|Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense action violence, disturbing images and some thematic elements
Starring:Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Tom Wilkenson, Ken Wanatabe, Gary Oldman
Directed By:Christopher Nolan
How do you breathe life back into a franchise that has been dead since the late mid 90’s? That was the task director Christopher Nolan had to face as he signed up to direct Batman Begins. Days of Clooney and Rubber Nippled bat Suits had killed the story of the Dark Knight, and no one was interested in his tales filled with comedic villains and terrible catch phrases. But Nolan had a vision, to resurrect Batman and make him what he once was. His plan to start from the beginning and tell the story his own way.
Long before The Joker, The Riddler and Mr. Freeze hammed up the screens with Keaton, Kilmer and Clooney Batman had to start somewhere. Nolan set out to tell us the origins of Batman in his new film. Bruce Wayne witnessed his parent’s death as a small child, which sent him off on a journey through out the world. During his journey he learned survival skills and combat training from a group called the League of Shadows headed by Ra’s Al Goul. Returning to his home of Gotham City, Bruce, who inherited his family fortune, finds his city in need of help. With the help of Loyal butler, Alfred, and an endless fortune Bruce sets out to fight crime as the dark knight, Batman, striking fear in the hearts of everyone who makes others fear them.
Nolan cast virtually an unknown to the “A List” actor world, and chose Christian Bale, The Star of American Psycho, to put on the famed Bat suit. Bale is a wonderful choice for Batman and was the perfect choice to build a franchise off of. He’s young, a great actor and doesn’t have the star power to ask for the big money yet. Bale brings life back to Batman once again. At times he comes off as a bit cheesy but all in all Bale is very convincing Dark Knight.
The Batman tales always have their share of colorful villains as well as their heroes. Nolan brought in Liam Neesson as the man who trains Bruce Wayne and brings in the Indy star, Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later) and Tom Wilkenson (In The Bedroom) to play the Dark Knight’s adversaries. Both do a fantastic Job and help the tale move along quickly and easily.
Also joining the cast helping the caped crusader is the likes of Katie Holmes who plays the part of Bruce Wayne’s love interest and Michael Caine as Wayne’s Loyal Butler, Alfred. Caine is a joy to watch on the screen and he finds a way to make such a minor character so much fun to wathc. Also sharing the Screen is Veteran Actor Gary Oldman as Gotham’s hero police officer. In my opinion, Oldman is one of Hollywood’s most versatile actors whose wonderful “character” acting is only second best to Johnny Depp. He proves it again with Batman Begins with another fantastic job done. Where Batman does stray is few and far stretched, but if I had one major complaint, it was that I thought they really didn’t utilize Cillian Murphy as Scarecrow quite enough. The Psychological villain could have been integrated into the story far more than they used him and his exit from the film was incredibly stupid. Hopefully that won’t be the last audiences see of the scarecrow.
But none the less get out there and watch Batman if you haven’t already. Don’t just assume Clooney has killed the caped crusader once and for all. Bale and Nolan have done a wonderful job of reminding us again what makes Batman so special. With a film that literally is screaming sequel, I am looking forward to the next film in this franchise. Get out there and enjoy the newer darker Batman. You’ll have some great fun and be salivating for the sequel that’s already in the works.