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Batman Begins More at IMDbPro »

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

A New Beginning For A Classic Hero

10/10
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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34 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Eat your heart out, Schumacher !!

10/10
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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49 out of 91 people found the following review useful:

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

1/10
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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121 out of 235 people found the following review useful:

This movie ruined Batman for me

1/10
Author: bigben5 from Calgary, Canada
19 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Whether you like this version of Batman or not ultimately depends on how faithful you are to the classics. I am a huge fan of Batman the Animated series created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, as well as Tim Burton's Gothic interpretations, not to mention the Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller.

Batman to me has always been a tale of how good people fall into sin and how everyone has a dark side. The star of the show isn't Batman himself, but the supporting cast of villains, each committing acts of crime out of revenge or redemption. All of them had a heart and were once human, now trapped in a shell of a monster. The profound thing about it all, was that Batman himself was just as insane as the people he brought in, only he believed he was fighting on the right side of the law. You get none that here. All villains commit random acts of terror, determined to destroy Gotham because they think its a cesspool.

But I think the thing that bugged me the most was how they fundamentally changed Bruce Wayne's character in this movie. In the animated series, he is indeed portrayed as tortured soul but he also comes across as being a highly intelligent and sophisticated man. He was able to take down guys like Superman in Dark Night Returns, simply because he was able to outsmart him and was very resourceful. A key point that they missed in this movie was the inner struggle Bruce Wayne has to want to give it all up and settle down with someone he loves. One of my favorite moments for example, is in Mask of the Phantasam where Bruce Wayne is at his parents grave in a thunder storm, begging them to release him of his vow. He is in love with Andrea and wants to spend the rest of his life with her. He cries and begs for a sign, in which Andrea then shows up and two begin crying in each others arms. Bruce was actually happy. It wasn't until Andrea left him that he accepted his fate as Batman.

This Batman has none of the human qualities from above. He can't laugh at himself and is full of pure anger and rage. He's almost like Spawn. In fact, the parallels are dead similar with him scaring the crap out of his villains before taking them down. Spawn of course is cooler given that he actually gives the bad guys what they deserve by decapitating them limb by limb.

Okay, so let's not compare animation and comics, let's just focus on the film instead. Does it surpass in Tim Burton's movies? Hell no. Sure, Tim Burton didn't have all of the special effects technology that we have today but his twisted imagination allowed him to create a world that was totally Gothic and true to me. I liked the idea of smiling clowns blowing fire from their mouths and monkeys armed with machine guns. The Batman of the past was actually fun to watch as he'd stuff the fiery baton down the jesters throat and pick up two mimes and knock them out by bashing their heads together. It was always the cutest of things doing the evilest of deeds, like the marching penguins in Batman Returns.

Burton was also faithful to the love interests of Bruce Wayne as well. It was always set up like a Greek tragedy with the love of his life being the villain he tried to stop. I also like the old Batman costume, the old batmobile and the old batwing. Michael Keaton also played a much better Batman than Christian Bale in that he always looked cool and in control. In this movie, Bale sounds like he has a frog stuck in his throat whenever he tries to speak and the mask he wears makes his head look a bit too big.

But I think the crushing blow came at the end, when they tried to reintroduce the Joker. I loved Tim Burton's version because the Joker's whole purpose in that movie was to harass Batman, being that he killed his parents and was the one villain who could outsmart him. I hated how they changed that because Batman in reality is just as responsible for putting villains in his own life as they are for fueling his drive for vengeance.

Overall, I have to say that this movie was bad. The fights scenes made no sense whatsoever and were put together by a bunch of stunt men, made up of 60 different takes. It totally blew up everything I came to love and respect about the dark knight and lacked the emotion and humanity of the original series. We didn't need another movie explaining his past, Mask of the Phantasam did a much better job with a lower budget too.

I understand that they want to remake Batman for the new generation of fans but if this is the best they can do, then I'm hopping of this train right now. In the meantime, I'll just stick to the classics to remember Batman in his glory days.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Frighteningly superb

10/10
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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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Batman Begins is what marvel intended.

10/10
Author: Bellybirch from United Kingdom
29 October 2005

At last it appears evident that Hollywood have listened and made the superhero more believable. Batman through Bale is an honest character easily related to his alter-ego. The enemy is normal (compared to the green goblin and nuclear man!), and the City although futuristic allows the audience a certain mystical sincerity. Bale is strong as both Bruce Wayne and Batman. The underpin to the story line depicting how Wayne became Batman is well written and acted. There is of cause the usual moral picture painted through Wayne and his childhood friend emphasizing that revenge is a negative motivation in cleaning up Gotham. Good kit and a great car... 2008 is marked up for the follow up with Bale in the lead role again, keep up the good work and we hope Superman is as REAL.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

excellent

10/10
Author: kybo25 from United States
28 August 2005

this was one of my favorite movies of the year. and i don't say that lightly. i saw this movie with my friend as a backup to lords of dogtown which was sold out and boy am i glad i did. Christian Bale did an amazing job with the tough role of being batman. i then saw this with my cousin who loved it as well. this is probably the best superhero movie I've ever seen. superman, horrible. batman, OK. spider-man the first one, OK. spider-man 2, boring. and so on. but this, this was amazing. it was well worth the 10 dollars to see it and i cant wait until it comes out on DVD. one of the best movies of the year and it deserves to be in the top 10.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

The best film of 2005 so far

10/10
Author: TSPRIN1044
28 August 2005

The best film I have seen so far in 2005. It had everything, action and a little romance. but not enough to distract you from the main story line. Forget all the Batman films of the past and look to the future. Batman is back, bigger and better. The stunts are great, and add to the plot instead of being the hole story. And for once the supporting actors don't let you down. They actually boosted the story and helped to keep the plot moving in the right direction. Unlike those in the Btman films of the past. When Batman Begins comes out on DVD in October I will be buying the 2 disc set and I hope you will too. When the next Batman film hits the big screen I will be the first in line to see it, and being a woman that must mean a great deal.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A big cinematic experience

10/10
Author: aaoppe from Norway
17 August 2005

I can only say what several critics have said before me; at last they capture the essence of the Batman legend on film! What makes this movie so great is how it takes its material so seriously. There is also a main theme that ties the movie together: Fear. It's relentless in its quest to explain why and how a man of Bruce Wayne's wealth and public persona would dress up like a bat and battle crime. This is the core of the movie, and it treats this with confidence and conviction. When a movie believes this much in the story it's telling, it's much easier for the audiences to believe in it as well. This is a big cinematic experience, and it shouldn't be missed. One of the year's best films, and quite possibly the best comic book-hero-movie of all time.

If you have seen this movie once, then it gets even better by the second time you see it. And if you haven't seen it yet... well, what the hell took you so long?!

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15 out of 24 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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