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Batman Begins review

July 3, 2005

I went to see the new movie, “Batman Begins” with middle-son this evening, and was pleasantly surprised to find it suffered none of the defects of the others.

The first couple Batman movies (the ones done by Tim Burton) were just so-so, which is inexcusable with such good source material.  I’ve only seen a few minutes each of the others and they were simply pathetic.  Into the dustbin with them, then.

For those of you who only remember the campy 1960’s TV series, Kane’s original concept for Batman was a pretty dark character.  Young “Bruce Wayne” saw both his parents murdered, and then, obsessed with revenge and justice (and not always clear on the difference), he became the world’s greatest detective/vigilante.

To see Batman rendered just about right, rent some episodes of “Batman, the animated series.”  Although written for kids, each of the characters was correctly scripted and balanced as Kane had envisioned them.  Adults watching the series could see the undercurrent of pathos while kids just enjoyed the excellent storytelling.

Now along comes this movie.  It opens with Bruce Wayne in a Chinese prison.  He has been living among criminals, trying to understand the criminal mind.  He is released from the prison by a meglomaniac Ninja leader who tries to train him as an apprentice.  The relationship breaks down when Wayne refuses to behead a murderer as part of a test.

The Ninja leader resurfaces later, using Scarecrow as a pawn in a plot to …  oh, but that would be telling.  Suffice it to say, make sure your insurance – all different kinds – is paid up if you live in Gotham (which is rendered amazingly well.)

All along they did a good job capturing Wayne’s struggle to live within two emerging identities, and the connection between the technology Batman needs and the money that Wayne has.  One of the better features of the movie is that Wayne himself is in uncharted waters, and without Alfred and Lucius Fox he would have self-destructed many times.  Wayne needs Sgt. Gordon, too.  Batman is not all that self-sufficient.

There are a few plot items that don’t match the story plays out in the DC canon, but I don’t care about that. Bottom line: if you were disappointed by the earlier Batman movies, you will very likely like this one.

Categories: Movies, Reviews
  1. WeeDram
    July 3, 2005 at 19:54 | #1

    Partly on the strength of your comments, I went this afternoon.  I quite liked it, even though I didn’t know the original story beyond your description.  Even without that, I would have liked this movie.  Way better than any other Batman on a screen I’ve ever seen.

    There is (at least) one scientific bungle in this film, but as my wife said, “Shhhsh, you’re at the movies!”

    Can anyone else figure out what that glitch is?

  2. Lucas
    July 3, 2005 at 23:56 | #2

    Umm, which one?  The microwave emitter which vaporize water, but not humans?  The nature of the fear chemical, when there is no known anxiety receptor?  The question of why a plant would evolve an orally inactive compound which causes fear?  The enormous amount of the compound which would be required if it were to be active?  How Fox could possible squeeze several years of pharmaceutical research into two days?  How the compound went undetected for so long given *daily* analytical tests required of municipal water supplies?  How Batman was able to survive some of the falls, or how people were able to converse in a burning house without coughing?  Etc…

  3. WeeDram
    July 4, 2005 at 15:45 | #3

    The microwave emitter is the most “egregious” … the others I could live with.

  4. July 6, 2005 at 08:25 | #4

    I enjoyed your review more than the film itself even though I had already seen the film. Thanks for your comments onmy Batman review which wandered off onto thunderstorms!

    Mr Doris also thinks it was the best Batman movie. I still found it too dark and that perhaps there were other things I would preferred to have been doing with my time.

    I love the comments here about the “scientific bungle”. It is so funny because this is Batman. Since when should any of Batman’s technology be correct. Lucas gave a great reply.

  5. July 6, 2005 at 08:48 | #5

    Thanks, Doris!  I agree the movie was dark but to handle the character properly it had to be.  Making Batman a sunny-day character would be analogous to making Jeeves and Wooster into a vampire flick.  ;-P

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