lot of fighting with nothing in-between. It has been announced that Warner Bros. are rebooting the franchise once more. Good idea. They need to use the Burton/Schumacher movies as a template for any further entries. This one hit the big screen with all the force of a wet lettuce. Ker-flop!

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22 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

A Summer Blockbuster . Nothing More. Nothing Less

Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
7 August 2010

BATMAN BEGINS rejuvenates if totally regenerates a film franchise . After Tim Burton's idiosyncratic vision of the comic strip , the film series became very stuck with the Joel Scumacher version . You wouldn't really blame Warner Bros if they'd ended the franchise there and then due the law of diminishing returns .Indeed it might have been seen as something of a risk casting so many big name ( Read expensive ) actors in one movie . The fact that on its first week of release it only entered the top ten weekly box office must have frightened the studio executives , only to have their fears extinguished where the movie rallied strongly spending two weeks at the top followed by several weeks in the top ten

Certainly it's a film that reboots everything that's gone before . It tells the early life of Bruce Wayne while never referring to a need for a sidekick in the shape of Robin the boy wonder . Instead we see some one whose life is ripped apart by murder and is later perceived to be let down by the justice system and Bruce Wayne is not someone who will meekly let this go . In effect Bruce Wayne is now written as a comic strip version of an avenging angel along the lines of Travis Bickle /Paul Kerzey / John Eastland and all your other favourite vigilante anti-heroes from cinema

Or at least that's what should have happened . Unfortunately after this motivating incident , which also takes in an involving sequence set in a Chinese gulag the film then starts playing out as a Hollywood Summer blockbuster . In many ways it's like the old blockbusters from yesteryear featuring a host star names and highly regarded not so big name character actors all brought together in one film . The great shame is that most of them are given little to do . It's a film that has a plot written around its set pieces and the characters are just as mechanical . They're not characters like people are in real life , they're generic action hero , generic action hero's sister , loyal butler , stand up police chief who is slightly dumb etc etc by actors who could be have been unknowns . This is a great pity for a film whose reputation suggested to me it was going to be much better than a simple Summer blockbuster/franchise movie

Christopher Nolan is a good director , though the recent hype with INCEPTION with claims that he's " the greatest director of his generation " might leave him with some baggage . What Nolan has always been good at is editing and continues this with BATMAN BEGINS . The way he inter-cuts scenes is what makes them effective . But at the end of the day it's merely a Summer blockbuster with big names , car chases and the occasional explosion

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