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Batman Begins (2005) August 31, 2005

Posted by ayasawada in Film.
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Very, very impressive. Chris Nolan’s take on the Batman franchise is every bit as good as I’d heard. I can’t believe it took me two months to go watch it. In one move, Nolan has reinjected those elements of atmosphere and class that were so missing from Joel Schumacher’s diabolic movies. It’s a brave superhero movie that takes 1/3 of the running time before the hero gets back to his city and full 2/3 before he even pulls on the costume. But it works, although the opening scenes in the Asian mountains are somewhat contrived and rather too jump-cut for my liking. The film really gets going once Bruce Wayne steps foot back in Gotham, which has never looked so good on the big screen. Full credit to Nolan for showing Gotham in the daytime for once and flashing back to a time when it wasn’t a metaphor for urban decay. The cast is truly star-studded – I had to blink every time yet another big name actor made his entrance – but all are used well and sparingly. This is Bruce Wayne’s movie and Christian Bale is remarkably fitting to the character. It’s just a shame he puts on that embarrassing growl whenever he puts on batsuit. All that technology and Bruce Wayne can’t afford a voice synthesiser?

The most surprising thing about Batman Begins is that it builds so well that it doesn’t feel like a superhero movie, or a comic-book movie for that matter. Man-dressed-as-a-bat aside, most of the characters are grounded in real personalities and are far more believable than the cliched villain of many a summer blockbuster. As Mark Kermode has said, Chris Nolan has taken a billion-dollar comic-book franchise and made an art-movie out of it. He’s most definitely raised the bar and Bryan Singer will have to step up his efforts again if Superman Returns is to match this.

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