Directed by Christopher Nolan
Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale)
Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine)
James Gordan (Gary Oldman)
Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman)
Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes)
Jonathon Crane/Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy)
Ra’s Al Ghul (Liam Neeson)
Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice comes out in March, and leading in, I’m going to review the Dark Knight trilogy and Man Of Steel. Unlike my Marvel reviews, these will be in chronological order.
For the record, I am aware that Christopher Nolan’s movies do not tie in with the DCCU.
Batman Begins was launched in 2005, and was the first live-action Batman movie since Batman and Robin. Talk about two sides of a coin.
Batman Begins changed the general public’s view of Batman completely. It was no longer about the Bat-credit cards and Bat-roller skates. Where Nolan’s movies separate themselves from other Batman adaptations is how well they utilise the dark, ninja side of the Caped Crusader. In this movie, there are various instances in which you feel the same as how the villains feel when Batman is close, and that is some great cinematography.
Batman Begins is, primarily, an origin story. A Batman origin story hadn’t really been told before it. And let me tell you, this was incredibly accurate. I’ve read Batman: Year One, and there are so many elements in this movie that basically resemble the graphic novel. Even the way the corrupt police officer Flass is portrayed is so great. And the way it’s told is something unique. It’s essentially a series of Bruce Wayne being trained by Ra’s Al Ghul, while he narrates his whole story to him.
Admittedly, it does take some time for Batman to actually begin. And by the time he does, you can already see the mess that Gotham City is in. It’s clear that Batman is needed. That’s something that Nolan did really well. He captured the essence of the unforgiving Gotham, from the background characters to the setting itself. He established a lot of great relationships between the characters as well. You saw how much Rachel Dawes meant to Bruce Wayne. You could sense that Lucius Fox knew who Bruce Wayne was at night, but brilliantly, this movie never openly said it. If George Lucas was directing this, Fox would have said something like “It is I who knows your identity, and for that I shall assist you in your endeavors as The Batman”. I’m not even joking, that sounds like something in a Star Wars prequel.
There is one problem I have with this movie, and that’s its villains. Every other villain that Christopher Nolan took control over, he’s handled magnificently, but when it comes to Ra’s Al Ghul and Scarecrow, I felt like there could have been more. The former is there for the first act of the movie, then disappears altogether and reveals himself in the last act. I wanted to see more of Liam Neeson. That does redeem itself a bit, as he made a cameo in The Dark Knight Rises.
Now, Scarecrow. Scarecrow was okay in this movie, but the potential was immense. I would’ve liked if he was the only villain, because so much more could have been done. In Batman: Arkham Asylum (I haven’t played Arkham Knight because Rocksteady and WB effectively gave last-gen consoles the finger), Scarecrow is handled really well, and looking back, I wish there was more of that in this movie.
However, this is, as I said, an origin story, so I will excuse it. A little bit.
Despite that, Batman Begins is a brilliant movie. It captured the essence of Batman, and started a trilogy that will inevitably be called one of the greatest ever.
On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:
Batman Begins: MIHIR