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Batman Begins More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A Landmark in Comic Book Movies

10/10
Author: RebelTiger445 (RebelTiger445@yahoo.com) from United States
16 June 2005

I don't know about you, but I was tired of comic book films. They turned out to be OK, mindless fun. After a while this gets tiring.

This movie, however, is different. It has depth, interesting characters, and an even more interesting story. It's got action, humor, thrills, chills... It has everything you could want in a movie.

Critics have had three major complaints: The dialouge, the fight scenes, and the new Batmobile.

Dialouge- Yes, there are cheesy one-liners. But come on, this is Batman! Every super hero needs to utter cheesy one-liners as they beat the crap out of a thug and/or supervillan. This part added to the fun factor.

Fight scenes- They say the editing was to quick, and you couldn't tell what was going on. They don't realize that this is supposed to happen. When Batman attacks, it is chaotic, and the attacked do not know what is going on.

New Batmobile- I loved it. It was actually different. We got away from the sleek design that we had seen again and again... We got something new.

All in all, a great film that I definitely recommend.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

What should have been!

10/10
Author: tjrick1 from Chicago
16 June 2005

Batman is back and he takes the form and exudes the aura he should have had in the beginning. All previous versions, with mild exception for the first, were travesties that made a lot of money. It is nice to see a movie about a hero that truly shows the battle that they go through in their own minds. In order to understand why they do what they do we must be able to grasp how their minds have become twisted.

This movie completely blind-sided me......I was expecting another popcorn superhero movie and walked out of the theater uttering...."Damn!", over and over again. It came at me in such an onslaught that a second viewing will be required to grasp what happened.

I won't bother with a synopsis because if you don't go see this movie then you will miss one of the year's best and should just stop buying tickets. ENJOY!!

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

God bless the British. They got Batman right.

10/10
Author: joestank15 from United States
16 June 2005

Batman Begins - The beginning chapter of the Caped Crusader(played spot-on by Christian Bale)'s exploits in Gotham City. Chalk it up to the Brits to finally get a Batman movie right. Now don't get me wrong. I liked elements of Batman and Batman Returns, but for all of the beautiful sets and bangs and whistles, Batman was a 2-dimensional supporting character in his own films, and we never saw much of anything that drove him to don the costume and battle evil. Batman needed a beginning, and now he has it. The first hour is spent delving into Batman's past as Bruce Wayne as a child gets the crap scared out of him by bats, and watches his parents get murdered right in front of him (I actually cried here, to my surprise). It's dark, gritty, and emotional. We see Bruce get trained physically and mentally. He learns to harness his fear and use it. Fear as a weapon is a recurring theme in the movie, a key tool of Batman that was somehow left out of the other movies, and the old 60's show. Batman then returns to Gotham and vows to put a stamp on the corruption and evil.

Christian Bale IS Batman. He is so subtle but dark and bold, easily the best of the Batmans. Micheal Caine is witty, warm and father like as Alfred. Morgan Freeman makes a nice addition as well as Lucius, the man that gives Bruce most of his equipment. Gary Oldman is excellent as Gordon, the last good-cop in Gotham, a character ignored for some reason in most of the other movies. Katie Holmes isn't exactly a stand-out player in the movie, but she has some moments.

Gotham is full of villains, but none of them (thankfully) are allowed more screen-time than Batman. Liam Neeson plays an interesting mentor character as Henri Ducard. He's far more three-dimensional than most mentor characters in this sort of film. Cillian Murphy is undoubtedly my favorite of the villains as Scarecrow. He's scary, disturbing and just plain crazy.

Overall, this is the most fun, dark, gritty and most human of the Batmans. It's not all slick and well-oiled. My initial impression of the new Batmobile was "okay..." but It's grown on me. It sort of like a cross between a tank and monster trucker's wet dream. The chase scene with it on the rooftops was incredible.

There are no buildings that look like cathedrals no one would build, like in the more Gothic Batman's 1 and 2. There are no gadgets beyond what someone could create in real life. But it has strong character development, and a good screenplay (and the few one liners spouted here and there are not groan-worthy), and a dark, gritty nature that is so good it just has to be fattening. My one wish would be to see what this new fighting style created for the movie looks like. The shaky camera captured a gritty down and dirty nature, but I would still like to see what the moves look like. But that's a small complaint compared to the rest of the film. this gets an A

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Batman truly does Begin....and hopefully will continue....

10/10
Author: re007pi from United States
16 June 2005

I can honestly say that I am one of the biggest Batman fans around. I've been a fan my whole life. I've read the graphic novels, own collectibles, toys, etc. I am a fan-boy. Plain and simple. I could not wait for this movie to come out. 8 years since, "Batman and Robin" a.k.a "A Death in The Family" 2 years since it was announced and the anticipation was killing me. This move was just everything I could of hoped for. I saw it last night and It just hasn't hit me. I think one of the reasons a lot of people are Batman fans is he is a character we can in someway relate to. He's human, he makes mistakes, he has fears and secrets and goals. The way he is portrayed on screen has all of those items and then some. Christian Bale's performance is quite simply amazing. He gets great material to work with and he covers the 3 sides to Bruce Wayne with great transition and believability that it makes him the best on screen Bruce/Batman yet. He's read the graphic novels and the man just gets it. What also helps make this movie more believable is the seriousness of the incredible actors he is surrounded by who don't get full of themselves. Freeman, Caine, Oldman, Neeson, Hauer, Murphy and Watanabe all believe in this movie. Freeman is as always, awesome in his role as Lucius Fox explaining all of the gadgetry and sharing stories with Bruce. The gadgets are also explained really well. No-more wondering what magazine order form he filled out for his grappling hook and other items. Caine and Oldman give performances that are worthy of many fan-boys praise. They take there characters and run with them and it is exactly how it is represented in the comics. Holmes did a decent job in her role and is there not for eye candy, but to show us a little more into Bruce's head and how he deals with feelings. Neeson plays against the grain in his role as Ducard and does some good stuff with an almost unrecognized character from the comics. Hauer, Watanabe, and Murphy have minimal but important roles and really do a good job with what's given to them and have fun while playing it serious. Nolan also needs to be commended for going all in on something he believed in from the get go. He had his image of a Batman movie in his head and took it to Warner Brothers and they backed him up 110%. Taking examples from the different graphic novels and combining them to basically create a city all his own. He also brought out the best in each actor you see on screen. Goyer wrote a great script. He knew what the fans wanted and as a fan-boy himself, he delivered. The fight scenes were tight and well done and the style brutal. The fact they didn't use a lot of CGI made me enjoy it more because it added to the realism that is nowadays missing from movies that are loaded with CGI effects. The sound is simply out of this world. The sound of The Batmobile when it is first shown is something I cannot explain unless you hear it yourself. The editing and cinematography is excellent because it incorporates new techniques with old ones. This movie still has me thinking and I like that. I like going to movies and leaving just unable to think about anything else except what just happened on the screen and where it is going to go. The inevitable sequels have big shoes to fill. The end will leave you drooling over the possibilities of what's to come. This is one of if not the best superhero movie ever put on film.

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

The way Batman was MEANT to be!

9/10
Author: B. Caesar Cubillos (CubeJack@aol.com) from El Paso, TX
13 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was lucky enough to have seen the premiere of the movie on Monday evening and I was very impressed. This is easily the best Batman movie I have ever seen. This movie completely disregards the previous 4 Batman movies and begins its own franchise. The scenes are dark and foreboding, as is Batman himself. This film makes the previous 4 Batman films look as campy as the old TV show. There are no wild costumes or over-the-top freak characters. Scarecrow's costume consists of nothing more than a burlap sack yet it is more effective than the ridiculous outfits worn by Mr. Freeze or The Riddler in the last two terrible Batman movies.

The movie is outright action. The fight scenes are realistic in that there are no stupid one-liners being dropped during the fight, nor does the fight pause for one of the characters to crack a cheap joke. Christian Bale is the best Batman I have ever seen. The supporting cast is incredibly strong; with especially solid performances by Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Rutger Hauer, Liam Neeson and even Gary Oldman (who I have been very critical of in the past). I hadn't seen much of Katie Holmes before this film, but her performance was every bit on par as those of the seasoned veteran actors mentioned above. Lastly there is Cillian Murphy, whose performance reminded me of the chilling characters played in the past by Christopher Walken. I can see Murphy becoming a much bigger name in film in the near future.

This was not a children's' movie in any way, though the film is not overly violent or gory. I don't recall seeing any blood at any point in the film. I saw many parents bringing children to the premiere, but I believe these people were expecting a movie like the previous 4 that added corny jokes and enemies that bordered on slapstick with their appearance.

The movie distances itself immediately from the others by showing the audience a different version of Bruce Wayne's parents being murdered. The origin is told well and gives us a much better insight on the character of Bruce Wayne/Batman. This Batman is realistic. We see how he is trained and hear what his beliefs are. He even bruises and looks athletic without looking TOO big to hide his appearance when not in costume. I applaud Christopher Nolan for breaking out on his own and not submitting to the campy formula of the other movies.

I would gladly see this movie again in the theater. It looks to be the best film of the summer and easily the best film I've seen this year. Because there is no sex or gratuitous violence the film is okay to take the kids to, but don't expect them to be as entertained as they were with the previous films. At no point does this film even pretend to be targeted at a younger audience.

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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Quite simply the best batman to date

10/10
Author: Brandon Coulson (bdog1414@yahoo.com) from baltimore, maryland
14 June 2005

I have to say that after seeing it for the first time I was thrilled. After the second time i confirmed what i thought. this is without a doubt the best batman film ever made. whether you're a fan of the comics or not everyone should love this movie. Anyone who doesn't at least enjoy it somewhat can only be one of those types who always have to go against whatever is popular just for the joy of going against the majority.

Bale is the closest Bruce and bats to the comics I've ever seen and i hope he stays on for all of the sequels in the new franchise. Micheal Caine actually turns Alfred from an old nanny to an important character with a lot to add to the story, and the film perfectly sets up why there are so many frigging villains running loose in Gotham, in fact it sets up three specific villains by the films end.

I pleas and beg with everyone out there who thinks they're too grownup or cool or just not a comic person, give it a chance i bet you'll love it. We need to make sure this one does well or else as punishment they're gonna let Schumacher make another one with egghead and the evil cowboy from the Adam west show as the villains.

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14 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Decent but 20 minutes too long

Author: steve-pet-peeve from US
20 June 2005

Finally, a Batman that didn't suck.

It explains a bunch of things that troubled me about Batman. First, why the heck does this nutty guy dress up in a bat suit in the first place? The explanation is given, and it works. Good job, fellas.

I liked the training part where Batman gets his skills and his philosophy.

And the back-story about his family being killed is very good. I was into the movie the whole way at this point.

Now for the bad. The action sequences were poorly edited and went on too long. The car chase bored me to tears by the end. It should be cut in half. Then the editing. It's so hyper-fast and shaky that you can't mentally figure what you're watching. It's like they didn't have the right footage, so they just flashed up everything so fast that we don't notice it. It's jarring and doesn't make for a good sequence. Check out the fight scenes at the end to get a feel for what I'm saying.

I was ahead of the story, which is never good. As soon as I saw them pouring the poison into the pipe, I knew where it was going - a full 20 minutes before the characters did. That's not a good thing.

Lastly, the movie was 20 minutes too long. I checked my watch 3 times by the end.

PS - the logic of the villains was absurd. They hate crime and criminals, so they decide to kill a whole city instead of focusing on the criminals themselves? What? Sorry, but the absurdity of it bothers me.

All in all, the best Batman flick to date, which considering how bad all of them were, isn't that impressive.

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15 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

A Better Batman

7/10
Author: Caliann
15 June 2005

I attended the 6:35 pm showing Wednesday (opening) night at a suburban multiplex in Minneapolis. It was a very sparse audience of mostly 50 to 60-year old men, some of whom had dates of equal vintage, which seemed like a very odd audience for this type of film. Perhaps it was the day and hour, but it certainly wasn't the audience I expected.

Though better than the most recent "Batmans," this visually impressive actioner fell a little short.

In this prequel we learn how Batman came to be, starting with a nightmare. Stuck in an Asian prison at the base of a glacier encrusted peak, Batman-to-be Bruce Wayne awakes from a flashback of his childhood, where he fell down a well and was terrified by swarms of bats. Orphaned when a common thief kills both his parents, Bruce embarks on a personal journey for seven years. Inter-cut with his former cosseted life as the only child of a doctor mogul, is the quest of this current young man, living among criminals in order to understand how their minds work so that he may someday vanquish evil. Now imprisoned for some criminal act, he rather quickly frees himself, lured to the aerie of Ra's al Ghul.

There he undergoes ninja training by Ducard (Liam Neeson) who spews aphorisms more akin to Steven Segal than the Dalai Lama. Much mumbo jumbo later, Bruce Wayne evolves into a skilled killing machine, only to reject the role of executioner of bad guys, and membership in the elite League of Shadows, the position for which he was groomed. He burns down al Ghuls house and returns to Gotham to fight evil on his own.

Constructing his Batman persona and superstructure with the aid of his wise and loyal butler, Alfred (charmingly played by Michael Caine), Bruce Wayne becomes Bat-man because it symbolizes a fear he has conquered. As he reacquaints himself with Gotham he eventually finds that his father's company, its legacy chairman, most of the Gotham police, and Ra's al Ghul are all tied into the dirty workings of Gotham's king of corruption, Carmine Falcone. When Falcone has the man who murdered Wayne's parents killed to prevent him from testifying against Falcone, Bruce confronts him for fostering corruption. It is then Bruce quickly learns that insulting Falcone only puts those he loves, Alfred and his childhood girlfriend, Rachel, at risk. The conflicts between all parties are satisfactorily entangled in a heinous plot to destroy Gotham, and is then skillfully unraveled by Batman with truly impressive action sequences.

But it only gets fun after a long 55 minutes into the film when Bruce finally gets a handle on himself. Until then the film is a bit tedious. But when the super toys roll out the basement of the Wayne corporate office building, the thrills are non-stop. Morgan Freeman plays a wonderful cameo as purveyor of cool technical gadgets, including one helluva Batmobile.

Unfortunately, many of the bons mots of the film are lost to poor enunciation on Bale's part. While Caine, Neeson, Oldman, Freeman, Holmes and just about everyone else in the film speaks clearly, Bale lets the words sort of fall out of his mostly open mouth. Only after he dons the slick iconic body armor of Batman does Bale close his mouth and enunciate. Hard to believe the oral transformation was part of the movie's dramatization, but one can only hope.

While most of the dialogue is workman-like, spare, and to the point, it becomes almost ludicrous when the characters presume to say something "deep." Most notable are when Neeson, early on, delivers his melodramatic utterances, and, toward the end when Holmes proffers the truly incomprehensible gibberish about the Batman person who she loved and might someday see again. On a more positive note, Holmes put in a genuinely adult dramatic performance, which suggests a successful transition from TV darling to serious big screen actress.

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18 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

I am amazed that I liked it...

7/10
Author: TC Candler from Minneapolis, USA
20 June 2005

I hated "Daredevil". I didn't like either "Spider-Man". The "X-Men" movies were mediocre. I can't say that I remember the "Superman" movies fondly. The 1989 "Batman" was dull. I hated all the "Batman" sequels. "Catwoman" was abysmal.

In fact, by my definition, a superhero movie usually equates to a moronic, silly and childish piece of crap designed specifically to make tons of money with merchandising and Burger King tie-ins.

I hate them. I hate them. I hate them.

In fact, I resent the genre for angling the entire medium of film toward a younger demographic. Every major release in this day and age seems to appeal at least somewhat to kids in order to capture the massive dollar amount that they generate. I say... "Fuck the kids"! This is an adult world. They can have it later. That's why I almost always appreciate a film that ignores the 13-25 year-old demographic and delivers a literate and intellectual story about adults and for adults.

Okay, that rant is over for now...

In fact, the only superhero film I even remotely liked was "The Hulk". Not surprisingly, it was the one superhero film that didn't do too well with the younger demographic. It was arguably the least financially successful superhero film in the last 20 years. (Not counting the joke that was "Catwoman").

So, I finally arrive at "Batman Begins", a film I presumed would follow the trend of silliness evident in all the other movies of this ilk.

I actually liked it?????? What the hell??????

With movies like this, so popular and so familiar, I usually dispense with the plot summary. So I will delve right into the opinions...

I loved the look of this film. It maintained the slightly somber feel that accompanies the Batman saga, but it wasn't afraid to venture into daylight from time to time. Heck the first third of the film takes place in the snowy mountains of somewhere or another... I wasn't paying attention.

My biggest gripe with comic book films is the lunacy of the plots. I usually cannot suspend my disbelief at all. However, "Batman Begins" had me from the get -go. I was buying the story... it didn't seem ridiculous to me. SHOCKING!!!

Another thing that surprised me was that the villains weren't absolutely ludicrous. Comic book villains are usually so dumb and over-the-top that I lose all sense of belief. Here, they are relatively subdued... I liked that a lot.

The only problem I had with the film was the insanely stupid 'Batman Voice' that Bale chose to use. What the hell was that all about? Very silly indeed!

The acting was rather impressive all around... Especially from the supporting cast. Only Katie Holmes left me wanting for more. She was rather dull. I liked the turns by Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman... they brought some added weight to the film. Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy were both solid as the bad guys. And apart from Bale's silly voice, he was a very good Batman... his face carries the emotional weight of the character and doesn't let the character venture too far into camp territory.

I will say this though... Superhero movies by their very nature are not capable of a grade in the A-range. It would have to be tremendous just to merit a B+ from me. The silliness of a man bouncing around in a spandex suit with pointy ears just will not allow me to go any higher. But "Batman Begins" was about as good as I could have imagined from a film in this genre. I teetered between a B and a B+... but because of the pleasant surprise, I am going to reward it with a B+. "Batman Begins" is the best in it's genre because it isn't too silly It isn't too campy. It isn't too childish. It doesn't take itself too seriously. It strikes the right balance. It is geared to a slightly older audience than your typical popcorn flick. I had a really good time with this one!

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19 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Best of the Batman films so far. Deep, dark, and refreshingly serious

8/10
Author: mstomaso from Vulcan
6 July 2005

I never thought Christian Bale could displace Michael Keaton as the best batman, but, sorry Michael, the deed is done.

Batman fans should find no surprise in the darkness of this tale depicting the early life of Bruce Wayne, his transformation into The Batman, and one of his most harrowing adventures. I avoided reading reviews before seeing this. As a lifelong comics fan, I felt this film deserved an open mind from me. After seeing one of the trailers, I became convinced that this film was going to be based on Frank Miller's The Dark Knight, a legendary take on the 1930s Batman origin story inked in the 80s by the man who later gave us Sin City. But no, this is a fresh and original Batman film, including the significant elements of the original, but adding its own very carefully thought out embellishments. While it has all of the darkness of The Dark Knight, it has all of the plot elements of the original, and more.

The familiar Batman story is told early in the film, but by the time we are allowed to focus on Wayne, he has grown into a young man. Wayne is depicted as a troubled drifter whose traumatic early life has left him seeking understanding in all of the wrong places. Bayle plays the character to the hilt - with his detachment, repressed anger and heavily depressive tendencies sustained throughout the entire film. Susceptible to any guidance that might provide him with a chance to right the wrongs he has seen, he falls under the spell of Ra's Al Ghul high in the Bhutanese Himalayas and becomes an apprentice in the League of Shadows - a secret society of ninjas who purge the world of corruption in a merciless manner. Wayne's martial arts training is where the major story arc begins.

This is easily the most serious, intelligent, and adult of the batman films. It is well filmed, relentlessly fast-paced and intelligently scripted. Batman Begins also sports a phenomenal cast. I am aware that a few people felt that Katie Holmes was miscast as Rachel Dawes, but I couldn't agree less. She did a good job as, basically, the only woman in the film. The rest of the cast did not miss a beat either. The very likable Michael Caine makes a great Alfred, though I have to admit I was concerned when I first saw him on screen (having never gotten over some of his weaker efforts).

With Sin City and Batman Begins coming out in the same year, it is easy to imagine that - after decades of struggle - the comic media has finally successfully broken into serious commercial films. Let's hope it's here to stay!

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