Warning: Nananananana SPOILERS!
Batman Begins (2005), directed by Christopher Nolan, is a modern look at the character of Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman. Telling the origins of this massively famous superhero, Batman Begins takes on the giant task of fulfilling Nolan’s vision of Batman while also satisfying comic book fans.
Batman Begins takes on the weight of a psychological look at Batman. It can easily be said that the trilogy is a look at the rise and fall of Batman’s image. Taking the words out of Breaking Bad’s protagonist, Walter White’s, mouth it’s a story of “growth, decay and transformation.” And what exactly is the active force that is constantly changing? Batman’s image. In Batman Begins, audiences see not only the beginning sparks of Bruce Wayne’s transformation into Batman but also the beginning of Batman’s symbolism. In this film, the concentration is on the growth of that image, as well as the growth of Bruce Wayne.
Batman Begins tells Batman’s origin story in a heavy yet condensed fashion. What’s interesting about this film is that it is very detailed, it tries very much to fill in all of the nuances and details of how Bruce Wayne got his technology, his inspiration to become Batman, and separate himself from his public persona. This is a lot of information to take in during one film and although it is done to the best of it’s ability, it’s quite overwhelming. And yet, out of all the Batman films that Nolan has directed, this is by far the most understandable in regards to plot.
The narrative in this film flows very well and the characters have their individual motivations that make sense and feel very real. Nolan set out to create a realistic Batman and he did. Despite the sub par acting from Katie Holmes and Cillian Murphy the film was carried by great actors such as Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Liam Neeson. What also made this film a unique experience was that it was incredibly different from other comic book films that came out at the time. It’s often forgotten that Tobey Maguire’s initial Spider-Man film came out only three years prior to this film. Other films like DareDevil (2003) and Fantastic Four (2005) were also recently released films of the time. These films were incredibly campy which was why it was new and exciting how Nolan took away the comic book elements and inserted the gritty intensity that is commonly associated with the Batman films today.
Does this film hold up to today’s standards? Certainly. Although the film has many bouts of over philosophizing, in general it is an enjoyable film that does add to Batman’s character. It is an interesting look at Batman given the environment and context of the film and is a solid live action retelling of Batman’s origin. All in all we’ll give it a 4/5, Totally Awesome.