After Batman and Robin, there is nowhere to go but up. The movie even killed the comic book genre for many years until the first X-Men directed by Brian Singer. Christopher Nolan took the helm of the franchise and changed things. Forever. Batman Begins is the best origins movie we’ve ever had. It’s dark, gritty and realistic, which is something the other Batman movies lacked. The transformation of Bruce Wayne to Batman is perfectly done—and it takes fifty minutes of screen time before we see him put on the caped crusader costume, which he obtains with the help of Lucius Fox (played by Morgan Freeman). This is the best origins tale we’ve ever had.
Bruce gets trained by Ducard (Liam Neeson) in the League of Shadows after being released from prison. He is trained as a ninja and learns that if he can be seen as a simbol he will never die and remain a legend. The League of Shadows is led by Ra’s Al Ghul who plans to destroy Gotham. Bruce decides to betray the league and return to Gotham and become The Batman and unleash fear on the corrupt.
Christian Bale is fantastic as Bruce Wayne and Batman. He plays the two parts so well. He plays all three parts perfectly; the Bruce Wayne who is interacting with Alfred; the Bruce Wayne who is in the public’s eye and Batman. And the voice is great. People like to make fun of the voice and it is over the top but it’s menacing and it works. He is a tortured human being at the beginning of the film. He is seeking revenge for the murder of his parents and plans to kill the man responsible when he is released from jail but never gets to opportunity after someone else shoots him. Bruce Wayne decides to find solace and pray on those who pray on the fearful.
Gary Oldman is incredible as Commissioner Gordon and plays one of the most likeable cops in film history and for the first time of the series we finally see him work with Bruce Wayne and do stuff. He helps stops the monorail and saves Gotham in the process. Michael Caine was the perfect choice as Alfred. Jeremy Irons has big shoes to fill. And what I love about this version of Alfred is that he’s not just a butler. He supports Batman and helps him on his journey.
The only flew flaws I have with the film is Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes. She is horrible in this film and she was truly miscast. She botches every line she delivers and the filmmakers saw it, which is why she was replaced with Maggie Gylenhaal in the next film, which was a wise decision and a much better choice. And also Scarecrow’s defeat is a bit weak. It diminishes his character a bit but Ducard is revealed to be the main mastermind Ra’s Al Ghul who was behind the League of Shadows so it’s just a minor nit-pick.
Christopher Nolan was wise to put in less known villains of the Batman universe villains in this film. Using Scarecrow and Ra’s Al Ghul made it feel a lot more realistic and it was the perfect way to reboot the universe and lead into The Dark Knight, one of the greatest films of all time.
Cillian Murphy is also terrific as Scarecrow and extremely scary. He is probably the scariest Batman villain of the franchise we’ve ever had up to this point. The design of the Scarecrow Mask and the use of the fear gas are extremely well done and you wouldn’t think that it belonged in a Batman movie, but it fits this new incarnation so well.
The Batmobile is also so badass in this movie; it can go from rooftop to rooftop, how awesome is that? It’s the best Batmobile in the series by far. There is nothing in Batman Begins that feels comic-bookie. This is a dark, serious and mature action film that has lighter moments and great characters. The story is fantastic, the characters are engaging, the action is top notched and it’s also extremely exciting and emotionally resonant, two things that we’re lacking in previous Batman films.
The score by Hans Zimmer is also great and it’s so amazing to listen too. This new theme is inspiring and wholly original.
Overall, Batman Begins is a movie that has been done with care and justice for the character by Christopher Nolan. It’s a brilliant action film that successfully tells the origin story of one of the most beloved characters of all time and leaves us hungry for what’s to come.