Batman Begins

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Batman Begins
Review (8.5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

Batman Begins is a darker, more detailed looked at the life of Bruce Wayne and our caped crusader. This time around, Christain Bale is perfectly cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman. The story takes us through a little of Bruce's tortured childhood, his angry teenage years, his time spent in a brutal Asian prison, his intense training for the League of Shadows under the tutelege of the mysterious Ducard (Liam Neeson) and Ra's Al Ghul (Ken Watanabe) and eventually we see the reclusive billionaire playboy (how can he be both a recluse and a playboy?) dawn the costume of Batman and begin his quest to destroy all evil in Gotham City. Of course, the movie stars some familiar faces to Batman fans - the trusty butler Alfred (Michael Caine) and soon-to-be commissioner but current Lieutenant Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and some not so familiar faces in Assistant District Attorney Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes) and her nipples and the sly scientist Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman). And then, of course, there are the villians - gangster Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson) and the quirky Dr. Jonathan Crane aka The Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy), who are part of a sinister plot that is about to be hatched that is a lot more colossal and menacing than it initially seems.

I am happy to report that Batman Begins is the best Batman movie yet. It looks great. The cast is superb. The story is decent. It tells us why Batman is Batman, which is always important. Gotham City looks outstanding. The new Batmobile or Tumbler or whatever it's called is equally magnificant. This movie just has so much good going for it.

But with that being said, I will point out a few minor flaws, at least in my mind. The action, at times, was a bit helter skelter. Don't get me wrong, it makes a lot of sense for the movie for some of the fight scenes involving Batman to be like this but I still would have rather got a good look at him kicking some gangsta ass rather than darting around so you couldn't figure out what the hell was going on. I guess one other thing that bothered me a bit was that the villains in the movie didn't get a whole lot of screen time. Well, they did and they didn't but I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the Scarecrow. Cillian Murphy was quite good as Dr. Crane but I still would have liked more Scarecrow. He just seemed like a cool baddie whose time on the screen ended it seemed before it even began.

Other than that, there's not a whole lot bad to say about Batman Begins. It is almost a perfect comic book movie. It really captures that dark feeling that we expect from a Batman movie. It has a lot more depth and darkness than we have seen in previous superhero movies. Everything is a work in progress this time around - the Batmobile, the Batcave, the Bat Signal, the outfit - nothing is smooth and finished and that is just so right. This movie is certainly a step up from the last time we saw a Batman movie with George Clooney battliing Ahnald. I really thought the late Michael Keaton (oh wait, he's not dead, it's just his movie career) was a perfect Bruce Wayne/Batman but Christain Bale has certainly put that myth to rest. And to top it all off, the guy was cut for this movie. Considering only six month earlier Bale was the size of a broomstick while he was working on The Machinist, it's almost a miracle how he looks in Batman Begins. And I would be remiss if I did not mention Katie Holmes' nipples. No wonder Tom Cruise is making a fool of himself. Her nipple scene puts the Kirsten Dunst Spider-Man nipple scene to shame. And how important is THAT?

In the end, Batman Begins is a good enough movie to keep all the fans at bay, for now. Christain Bale does not disappoint and with at least two more Batman movies on the horizon, there should be enough to keep the fans happy for years to come. We also get a brief glimpse of what is apparently coming next so the rumour mill should be churning at high speed for the next year or so. In the meantime, Batman Begins is quite the beginning for this new chapter in the life of Batman. We can only hope that they can carry on what they started with this movie.

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