Sunday, June 26, 2005

Batman Begins




In “Batman Begins”, Director Christopher Nolan attempts to recreate the lost charm of the caped crusader otherwise known as the Dark Knight er Batman.

Critics from all over have lavishly praised this movie with some calling it “one of the best films of the year.”

Well a good film it is but the best film it isn’t. I can’t even say it’s the best Batman in the series. Tim Burton’s original 1989 “Batman” and the sequel “Batman Returns” are definitely much better. This Batman may have focused on how the myth of Batman came into being, but it did not, however, provide an engaging villain (count this as my first complaint) that would have truly made this particular hero super.

Alright, to begin with, we are told of how the young Bruce Wayne encountered his first bat experience. This frightening episode would create a manic phobia that would eventually cause him to lose both his parents to a mindless homicide outside of a theater.

With his parents dead, Bruce goes on a soul-searching expedition that would take him to the heart of Mongolia, to the lair of a mysterious Vigilante group which may or may not have had a hand in the death of his parents.

His strong conviction to avenge his parents’ death paved the way for him to join this band of mercenaries. He was trained in the art of martial art combat amidst freezing temperatures atop frozen mountains. For his final test, he is summoned to kill a captured murderer. He balks from the challenge and instead he kills everyone except for his teacher (Liam Neeson).

When Bruce returns to the city, he pretends to be a playboy and starts his crusade against the dark elements of Gotham.

Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes) does not figure in the story yet and even without her the movie would still have hold. Holmes’ performance does not allow the audience to feel her presence. I wanted to believe that because they were childhood playmates, Batman er Bruce Wayne would go to great lengths to save her from the evil Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) in the guise of saving the city?

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed this movie and Christian Bale as Batman is amazing. He has the charisma of Michael Keaton. I was just challenged to question some of its aspects in the light of its almost universal acclaim.

Nolan returns to the roots of the Batman series and he succeeds in building the myth; the concluding parts, however, sadly, was just normal action formula.

One last complaint, the action sequences are incomprehensible. The training scenes are terrible. Oh, I’m gonna get the ire of all batman fans, but why do I care when I can’t even fathom the change in Bruce Wayne’s voice whenever he transforms into Batman!

The best part of the movie? Gary Oldman's scenes. The master thespian returns in a minor role that appears bigger because of his usual acting prowess.


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