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Batman Begins More at IMDbPro »

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21 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Captures the tone perfectly. A+

Author: jeffcart74 ( from United States
16 June 2005

Last night, I went to check out Batman Begins, and I only have one word for the tone of this film: perfect.

Absolutey nailed. Blasted out the park. A grand slam.

The folks responsible for this adaptation of the Dark Knight simply "got it." 100%.

Batman is a persona that was created to inspire fear into the hearts of criminals. A creature of the night that hunts from the shadows, strikes without warning, and vanishes into the darkness like a nightmare. The character is never meant to be seen by the general public, he is merely meant to exist in their whispers, an urban myth that is talked about in hushed tones throughout Gotham City.

Batman does not have a "Bat Credit Card", and he doesn't attend charity auctions or débutante balls. He doesn't drive around the city streets in the Batmobile in broad daylight, waving to cheering citizens. He doesn't have a "Bat Phone" that connects him to the commissioner. He doesn't wear a costume with rubber nipples or operate vehicles with spinning neon turbine engines and open cockpits. He doesn't crack jokes like, "It's the car, right? Chicks dig the car." All of these things are wrong, wrong, WRONG...and this movie understands that. It understands that and washes all of these injustices away until they are nothing more than a faded bad memory. Screenwriter David Goyer and director Christopher Nolan have given us a film that treats the character with respect; a loud, thrilling masterpiece that doesn't insult your intelligence or bombard you with inappropriate campy antics.

Christian Bale gives us a Batman that will scare the living crap out of you. His voice is a gravelly, menacing sound, and when he yells at some poor schmuck to get some information, it's downright terrifying. He swoops out of darkened alleys, hitting fast and furious. He's brutal, cold, and calculating. In short, he's everything that anybody who ever put that cape and cowl on is not. Perfection.

The villains are also amazing, but a huge part of their contributions to the overall brilliance of the film is their failure to dominate it. The previous Batman movies were plagued by these cackling idiots in ludicrous costumes who pushed Batman to the back burner. In Batman Begins, we finally get to spend some time with the hero, learning who he really is behind the mask.

Not to imply that the villains are poorly fleshed out or inconsequential to the story - quite the opposite in fact. Cillian Murphy is a very effective Scarecrow, turning in a subdued, but intensely creepy performance as a warped psychiatrist who uses fear gas on his victims, unleashing horrifying hallucinations. Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai) is a shadowy Tibetian criminal warlord named Ra's Al Ghul, who watches over young Bruce Wayne's training with Ducard, played by Liam Neeson. But things are not what they appear with this situation, and a shocking twist comes into play towards the climax. The rest of the cast is solid, especially Gary Oldman, who finally gives us a competent, intelligent James Gordon. Essentially, the movie is about fear. Confronting it, learning from it, using it, and conquering it. It's a dark, serious film that leaves little room for humor, but some sneaks through in the form of some witty exchanges between loyal butler Alfred (a brilliant Michael Caine), and Bruce Wayne.

This movie is awesome and a complete triumph for DC, Warner Brothers, Nolan, and everyone else involved.. Run, don't walk, to the theater. Amazing.

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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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20 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

A True Comic Fanboy Review

Author: zelig30 from United States
15 September 2008

I've come to realize that I've attempted to watch this movie five times, and I've never made it past the first hour and fifteen minutes. I either fall asleep from sheer boredom, or I lose interest and get up. But, as a huge, massive comic book fan boy (Batman tattoos and all), I keep trying to give this movie the benefit of the doubt. But it has yet to win me over even in the slightest... Plus, who can watch Katie Homes in anything?

I saw about 20 minutes of the sequel, and wasn't blown away at all. In fact, as soon as Bale put on his 'Batman' voice, my two even bigger comic fan friends, started to laugh so hard in the theater that we were asked to leave. Does anybody really find that voice cool?

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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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46 out of 84 people found the following review useful:

Very Boring, Not Fun, and WAY Over-rated....

Author: brownish_33 from United States
19 November 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow, can you say "boring" any louder? I am a Batman fan, but this movie was just ridiculously boring. i mean seriously, it actually starts out with a little boy stealing a small rock from a little girl, and then he falls down a hole. talk about your exciting film openings. ah well, anyways, years later, he is Bruce Wayne, the only white man in an English-language Chinese prison. Bruce is pretty rich back in America, but he had himself sent to a Chinese prison so that he could train himself to beat people up, because he's peaved about his parents getting shot by a lame mugger. Okay. Then, he meets a guy with some sort of unpronounceable name, and this guy wants Bruce to join his group of evil ninjas. So, Bruce is like, "Evil ninjas? Where do I sign up?" Of course, when the evil ninja training is finished (wich totally sucked) and they want him to kill somebody, Bruce freaks out and burns down the whole place, probably killing quite a few people, very not Batman like since he vowed not to "kill" anyone(though Michael Keaton's wasn't a complete wimp like bale is here). Okay. Then, he goes home to rejoin the business world and fight crime. Luckily, he meets a guy at his father's company, and this guy makes superhero equipment for a living. Talk about your happy coincidences.

David Goyer must be stopped. Seriously. I have no idea how anybody could have looked at the script for this ****ing abomination and said, "Hey, I want to make that!" How many lame-brained action movie clichés can you fit into one film? How much cringe-worthy cheesy dialog can you make your overqualified cast choke out? How much cheesy sentimental bullshit can you squeeze into a movie about a guy fighting crime in a modified s&m outfit? If you're David Goyer, the possibilities are endless.

I cannot believe the ratings this film has received. It is a good example of what happened in "The Emperor's New Clothes". Long story short, two con men convince everyone that they've made luxury clothes for a king when in reality, they have made nothing. According to them, only those worthy enough can see the clothes. Everyone fakes that they can see them, including a very naked king, so that they can feel worthy.

My God, this fable fits "Batman Begins" perfectly. It is an overblown, poorly written, stiffly acted, and badly photographed film. The action is completely "been there done that" and is photographed WAY too up close, like many bad action movies of late. Christian Bale has a monotone voice and has NO EXPRESSION! Not ever. He frankly looks bored most of the time. That really bugged me. And yes, his voice as Batman was just plain embarrassing. It felt like an SNL skit of Batman.

I truly think that the marketing of this film was solely based on the idea that "Batman Forever" and "Batman and Robin" sucked. They weren't good, but lets remember, they each made a good amount of money for so films so critically drubbed. But they made money because people were entertained, even if they are too chicken to admit it. But Nolan gets to show us that they were stupid and frivolous movies and that he's going to blow them out of the water by being adult and intelligent. Audiences don't want to feel stupid, they LIKE feeling smart, thus with open arms people have accepted "Batman Begins" because they are told it is dark and unlike any other. But people truly are making more of "Batman Begins" than it is.

It strives so hard to be realistic and profound that it strips the energy and excitement form Batman. People talk in heavy handed riddles and the dialog is leaden and pretentious. And the plot is at times damn confusing. Characters appear and disappear, only to change motivations or create new motivations altogether. Blue flowers and weird organizations come about hoping the audience can fill in an explanation, and some Asian guy...has seemingly no purpose whatsoever, but appears in the film long enough so that one thinks hes there for a reason. Also, the montage of Batman training was very scatter shot. What did they show? Really...I think they just quickly edited a few hundred frames of nothing. The Pre-batman stuff, you know, the "Begins" part of the film, wasn't very strong at all.

In the end, I didn't care for anyone, because no one was developed! You can talk about fear all you want, but fear is not a character trait, nor is revenge, and Bruce had seemingly no character beyond this. Maybe its Bale's fault, as he was stiff as a corpse, but Bruce never felt real.

This is so far a very harsh review, so why would I even give the film a 4/10, when thus far it seems closer to a 2/10 from my perspective? Out of respect to Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman and Tom Wilkonson. By casting respected, award-winning actors in small parts, some which are truly perfunctory, each man is only given a few moments to strut their stuff. I cherished those moments because even in a bad movie, these guys can act. But really, Gary Oldman in a small role as a humble cop who - basically does nothing?? Come on! Overall though, this is a huge letdown. People cite the darkness, and the depth of the characters, but the film is as deep as cardboard. You need not look farther than Bruce's relationship to Katie Holmes' character to see that this film is truly just a shallow hackneyed popcorn movie with a serious identity crisis, and really good marketing. If you want to see a REAL Batman movie that is not boring and actually takes risks and is original, see the aforementioned first 2 batman films BATMAN and Batman Returns. Thank you for reading.

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106 out of 204 people found the following review useful:

heavily overrated

Author: cck7650
21 June 2005

quote. When I heard they were making another Batman movie that explored the origins of Batman with promises of a much better conceived portrayal of the dark knight, I was very excited. Then, when I heard that Christian Bale who's famous for his dark and sinister characters in "American Psycho" and "The Machinist", was going to play Batman, I got even more excited. Then, the announcement that Christopher Nolan of "Memento" fame was picked to direct it, and I was almost certain this film was to not only be the best Batman movie in the franchise, but the best film of the year! Then I saw it.

Needless to say, I was a little disappointed. The movies seemed to fall flat in a number of places. For starters, let's begin with direction. With Christopher Nolan in the drivers seat, I kind of expected a tight, clever plot with a less formulaic film style then what was presented. Sure, I mean Nolan had to stick with the script that was given to him and not tamper with the story of Batman. But I felt that the story could have been better displayed. The action scenes in the movie were too quick and flashy, leaving the characters on the screen virtually indistinguishable from one another. What I took away from the film was that it was loud and there were a lot of flashy action sequences where apparently something happened. The film seems to move too quick in some areas and too slow in others. I mean, was the entire process of becoming Batman completely necessary. At least the previous films left some sense of mystery of who Bruce Wayne was and where he got his bat gadgets. I mean, who really cares when it comes down to it? It took away from the plot of Batman Begins.

Let's talk about the acting - subpar at best. Hollywood actors should have to have licences to act then Katie Holmes should have hers revoked for her role as a Assistant DA. She was about as convincing as an attorney as Denise Richards was as a nuclear scientist in that stupid James Bond movie. She was supposed to play Bruce Wayne's (Bale) love interest but the on screen chemistry between the two is laughable. Bale's acting was OK, but not like anything we've seen him do in the past. I think if he portrayed Bruce Wayne more like his psychologically tormented character Trevor Reznik in "The Machinist", we would have had a better movie on our hands.

All in all, this movie wasn't anything special. It was your typical Hollywood formula, good guy versus bad guy, special effects extravaganza with no real value at all.

A very forgettable film with bad acting, unnecessary scenes, poor direction and a penchant for overkilling the point. Yes, we understand Bruce Wayne doesn't like bats, and he has to overcome his fear and bring justice to the city of Gotham and yadayada.....blahhhhhhhhh! This oversimplified account of the story of Batman should have been given a different title - "Batman for dummies and for people that like things that go vrooom and boooooom!" In its defense, however, it was better than that god awful "Batman and Robin". If you really want to watch a good Batman movie, watch the first one. end of quote. the best it can get is 5. I voted 1 just to try to make the result balanced a bit.

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