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 Batman Begins Review















Title: Batman Begins

Classification: 12A

Director: Christopher Nolan

Runtime: 141 Minutes







Batman Begins, well, where to start? An outstanding film, one of the best I've seen this year, and certainly a revival to the series everyone thought had died a Hollywood death. In Batman, we saw Bruce Wayne as a child, his parents shot and killed, we're never told why or by whom. We're also never shown the changes this has on young Bruce, and his transformation into Batman. Batman Returns showed us the gothic city and undercity of Gotham. Then in Batman Forever, a slightly less gothic but still serious Batman, we are told some of the process of Batman's making, and, to some extent, his unmaking. But then it all went horribly wrong. Batman and Robin was terrible, to be blunt.



However, Warner Bros. studios have certainly realised that the only way out of this hole was to take out the comedy aspect, which they have done to fantastic effect. The story weaves around a little, between different periods of Bruce's young life, dealing with his training, the consolidation of his equipment, the evolution of his persona and the methods by which he comes by the idea of ‘a bat man'. It goes on to deal with, not one, but two of the famous Batman enemies, Scarecrow and Ra's Al Ghul. It would be unprofessional to reveal the plot too much, but suffice to say that Christian Bale is never unbelievable as Batman. He manages to pull off, not only the sinister ‘standing on tall roofs looking down in the rain' thing, but also suggests a hulking tone to Batman, a suggestion that he is still trying to fit in to a city he left.



The plot is worthy of the World's Greatest Detective, a title Batman surely holds, and we are, along the way, given some suggestions as to how he does his escape acts. Bale also plays the charming Bruce Wayne with skill and panache, although his previous performance as a millionaire playboy has already proved him beyond doubt in that role. I speak, of course, of American Psycho, the dark comedy aimed squarely at the ‘Yuppie' generation, and indeed Bale himself cited his role in Psycho when interviewed by the Daily Mail. ‘Batman is just one letter away from Bateman [his role in Psycho]' he quipped, ‘and they're both insane.'



Another sterling effort was made by Michael Caine, (Alfred the butler) who managed to be the perfect English butler sometimes, and the rough-spoken Londoner we know him as the rest of the time. Katie Holmes was suitable in her role, although her soft-spoken features made her out as, perhaps, too innocent for Gotham.



Batman Begins has two feelings about it which make my closing mark justified, in my opinion. First, it is a film which I would have willingly watched again, except with better seats next time (the constant use of a handheld camera angle meant that some of the fight scenes were hard to encompass, especially when you are three rows from the front). Secondly, although I know this has already been disproved, I cannot readily see this new Batman as a computer game. Often in these films, there are certain parts which leap out at you and scream ‘I will be the driving level in the game' or a puzzle, or the boss. Batman Begins had no such moments, and at no point could I see myself playing a game which would, in any way, shape or form, re-enact the mastery that is the film.

















Score:


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