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BATMAN BEGINS by Christopher Nolan

In BATMAN BEGINS, we meet Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale – making Batman real) in a prison in the Far East. After his parents have been murdered, Bruce has left Gotham City and travels the world to collect first-hand experience with crime and evil in search for a way to bring back justice to corrupt Gotham. He meets Ducard (Liam Neeson in top form) who trains him in the way of Ra’s Al Ghul (Ken Watanabe) and his Leage Of Shadows. But after his training is finished, there is a disagreement between Bruce and Ra’s Al Ghul about the best way to fight evil and bring justice – a deadly disagreement. Leaving Ra’s Al Ghul dead but saving Ducard’s life, Bruce Wayne heads back to Gotham to fight for justice his way.
He has to deal with not only gang boss Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson brings the right arrogance to the mafia-boss) – and corrupt cops, but he has to fight also for his legacy. Wayne Enterprises is run by Earle (Rutger Hauer – arguably his best role since Blade Runner) who wants Bruce out and has made Wayne Enterprises an arms manufacturer . His only friend there is Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman – good as always) who is in charge (more or less) for the development of military applications – and he is the man who will deliver many of Batman’s gadgets, including the new Batmobile.
Batman busts up a drug delivery for Falcone and leaves him tied up for the police. But sinister Doctor Jonathan Crane (Cillian Murphy – scary) has him transferred to his Arkham Asylum – and this is just the beginning, as we learn they both work for a mysterious somebody who has his own plans for Gotham, involving experimental drugs and a microwave beam weapon developed by Wayne Enterprises – and Batman’s only allies are his butler Alfred (Michael Caine is Alfred), his childhood pal Assistant DA Rachel Dodson (Katie Holmes) and incorruptible cop Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman – he can do good guys!).

Forget Batman and Robin – say thanks to all the comic and movie gods – gone is the ham, the camp, and the cheese from this stinker – BATMAN BEGINS for real! This Batman is based in reality, explains how the rich boy developed his fighting skills and where his gadgets come from, and in case you ever wondered why any self-respecting mobster should be afraid of a man in a bat-suit you will see it in this film.
It’s the first time Batman is depicted as the creature of the night he really is, and gives meaning to the title Dark Knight – the film’s tone is close to the comics Batman – Year One and The Dark Knight Returns.
Christian Bale is perfect as both Bruce Wayne and Batman, and his allies are spot-on as well (with the exception of Katie Holmes who doesn’t really fit her part).
The bad guys are a good match not only story- and characterization-, but also performance-wise. Liam Neeson and Ken Watanabe deliver as misguided men with a mission, and Cillian Murphy breathes creepy life into the Scarecrow, one of Batman’s classic villains. And you can’t give enough credit to the scriptwriters (David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan), the director (Christopher Nolan again) and Cillian Murphy for making the Scarecrow not only not ridiculous and not corny, but an actually scary character!
While saying goodbye to the camp, BATMAN BEGINS still features all the essentials: Wayne Manor, the Bat-Cave, the Batarang, the Batmobile, the ropes and wires and the utility belt – all slightly modified to fit into the real world (as is Batman’s costume which ditches the yellow symbol – not a bad idea to lose this target-mark – and makes the cape a useful application!).
It’s still second to Spider-Man as far as comic-book movies are concerned, but don’t miss this one, don’t spend too much thought on the microwave-beam-weapon stuff (which could never ever work in the way it is used here), and watch out for the next Batman movie – featuring villain The Joker!

8 Responses to “BATMAN BEGINS by Christopher Nolan”

  1. Administrator Says:

    watch this – Batman vs. the Joker with Lego-figures:

  2. Administrator Says:

    here is a fan-made movie showing Batman fight the Joker, then Aliens and Predators – it’s called BATMAN – DEAD END:

  3. schwarze fee Says:

    Just came back from seeing this film for the second time – awesome!
    Five stars for this truly “Dark Knight” – up there with “X-Men 2” and “Spiderman” for me….

    a terrific cast – heros and villains alike, wonderful screenplay, music that enhances the atmosphere (thank God no pop songs here!) – everything quite perfect, well, with the exception of Katie Holmes who just looks much too young. Please let us see a real woman at Batman’s side next time! Anybody who is not excited over that playing card at the end? 🙂

    Oh, and never mind the microwave thingy – after all, it’s just a movie 😉

  4. itsvery Movie Review Blog - Independent Film Reviews » CASINO ROYALE by Martin Campbell Says:

    […] Bond Begins …. after the Bond franchise steered more and more into camp and self-parody in the last years just like the Batman movies before BATMAN BEGINS, the low point being the invisible car in DIE ANOTHER DAY, it was time for a “re-invention” of the series. And what better way than to go back to the first James Bond story by Ian Fleming – CASINO ROYALE – where a MI6 rookie earns his double-0 status and still has to find his distinct style. Gone is Miss Moneypenny, and gone are Q and his trademark gadgets which threatened to outperform Bond. Also out after four Bond-films is Pierce Brosnan, and in is Daniel Craig, the sixth “official” James Bond, with the mission to create a more down-to-earth Bond and to leave the hilarity behind. It’s not the first attempt to go back to basics and show an edgier James bond, the latest being THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS and LICENCE TO KILL with the underrated Timothy Dalton. But where Dalton failed, Daniel Craig succeeds with a vengeance. 007 has been, more often than not, not more than a walking stereotype, buried behind more or less hilarious gadgets, baddies and self-irony. Daniel Craig’s James Bond has more in common with Jasoun Bourne than with his predecessors. His Bond is not (yet) the distinguished gentleman-spy who likes his vodka-martini shaken, not stirred, never makes mistakes and never gets dirty. Instead he is very physical – he runs, jumps, brawls and bleeds, and he even falls in love with Eva Green’s Bond girl. Despite all the “James Blond”, “can’t drive” or “wears a life-vest” brouhaha when Craig was announced as new Bond, he is easily the best 007 since Sean Connery. With all the discussions before the film came out, and with Craig appearing in almost any scene of CASINO ROYALE, he has to carry the responsibility for success or failure on his shoulders, supported by Eva Green (who is doing quite well as a Bond girl) and Mads Mikkelsen (OK but not outstanding as a Bond villain) but mainly by a good story and well-written script. And Craig delivers – the arguably best performance ever of a Bond-actor. He lets us see the man behind the super-spy, and we can see and understand how his rough and tough scrapper will evolve into the man known as 007. There are just two minor let downs in CASINO ROYALE: the music, and the Return Of The King-style “fake ending” after which the film amazingly continues. It will be hard to top CASINO ROYALE, because the most rewarding story (the becoming of 007) is now told, but with Daniel Craig on board, there is a good chance for the next Bond movie to be another great one. […]

  5. itsvery Movie Review Blog - Independent Film Reviews » THE PRESTIGE by Christopher Nolan Says:

    […] In a world where everything is an illusion and men are obsessed with being the best illusionist, Christopher Nolan (Memento , Insomnia , Batman Begins) […]

  6. itsvery Movie Review Blog - Independent Film Reviews » GHOST RIDER by Mark Steven Johnson Says:

    […] Brought to the screen by Mark Steven Johnson, the man who already slaughtered DAREDEVIL, Ghost Rider is another Marvel comic film that reeks of a cheap cash-in. As comic-adaptations go, there is an A-League (Superman Returns, Batman Begins, Spider-Man), a B-League (X-Men, X2, Fantastic Four or Hellboy), and there is a C-League, reserved for the likes of Daredevil, Catwoman, or Batman and Robin. Sadly, Ghost Rider is clearly C-League. Reportedly, the production cost of Ghost Rider was $ 110 million. It looks like most of the money was spent for Nicolas Cage’s and Eva Mendes’ salary, and the rest for creating clunky CGI (Ghost Rider moves like he’s bored stiff by the lame action. The flaming skull is decent for a B-movie but far from spectacular). No budget seems to have been wasted for a decent script or good supporting actors. The supposedly powerful Nephilim are dispatched as easily as the next bagsnatcher on the street, Blackheart’s most threatening assets are pale skin and red eyes, and suspense only arises when the trailer for SPIDER-MAN 3 is shown before the main feature. Not only the villains are crappy, it’s also hard to care for the heros when Mark Steven Johnson’s idea of communicating the feelings between Johnny and Roxanne is letting them stand below a tree surrounded by blossoming flowers in an otherwise desolate CGI-landscape … not only once, but twice! […]

  7. itsvery Movie Review Blog - Independent Film Reviews » FANTASTIC FOUR by Tim Story Says:

    […] The newest addition to the genre of comic-picturization, ‘Fantastic Four’ luckily has more of ‘Spider-Man’ or ‘X-Men 2′ then of ‘Hulk’ or ‘Daredevil’. Being the first film of a probable franchise, it spends enough time to characterization but doesn’t forget about the action. The acting is far from superb – Gruffudd delivers a wooden performance (which just might be deliberate considering Reed is an emotionally underdeveloped brainiac), Chris Evans is believable as formulaic juvenile hothead, Ben Grimm makes ‘The Thing’ human, and Jessica Alba is … harrumph, revealing as ‘The Invisible Girl’ (setting up a nice gag – admittedly, an old one, but it perfectly serves the purpose of communicating Reed’s lack of emotion to the audience in a non-obtrusive way). Julian McMahon delivers your standard oily, greedy bad guy. The CGI-action is a bit shoddy (especially Reed’s stretching) – just like the acting – and the soundtrack added to the action is just painfully tacky, but somehow the combination of mediocre acting, shabby special effects, awful music, well-known superheros and Jessica Alba manages to be better than it’s ingredients. It’s a guilty pleasure – but it’s entertaining enough and never boring. Not a match for BATMAN BEGINS or SPIDER-MAN, but plays in the same league as HELLBOY and comic-fans shouldn’t miss it! […]

  8. itsvery Movie Review Blog - Independent Film Reviews » IRON MAN by Jon Favreau Says:

    […] Iron Man is the Marvel Studio’s first independent feature and introduces one of the less known superheros out of the Marvel universe. And it introduces Iron Man with a bang. Just like Batman Begins or Spider-Man, this is not a quick cash-in riding on the current wave of (more or less) successful superhero-flicks with a cheap script, cheap FX and cheap actors. Jon Favreau takes the story seriously, and the actors take their characters seriously – even Gwyneth Paltrow who has to lend a character with a Bond Girl-like moniker charm, courage, sexiness and vulnerability. To cast Robert Downey Jr. as the lead sure was a risk, but it paid off – Robert doesn’t let Marvel down (pun intended) and shows why he is considered one of the best actors of his generation. Jeff Bridges hams it up a bit, but that’s exactly what you do as a cartoon villain, and he seems to genuinely enjoy his villainy, head shaved and beard grown. Iron Man has all the ingredients for an enjoyable superhero film: believable acting, a solid superhero origin story, just the right dose of humor, lots of action and the all-important human touch. And it’s just unbelievably cool when the ground shakes under Iron Man’s mighty footsteps! The cast has already signed for two more Iron Man movies – and we are looking forward to seeing them! […]

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