Super Types

January 19, 2010

Film Fatale: Batman Begins

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Written by: The Movie Lady
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In an article by fellow writer Eli Anthony titled Those Who Came Before: Bob Kane, Eli states that creator of Batman Bob Kane “prefers the dark and brooding version of Batman.” If Bob was still around to see it I think he would have really likedĀ Batman Begins (released in 2005 and directed by Christopher Nolan). On comparing this movie to the tv series, Christian Bale has said “…a man running around in a bat suit can be a very funny thing – or, really take it seriously and delve into the demons within this character.” That’s what they did for this film. It’s dark, gritty, and raw; it’s Batman fighting with just his knuckles against some big dudes in the mud while wearing regular clothes and without any of his special gadgets. This happens near the beginning of the film which takes place in China where- who knows if it was actually filmed there, but wherever it was shot- the landscapes are breathtaking. I’m sure in a Batman review you were expecting to hear about how b-e-a-utiful the frozen mountains were… moving on.

-Begin spoilers

I love how dark and bare bones this movie is. When Alfred asks Bruce “Why bats, Master Wayne?” Bruce replies “Bats frighten me. It’s time my enemies shared my dread.” That’s pretty bad ass. You turn your own anger and fear into fuel for conquering your enemies. The beginning of the film has a lot to do with emotions. Bruce falls down a well and is assaulted by an onslaught of bats, as well as the memory of the incident in the future. Bruce’s father says “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” Later Bruce’s parents die, and a little later after that, we find Bruce stewing in a jail in China for some unknown reason. It’s obvious later that Bruce is only in that jail because he wants to be, and could escape whenever he wanted. He has spent time living amongst thieves, studying them though he never truly becomes a thief himself, only stealing things which belong to him, like Wayne Enterprises property.

First we get to see why he becomes Batman, then, we get to see how. This is one of the coolest parts about this movie. You get to essentially observe Bruce Wayne training to become what he will eventually be: Batman. The League of Shadows are a tough lot and are pretty much ninjas in appearance and manor. You get to see Bruce Wayne before he becomes Batman, dressed like a ninja, fighting a martial arts master… if that’s not cool I really don’t know what is. And on that note, Liam Neeson is pretty darn lucky to get to play Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars and the main baddie in a Batman film, Ra’s al-Ghul. We also get to see how Bruce designs all of his weapons and even turned the place that frightened him as a boy, into the bat cave; at the end of the film there is talk about moving its location. But having the first bat cave be on his property coupled with the accident he had as a child, it almost seems like he was always destined to become Batman.

This film is also emotional in a compassionate way. At the culmination of his training with the League of Shadows Bruce is instructed to behead a criminal. He refuses, saying “No. I’m no executioner,” he hears “Your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share,” to which Bruce further replies “That’s why it’s so important. It separates us from them.” That’s what it always comes down to, despite their own violence you have to see the good in your hero, and Bruce is definitely a good guy. But he’s also troubled by the guilt and grief he feels over his parents. Who can’t relate to those emotions? After his parents are murdered “Sgt.” Gordon (who becomes Lieutenant Gordon by the end of the film) is the first one to see young Bruce at the police station, he tells Bruce “It’s ok,” and this girly girl had to fight back the tears.

While this movie has its mushy moments, remember I said it was dark. When Bruce decides to take Batman out for a spin for the first time you only get to see flashes and teasers at first, and screams. In terror one guy yells “Where are you?!” and Batman drops down from above to whisper in his ear “Here,” at which point the baddie also screams. In a scene with Batman fighting a building full of people he calls for “backup” at which point thousands of bats swarm the building. Scarecrow’s drug makes people go crazy and under its influence a normal horse becomes terrifying, appearing to breath red flames. On top of all that bad assness there’s also a really cool chase scene with Bruce’s first bat vehicle the tumbler. The cherry on top is near the end of the film when Batman is alerted to a new criminal who “leaves a calling card” at which point he’s shown a card: the joker. “I’ll look into it,” he says. How cool is that? And we all know what came out of Batman “looking into it.”

-End spoilers

The Dark Knight is a fantastic film but Batman Begins is, well, where it all begins. It warms you up and sets the stage for greatness!

The Movie Lady



  1. infinite speech

    From an origin standpoint this film is the closest and most believeable, as it was cool to see the training as well as the entire transformation from Bruce Wayne to Batman. I’m still on the fence regarding Scarecrow but I did like the fact they used villians we had NOT seen in any of the previous Bat films.

    I’m sure there are those that are going to complain about the growly voice but aside from that the movie was on point with pretty much everything and I was actually shocked that not too many liberties were taken with the character.

  2. billy

    I enjoyed this film but I think Dark Knight was far superior.

  3. This movie has forever changed the face of Batman movies. So awesome.

  4. Eli

    This is a fantastic movie. I too loved the landscapes in the “China” scenes. I think that those mountains, and the ice really took you to another place. They did a good job illustrating how far away, in several ways, Bruce had gone from Gotham, and his past life.

    I think they got Batman pretty spot on as well. To me, the definitive voice for Batman is Kevin Conroy from the animated series (92-95), but Bale does pretty good with his growling-like voice.

  5. Dan

    @IS, I thought Bale’s growl was juust about right in this one, it got a bit silly in Dark Knight though, but TBF Batman doesn’t speak as much in this one as he doe in the sequel

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