‘BATMAN BEGINS’ (2005). Liam Neeson and Christian Bale star in this DC Comics origin story of Bruce Wayne. Text © Rissi JC

‘BATMAN BEGINS’ (2005)

January 12, 2013 18 Comments

Given my fondness for superhero, or comic book hero big-screen adaptations, it hardly seems fair that I’d not yet seen a single version of the escapades of Batman. Though several years old, the first in the trilogy from Christopher Nolan is actually impressive.

Batman Begins (2005) Film Review

The memory of his parent’s murder etches in the childhood memory of Bruce Wayne. Following college and the assassination of the man who killed them, Bruce (Christian Bale) disappears. He leaves his father’s company, his home and faithful butler, Alfred (Michael Caine) behind. This leads him to an Asian prison that he chooses to be put into in order to understand the criminal mind. Mysteriously he finds a benefactor, Ducard (Liam Neeson), who “arranges” to have him released. Once Bruce finds Ducard’s army of elite soldiers, they train him in hand-to-hand combat, but when he refuses his final challenge, they part ways.

Returning to Gotham City, he lives up to his supposed image of a billionaire playboy and reunites with his childhood friend, Rachel (Katie Holmes). It doesn’t take him long to see Gotham is a fading city. To save it, Bruce creates an alter-ego to strike fear in the criminal. It’s only when his past rears its ugly head that Bruce realizes what he’s fighting to protect is worth preserving.

At the roll of the credits, I like this movie, a lot. Knowing what’s coming next makes me like it less. Had the trilogy not gone depressing, and I don’t have to “see” it to recognize the upsetting twists it encounters, I’d be much more enthusiastic. As it stands now, this may be the only movie I watch of this trilogy. Separating my feelings of things that are to come and focusing exclusively here, I can easily say that I love this superhero, but I do have bones to pick with the movie, and that is the purpose of this review.  

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‘BATMAN BEGINS’ (2005). Liam Neeson and Christian Bale star in this DC Comics origin story of Bruce Wayne. Text © Rissi JC

Blowing me away are the great special effects and storyline. I love how Batman comes to be. It’s fabulous to encounter such a selfless character and realize his moniker is to conquer his own fear. It brings the hero down to a more “basic,” human level. Christian Bale plays this role with finesse and style; he plays this as well as he does a 1800s gentleman. Here, he’s a larger presence with a character that’s easily more heroic. He’s a great character, though I these shriveling leading ladies is tiring. Seriously, with exception to one or two (the whiney, spoiled MJ is the worst), these superheroes are rarely get a pairing with a woman who deserves them. It isn’t that I don’t like Rachel but she goes all self-righteous on Bruce on one too many occasions.

At its best, this is a film I’d like to watch again. It’s brilliant, and doesn’t forget its hero’s past, although it does clock in longer than I expect. The script is phenomenal and as previously mentioned the cast wonderful. Surrounding Bale is an impressive supporting cast including Neeson and Caine as well as an extremely creepy (co) villain in Cillian Murphy. Though this is perhaps one of the darkest movies of its kind, it’s also got an edge plus I like how well the cast works and their chemistry; including the fabulous camaraderie between Bruce and Alfred. There are moral dilemmas, and really, there isn’t a flaw I can find between a hero and the people who have one of two objectives; to help him create a world of good, or seek to destroy him.  

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can find Batman Begins digitally on Amazon Video

Content: Some of the violence borders on “graphic” but in reality, the emotional impact is greater (a villain uses physiological games); a toxic potion is released that causes people to hallucinate and see threats were there is none. There may be a profanity or two. Bruce arrives to a part with two scantily clad women on his arm. The film rates PG13.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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18 Comments

  • Charity January 12, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Man, I love this movie. I love everything about it — and for me, it's the best of the trilogy. I think THIS Rachel was the best — I HATED her in the second movie (mostly because of how the actress approached it). But… yeah, it's great. The entire franchise is great.

    • Rissi January 12, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      I did also, Charity. It was such a good story. Rachel wasn't a "bad" character at all (plus I like Katie) but it drives me nuts how self-righteous the leading women get on their heroic counterparts. It just struck me in this film how often that theme crops up.

      In all likelihood, I'll see the other two movies in the series. :)

  • Ella January 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I watched this movie a few months back and enjoyed.I think Christian Bale played Batman weel,despite the weird vioce.

    • Rissi January 12, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      As did I, Ella. It's really quite good.

      After seeing Christian Bale in Little Women, it was strange to see him in such a different part but he was wonderful – and the deep voice was a part of his Batman persona. Guess, it made him more mysterious. :D

  • Charity U January 13, 2013 at 1:04 am

    It's not a top favorite of mine, but I did enjoy it. There's a review somewhere on my blog…should be first under the Batman tag, if I remember right. I didn't like the second movie, though…too freaky for me. Haven't seen the third yet! I hear it's a wonderful visual treat, graphics and all. Someday! :)

    All in all? Captain America SO wins. And Thor. ;)

    • Rissi January 15, 2013 at 1:33 am

      I really liked it also, Charity. Right now, I think for comic book heroes, I like Batman and Captain America. The visual effects are cool though not all that "big" in comparison to Thor or CA. Basically, the squeals coming this summer are exciting!

      Thank you for making me aware of your review. :)

  • Heidi-likes January 13, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I still haven't seen this movie, must get round to it :)

    http://Heidi-likes.blogspot.co.uk

    • Rissi January 15, 2013 at 1:34 am

      Yes, indeed, you should, Heidi – it's cool. :)

      Thanks so much for dropping by – visit again anytime.

  • Jessi Francis January 14, 2013 at 2:09 am

    I haven't seen these movies yet, but am hoping to soon! :)

    • Rissi January 15, 2013 at 1:35 am

      Enjoy, Jessi.

      Thank you for visiting – come back anytime. :)

  • Kellie January 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I remember LOVING this movie back when it first came out (I mean, Christian Bale? What's not to like??). But I watched it again earlier this year and came away dissatisfied…mostly though, because him and the gal didn't actually get together and have a happy ending. :) But it's still a good one. :)

    • Rissi January 15, 2013 at 1:39 am

      Spoilers:

      If you didn't like the first for the reason that the heroine and hero don't end up together, Kellie, then DON'T be too eager to check out the sequels. I've done a lot of spoiler reading, and was disappointed by what comes about. My big thing about Rachel and Bruce not ending up together was that she refuses him because he's doing good – or because he wasn't the "same" anymore, and yet, previously she'd chewed him out for acting like an idle playboy! For me, she wasn't all that deserving of him but I liked her because he loved her.

      Having said that, I'm a firm believer in happy endings. And, yes, I loved Bale in this role! He owned it. :D

  • his little lady January 15, 2013 at 2:19 am

    I've always loved all of the Batman movies! And as always you have the greatest reviews! :)
    xo TJ

    • Rissi January 15, 2013 at 3:53 am

      This one I really liked, TJ! The other two… I'm skeptical about. Nevertheless, I'll see them at some point or I for certain will the final movie. Anne Hathaway starring with Christian Bale is all I need ;D

      Thank you – as always – for reading! I really appreciate your comments and in that, support. I hope things are going well with you. :)

  • maria January 16, 2013 at 3:04 am

    Yay, Batman Begins! My family loves to watch this one! You HAVE to see the next two films–they're SO good. Heath Ledger gave such a fantastic performance as the Joker in the second movie. The last one is so, SO super epic. I could go on all day about how good it is over-all. Haha! I have to say, the way it sounds, I think you'll like the 3rd one a lot. My mom isn't really a huge batman fan, but we sat her down to watch it and she actually really enjoyed it.
    Anyway, love these movies and I enjoyed your review! The cast for this film, and the last two, is THE BEST. Amazing. :)

    • Rissi January 16, 2013 at 4:19 am

      Because I am an Anne Hathaway fan, I want t see the last one but the middle movie never did appeal to me. It sounds so dark and depressing. Needless to say, I will at least see DKR if not TDK. Probably both. At some point. :)

      My mother doesn't like Batman either but I found myself with the house to myself one night so I finally watched this one! Loved the cast and the story; it's certainly one I'll watch again, Maria. :)

  • maria January 16, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    I can understand about TDK; it's just not for everybody!
    Oh yes, Anne Hathaway plays such a fun character in the last one! She does an amazing job. I'm a huge fan of her, too! :)

    • Rissi January 16, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      In all likelihood, I'll see the other two. Anne is a wonderful talent so I'm sure she'll go far. Ever since 'Princess Diaries,' I've followed that career. :) It'll be fun to see her as a kick-butt heroine in DKR, Maria – plus she's pair with Bale. ;D

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