Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson
Quote from film: “Well, a guy who dresses up like a bat clearly has issues.”–Bruce Wayne
Story/Plot: The plot focuses around Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), who is a playboy millionaire who saw his parents die at the young age of eight. Bruce wants to stop crime in Gotham City after the death of his parents shook him to the core. Bruce travels the world, gaining experience by learning the ways of criminals and learning fighting skills that will prepare him. While in a prison in Asia, Bruce meets Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) who informs him of the training grounds of Ra’s Al Ghul where Bruce can be trained properly in his fight against injustice. Bruce trains with Ducard, Ghul, and their group, the League of Shadows. The group is an elite group of ninjas, but Bruce comes to find that the League handles things differently than Bruce likes. The League fights injustice by killing their targets and Bruce is against this as part of his moral code. Bruce has to decide to either join by committing murder or to leave the League of Shadows. Bruce decides to leave and fights his way out of Ra’s Al Ghul temple. Bruce returns to Gotham City to rid the evil that took his parents’ lives by adopting the image of what he fears: bats. Bruce receives help from a few allies: Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), and Alfred (Michael Caine). Bruce will face a terrible opponent in Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) as he is attempting to drive Gotham mad with fear and doing the work that his master wants him to do. For anyone who has not seen Batman Begins yet, I’ll let you watch and figure that out for yourself. Will Batman save Gotham from destroying itself?
Why You Should See Before You Die: The Batman movie franchise was in need of a dramatic overhaul, especially after Joel Schumacher’s awful Batman & Robin (1997). The film was awful and cheesy. I still can’t stand watching Arnie, who played Mr. Freeze, saying “Everyone…chill.” DC Comics wanted to see their famous character in a new light and they got exactly what they wanted when Christopher Nolan came on board. Christopher Nolan made us all believe that Batman could really happen with his realistic approach to films. The writing for this film is fantastic especially when the Nolans and the great David S. Goyer are all together in this. The film features great quotes throughout and the screenwriting is fantastic as the Nolans and Goyer brought their vision through loud and clear. The use of the city of Chicago brings out the qualities of Gotham beautifully. Gotham is a city that can be respected, but at the same time it can be seen as a city that needs a hero, which they find in Batman. Nolan gives us this look by showing shots of the clean-looking side of the city and then shows us how bad Gotham can be when we get a glimpse inside the walls of Arkham Asylum. Nolan used Batman’s rogues gallery of villains well by selecting villains that he thought could be realistically adapted. This was the first Batman feature film that used Scarecrow and Ra’s Al Ghul as villains. Scarecrow is a popular villain in the Batman franchise, but Ra’s is relatively unknown though his plans in the Batman universe usually are monumental but Nolan using him definitely brought popularity to the character and maybe some more respect. Christian Bale’s portrayal of Bruce/Batman will never be forgotten and maybe the best portrayal of all-time. Michael Keaton, who played the Bat in Tim Burton’s Batman, was probably the best portrayal until Bale and Nolan took over. Bale made the character real and gave Bruce real emotion when it came to the saving of his city. The score of Batman Begins is amazingly composed by Hanz Zimmer. Zimmer’s music goes with each scene perfectly and perhaps has created a score that will never be forgotten. The theme that Zimmer created for scenes that involve Batman, will give viewers a chill up their spine each time that Batman is on screen. It’s a powerful score for a superhero and one that will remind you of the score that John Williams composed for Richard Donner’s Superman (1980). Readers who read this will know that Nolan has finished his work with Batman and has made a trilogy of Batman films including this one. I imagine though that there is a moviegoer that has not yet seen this movie. Please moviegoer, see this film before you die. This movie is a great superhero film and sometimes we don’t always get that. If you don’t believe me, then go watch Green Lantern and let me know what you think. Nolan set the bar for superhero films with this movie and made us believe that some superhero films can be Oscar-worthy. Plus, for any person who is a fan of Batman or great endings, the ending of Batman Begins will leave you wanting more. Here is a clip from Batman Begins that features Bruce Wayne as Batman interrogating Flass on the dock shipments. For those who have seen Batman Begins, this is the infamous “Swear to me!” scene though the Youtube clip is titled differently. I hope you fellow moviegoers enjoy and for those of you who have seen it, it’s time to speak in your hoarse Batman voice.