Wednesday, June 22, 2005
I'm not going to go as in depth as I'd like on this (for your sake and mine) but I figured that it'd be good to put my 2 cents in about Batman Begins. Spoiler alert for those who haven't seen it yet so just look away. Christian Bale provides a great dark brooding canvas to create a complex character (heck, that's why he was so good in American Psycho and The Machinist.) The movie brought out one of my favorite villains, The Scarecrow. Let's just say that he casts a long spooky shadow that may make scarecrows scary again. (I was really afraid I'd see someone running around in a rag outfit with hay coming out of his wrists.) The big thing this film does is answer a lot of those questions we and Jack Nicholson wanted to know, "Where does he get those wonderful toys?" It fills in the business side of Bruce Wayne and Wayne Enterprises but also gives you an idea of how he trained himself physically to protect Gotham. The film also did something that they couldn't keep from doing in the 4 previous films... they didn't kill characters off. Why is this important? Arkham Asylum is a revolving door of escapees wishing to get even with the Bat. This leaves you a lot of openings for other films. Thank you Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson and Rutger Hauer for really getting into character. Yes, the idea of throwing the Joker card out at the end is a great way to get fans excited. At first, I thought that by doing so that they'd be able to lean on Tim Burton's first Batman to fill in the blanks so they can proceed on to another classic villain but they can't. As I went back over the film, the person that murdered Bruce's parents was killed... oopsie no way for Jack Napier to mention 'dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight' in this timeline. So that means the first 4 films are discardable and characters will definitely get an overhaul in future films.
There is only one knock I have against this film and that was Katie Holmes useless character, Rachel Dawes (Dawes...Dawes...Dawson's Creek?) Sure, give him a childhood friend that knows his secret, has a thing for him and just so happens to be working at the D.A.'s office (shocked they didn't drop the name Harvey Dent in there at all.) I expected something deeper in mind for a leading lady with Ra's Al Ghul as a character in the film... like his daughter, Talia. But I can see that being something they could revisit later if they wish to address Ra's and the Lazarus pits. Otherwise, I have to agree that this is the best Batman film yet. Let's just hope there are no nipples on any upcoming batsuits.