Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Comic book extravaganza #2: Batman Begins

Staring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy
Director: Christopher Nolan

Pretty much liking this films is based on how much you remain faithful to the comic book origins. Burton Fans (I capitalized both, for a reason), and others might not be such huge fans of this down to earth, realistic, and TRULY dark version of the Dark Knight.

The best part of Bamtna has always been the story of Bruce Wayne, and how he has to deal with his alter-ego persona. This was the first film to really dive into this portion of his psyche, and explore realistically who he is and how he became Batman. Previous films delved too much into what made the villains more so than what made Bruce become the Batman.

The fundamentally changed the character of Bruce in this film. While on one hand he’s just “starting out”, he’s also a deeply disturbed soul, out for revenge against the scum that made him the way he is today. He’s really smart (the other versions also portrayed this), but he’s sophisticated, and not just “acting” sophisticated. Christian Bale actually brings this through without having to resort to a huge party to “prove” he’s rich. You can just feel it. Bruce is a character that is supposed to be full of anger and rage. He’s supposed to be seething, and he’s supposed to use those not as a crutch, but as support to continue the fight he’s part of.

The world, is real, and honestly would have been beyond the imagination of anyone making these films in the 80s and 90s. This was truly like watching Blade Runner. The atmosphere, the color, the lighting, everything about it was perfect for this film. It wasn’t “gothic” for gothic’s sake (the previous two films played this up to the point where characters were having races hundreds of feet above the ground crossing huge monolithic statues. For no apparent reason other than the fact that the budget could call for it.

Even with Katie Holmes the film isn’t bad. And that’s saying something. The new costume, the new batmobile, and the fact that the batwing doesn’t show up only make the film even better. Batman has a armored suit, not some rubber getup. Believability? Who would have thought?

**** ½ /*****

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