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|Index||2587 reviews in total|
24 out of 42 people found the following review useful:
The dark & gritty Batman comes to the big screen, 13 July 2005
What we see in this movie is the "dark & gritty" (TM) Batman, which was
introduced by Frank Miller in 1986 in the comics mini-series Dark
Knight Returns, which was an alternate future version of Batman. But
Miller also gave the "real" comics Batman the dark & gritty treatment
in the seminal Batman: Year One story, which is perhaps the greatest
Batman story ever created (also because of the effective artwork of the
excellent David Mazzuchelli), and which chronicles, among other things,
Bruce Wayne's initial (pre-Batman) martial arts training in a remote
mountain region. In the comics, a creative force as strong as Frank
Miller was bound to yield massive imitation by less original comics
creators - and so the early 1990s saw the Batman character getting
consistently and increasingly dark & gritty, to the extent that the
entire Batman universe was based on that darkness and grit.
So the question is, does this work in a movie? Well, in my opinion it didn't even work in the comics, so, no, for this and other reasons I don't think it works in the movie, either. I always preferred the pre-Miller Batman, whose comics were driven by the stories and not simply by mood and style.
Batman Begins is not a bad movie. It has many good things. The story has lots of great ideas. Most of the changes to the Bat-mythos were thoughtful and effective. I even loved how the Batmobile had to jump over a moat every time it left and entered the Bat-Cave.
Unfortunately, the movie is atrociously directed. Everything is much, MUCH too dark, and considering how bad-looking the terribly cut fight scenes are, the fast-moving action and scatter-shot dialog are particularly grating. Most characters beside Bale's and Neeson's don't have enough to do, or get no significant characterization. Oldman's Gordon is wildly underplayed, and I could never separate Michael Caine from Michael Caine, which I needed to do if I were to find him convincing as Alfred. I think the structure and editing of the movie was terrible, and the decision to make a comic-book movie so dark that you could hardly see what was going on, was a monumentally bad one. It was a decision made, no doubt, to emphasize the medium of the movie over that of the comic, and it made the director attempt to create some kind of art movie - and apparently many people feel he succeeded. I didn't.
And I thought the special effects were another big problem. There were too many of them. Why did the plot need a hallucinogenic drug, so faces could twist and horses could breathe fire? Because, I'm certain, the movie-makers felt they had to deliver the special effects spectacular that they thought superhero movie audiences have come to expect. A commercial decision, thus, to blow some dough on unnecessary SPX, just because the audience probably would think it was a cheap and unimportant movie if it didn't have any. So, no, I was not impressed at all; rather the opposite.
And unfortunately I have to make one more serious complaint. Ra's Al Ghul was very cool and very well played and everything, but his scheme was ridiculous in the extreme. Through centuries and even millennia his "league of shadows" (the actual size of which is never shown) would destroy civilizations (oh, or just cities) at the height of their decadence, like God striking down Sodom and Gomorrah. And now they'd decided that Gotham City should be destroyed? I'm sorry, but I find it ridiculous on at least three levels. First, wouldn't they target more than a single city? What use will it be to destroy one city? But, of course, this would depend on their man-power, which we are never made privy to. Maybe they're just, like, twelve guys. It certainly looks that way. Second, Ra's had been planning to destroy Gotham for, like, twenty years or more?! So, basically, he's been focusing all his resources on just Gotham for at least two or three decades, while events in the rest of the world has had no bearing on the situation? That's preposterous. And third, where's the sense in going in to help exacerbate the decadence and crime and corruption before delivering the death-stroke? They are totally becoming the very thing they would destroy. And sure, they're the bad guys and all, but shouldn't their scheme have SOME modicum of logical coherence? Apparently not. So anyway, not a great, successful movie as far as I'm concerned, but the typical commercial fluff with a hurried narrative and a holey rusted plot, Batman.
6 out of 10.
49 out of 92 people found the following review useful:
Again? Well, not quite., 20 June 2005
Author: terrygiu2000 from Italy
The name of David Goyer among the writing credits made me fear the worse. After all those Zig Zag and Blades appallingness you can hardly blame me. So, you may imagine my surprise to discover that Batman Begins is not only better than the previous Batmans but much better. The genesis of the character as well as inedited insights into the seven mystery years in the life of Bruce Wayne makes the whole enterprise engaging even thrilling. Christian Bale is an American Psycho Batman, pouty lips and unexpected sexual presence. Katie Holmes is lovely, with a sharp intelligence and a riveting imperfect beauty. Michael Caine fills the shoes of the butler with wit and charm. Gary Oldman, looking more Oldman than Gary, adds another surprising characterization to his already impressive gallery. So, very nice. There is still hope in hopeless trends. Who knew.
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
The best thing to hit the Batman name EVER!, 26 February 2006
Author: ndobson01 from United States
I thought this movie was absolutely spectacular, I took me by surprise.
I never thought I would see a Batman movie with depth and that showed
the true fear that is the character Batman that he brings to his
enemies. Christian Bale did a excellent job and I truly look forward to
him in another Batman Movie!
The story was absolutely amazing and in my humble opinion very original. Raj Al Ghul is an excellent villain and to portray him in the way he was portrayed was top notch, not to mention he was played very well. Many people I talked to complained that the actor who played him was not of Asian decent. However I believe it truly didn't matter at all.
Not to mention Alfred was great. Gordon (later Commissioner Gordon) was excellent as well.
No other Batman Movie has portrayed Batman truly as the Dark Knight and as I said already I truly look forward to more along these lines.
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
The way Batman was meant to be!, 24 July 2005
Author: Sam from United States
This is the Batman I have been waiting for! Tim Burton's Batman
(Batman, Batman Returns) movies were good Tim Burton movies, but not
great Batman movies. Joel Schumucher's (Batman Forever, Batman and
Robin) I'm convinced were made to mock the Dark knight and destroy his
good name. But this new one is everything Batman should be and needs to
be. And the villains are all played to perfection! Christopher Nolan is
my favorite director and this (along with Memento) is his best work. If
you see no other movie this year, see Batman Begins.
Note: This is not a prequel to Tim Burton's Batman. This is a completely new Batman movie series.
7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Thank goodness, a new beginning, 27 October 2005
Author: vjj from New York, USA
Forget Michael Keaton, forget Tim Burton....THIS IS THE BATMAN MOVIE!
Perfect casting, actors that NEVER over-do it! Excellent
direction...this movie does what it sets out to do...shows you just how
Bruce Wayne became the "Dark Knight", and makes you actually care about
his personal conflicts and resolve to set things right in old Gotham.
Put it this way...when Christian Bale says, "I'm Batman!" you're glad you're not the person he's saying it to!
And the special effects are dead on. For once, you get just enough techno-babble to explain how the Batman's equipment works. And you get to find out just where "he gets all those marvelous toys" (stolen from Jack Nicholson's Joker character in Tim Burton's "Batman").
Enjoy this one! I'm looking forward to the next installment.
8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
This is not another superhero movie, 14 November 2005
Author: jayce2279 from Belgium
Batman Begins isn't another superhero movie in the line of Spider- Man, the X- Men or the Hulk. In fact, even if you don't care for Batman or any of his costumed colleagues, you can still enjoy this film as a good action- thriller. It doesn't thrive on special effects and big action scenes but offers a decent story with lots of attention to character development. The movie is fairly low tech and because it doesn't rely on computer technology in the way other recent superhero movies do, it has an old school feel to it, kind of like an early 80s fantastic film or even Superman: The Movie. Of course, Batman Begins is much darker than Richard Donner's beauty, but the evolution of both main characters from youths, coming to terms with who they are, to caped crusaders is depicted in a similar way. As far as the actual crime fighting goes, this movie puts right everything that was done wrong in Batman Forever and Batman and Robin. Our hero's weapons are not covered with blinking lights, but sober and practical: no computer controlled Batarangs, but ninja stars shaped as a bat. No design costume, but military armor, decorated with a cape and mask. The Batmobile is no skyscraper climbing super car, but a rejected army vehicle put to new use that befits the general atmosphere of this movie. Batman doesn't fight villains in shiny outfits who fly around on supersonic gliders or have tentacles as arms. The bad guys in this film are real people: gangsters, a corrupt warden of a psychiatric ward, a martial arts specialist and lots of crooked cops. If you take into consideration that Batman Begins is based on the Year One comics, written by Sin City's Frank Miller, one cannot help noticing the similarity between Robert Rodriguez' newly created world and the one depicted in this movie. In fact, Sin City could just as well be Gotham City without Batman. So forget Joel Schumacher's monstrosities. In fact, Christopher Nolan has even gone one better than Tim Burton and created a credible movie with a good story, realistic characters and the filthiest setting the world's Darkest Knight has ever called home.
12 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Excellent Batman, 12 October 2005
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
"Batman Begins" is certainly the best among the five movies of this
great hero released in the theaters. After 1776 reviews in IMDb, I do
not know what I can write that have not been written before. In my
opinion, this film begins wonderful with the director, Christopher
Nolan, of the fantastic "Memento", one of my favorite movies. The cast
is a constellation, composed of excellent actors and actress: Christian
Bale is awesome in the role of the troubled and confused Bruce Wayne;
Michael Caine, as Alfred, elegant, gentle and tough, is also perfect;
Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson, Tom Wilkinson, Hutger Hauer are very evil
bad guys; Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman complete this
lovely cast. The special effects are very good, and the cinematography
recalls "Blade Runner", with rainy and dark locations. The story
explains the origins of Batman since his childhood in Gotham City. The
soundtrack fits perfectly to the scenes. It is amazing to see that
there are bad reviews of this movie, which is a very above average
entertainment. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "Batman Begins"
13 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Will change the comic book adaptation genre, 12 June 2005
Author: pton77 from United States
Every now and then, an innovative and groundbreaking film emerges and
changes the genre by taking its genre and combining others. Film
schools teach you that talking head movies don't work, but Godfather
showed that captivating dialog and memorable characters could drive a
movie and capture an audience's attention just as well as action. When
this summer is over, Batman Begins will do the same thing for the comic
book genre. It shows that a reality and character driven set piece can
work for these types of movies.
There are NO superpowers in the movie. The villains rely on mastered sword fighting, physical athleticism, and cunning as their vehicles to create chaos. And although there is action, which is done masterfully, (The car chases and hang glide scenes will blow you away)the story is moved completely by its lead character and not the events surrounding him.
The movie is a journey of self discovery. One man's struggle to deal with guilt and anger. And minus the batsuit and batmobile, this movie could stand alone as a powerful drama about self discovery, and would probably even merit Oscar consideration. The acting is superb and this is the first comic book movie to ever leave me with a lump in my throat. The relationship between Alfred and Bruce is completely genuine and heartfelt.
So enjoy the movie and be prepared for an onslaught of copy cat films to come.
15 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
A True Comic Fanboy Review, 15 September 2008
Author: zelig30 from United States
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
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?
20 out of 35 people found the following review useful:
One of the Best Comic Adaptations Ever, 6 June 2005
Author: drpimper510 from United States
Saw an early screening of Begins this weekend and I must say, it lived
up to my expectations.
Something had to be done to rescue our hero's good name. Thankfully, Batman Begins, the start of a whole new series chronicling the origins of the Caped Crusader - does all that and more.
Where Burton's Batman claimed to be dark, this one is genuinely menacing. It's a violent and truly scary film.
Everyone in the movie does a great job in their role ( except Kate Holmes which had more to do with the character then her ) the movie is a trumph of epic proportions. It doesn't leave out much to the imagination, everything is set up to the last drop.
One of the best comics adaptations ever and I cant wait to see it again.
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