Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Movie Review: Batman Begins

Didn't get around to writing a review up last week after we went to the midnight showing but I decided better late than never. So here it is.

With Batman Begins, the Batman franchise has been reborn. This is far and away the best Batman movie since the original (and in many ways surpasses even that one). From the get go the look and feel of this Batman is much darker and tormented and more in keeping with the comics.

Bale does a great job as both Bruce Wayne and Batman. My only point of concern is his tendency to over use the famous Batman half whisper voice even as Wayne later in the film. But hey, that's just nit picking. Otherwise he is terrific and I really hope they sign him up to do the inevitable next movie.

They also managed to get a great supporting cast with old pros like Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, etc.. Not a bad part or performance among them. The odd exception to the list is Katie Holmes. While she isn't bad in her role as the young ADA, her part is a little too small. She is essentially wasted in the role and they should have either given her a more involved part or removed her character all together.

As for the action, this is one Batman that does not disappoint. From the opening credits to the finale, the fight and stunt scenes are well choreographed and executed. It's especially nice to see the origins of all of Batman's most trusted gadgets. They even go so far as to help explain how Bruce Wayne manages to get all this equipment without drawing attention to himself. Honestly, haven't we all wondered how no one ever noticed that a part or tool ordered by Bruce Wayne ends up on Batman's belt. They cover that beautifully. While I did have a slight problem with one bit of the story line (it involved humans and their proximity to a microwave gun) that is easily overlooked in light of the bigger picture.

Despite all the action and violence there is also an underlying current of humor, especially obvious in Michael Caine's, Alfred, that helps keep the movie entertaining for everyone.

A great movie for a great comic character.

4.5 out of 5


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