Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine,
Katie Holmes, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Cillian
Murphy, Gary Oldman
RunTime: 2 hrs 20 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Date: 16 Jun 2005
How does one man change the world?
It’s a question that haunts Bruce Wayne (CHRISTIAN BALE)
like the specter of his parents, gunned down before his eyes
in the streets of Gotham on a night that changed his life
Tormented by guilt and anger, battling the demons that feed
his desire for revenge and his need to honor his parents’
altruistic legacy, the disillusioned industrial heir vanishes
from Gotham and secretly travels the world, seeking the means
to fight injustice and turn fear against those who prey on
In his quest to educate himself in the ways of the criminal
mind, Bruce is mentored by a mysterious man called Ducard
(LIAM NEESON) in the mastery of the physical and mental disciplines
that will empower him to fight the evil he has vowed to destroy.
He soon finds himself the target of recruiting efforts by
the League of Shadows, a powerful, subversive vigilante group
headed by enigmatic leader Ra’s al Ghul (KEN WATANABE).
Bruce returns to Gotham to find the city devoured by rampant
crime and corruption. Wayne Enterprises, his family’s
former bastion of philanthropic business ideals, now rests
in the hands of CEO Richard Earle (RUTGER HAUER), a man more
concerned with taking the company public than serving the
Meanwhile, Bruce’s close childhood friend Rachel Dawes
(KATIE HOLMES), now an Assistant District Attorney, can’t
secure a conviction of the city’s most notorious criminals
because the justice system has been so deeply polluted by
scum like crime boss Carmine Falcone (TOM WILKINSON). It doesn’t
help that prominent Gotham psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Crane
(CILLIAN MURPHY) bolsters insanity defenses for Falcone’s
thugs in exchange for nefarious favors that serve his own
With the help of his trusted butler Alfred (MICHAEL CAINE),
detective Jim Gordon (GARY OLDMAN) – one of the few
good cops on the Gotham police force – and Lucius Fox
(MORGAN FREEMAN), his ally at the Wayne Enterprises’
Applied Sciences division, Bruce Wayne unleashes his awe-inspiring
alter-ego: Batman, a masked crusader who uses strength, intellect
and an array of high tech weaponry to fight the sinister forces
that threaten to destroy the city.
After 4 franchises, namely Batman, Batman Returns, Batman
Forever and Batman and Robin, finally did they realize they
should have focused on Batman himself in the movie instead
of the comic villains. Since his first appearance in 1939,
'The Bat-Man', masked vigilante over the streets of Gotham
City, has proved to be an enduring favourite of the comic
book superheroes, due to his darkness, his mortality and,
most importantly of all, the adaptability of his myth to changing
times. Tim Burton's Batman certainly nailed the legend's noirish,
gothic look, but was less assured in its handling of tone
- and a rash of unmentionable sequels brought the predictable
diminishing returns. Now, however, Christopher Nolan's 'Batman
Begins' wipes the slate clean, taking viewers right back to
the caped crusader's origins - the bat has well and truly
abandoned its cave and headed into a more epic territory.
a short summary for the uninitiated Batman newbie, Begins
follows Bruce Wayne’s journey to becoming Batman, from
the murder of his parents in a back alley to training in a
remote Chinese province under the care of a mysterious martial
arts master with dire back plan of his own. Batman, unlike
most superheroes, isn’t driven so much by a desire to
do right but by a burning need for vengeance. Apparent through
Chris Nolan’s work like Insomnia and Memento, he and
genre veteran David Goyer builds towards that admirably, taking
time to languish over Bruce Wayne’s internal conflict.
of the Dark Knight's on-screen iconography will not be disappointed
by this new film, which traces Batman's customised suit (
keeps your ears up for some bat parts made in Singapore..
), car, utility belt, weapons and secret cave right back to
their very beginnings, while giving them a more functional,
and dare I say more rationalised, feel. While still at heart
a dark fantasy, this adventure is more grittily realistic
than Batman's previous outings, with stunts and effects that
are mostly physical rather than computer generated. The fights
are close and hard, but the only qualm about its action sequences
is that Chris Nolan is no Michael Bay. At times, the audience
( me.. ) find it a step too fast to catch up with that it’s
most visually striking sequence, is reduced to a black blur.
But fortunately in spite of that, the movie works because
he gets the Dark Knight in a way no one else yet has.
Begins” is a visual star studded rollercoaster. Without
a doubt, the film is at its best when breathing life into
the people around Batman. Nicely complementing the film’s
harsh atmosphere is a fantastic A-list cast born for their
respective roles. As much as Michael Gough seemed the perfect
fit during his time on the previous four Batman films, Michael
Caine is Alfred Pennyworth. Gary Oldman also is Lt. James
Gordon, and Morgan Freeman turns in a wonderful performance
as one of the newer additions to the Batman universe.
remarkable is Liam Neeson as Bruce’s master, bringing
a clever twist to his previous 'knight' roles in The Phantom
Menace and Kingdom of Heaven and Cillian Murphy as the creepy-as-hell
Scarecrow, but what’s most important about this film
is its lead star, Christian Bale. Bale has been, without a
doubt, one of the most powerful actors of his generation who
manages to make Wayne seem a real, complex individual, while
giving Batman a formidable physical presence. Unlike past
actors who have donned the cape, Bale is not only the perfect
Batman, but also the best Bruce Wayne that has come around.
Stealing a tint of his performance as Patrick Bateman from
“American Psycho,” Bale offers the insecure reserve
of Bruce Wayne’s dark past in his unforgiving eyes.
his best, and darkest, outing to date, Batman Begins is a
solid re-entry into the comic book hero’s crime riddled
world. Missing are the exhilaration and fun of its predecessors
but in its place is a closer examination into the nature of
the character. Back to its origin. Back to the beginning.
This is how the Batman franchise should have started out in
the first place.
Review by Lokman B S