Batman Begins is the first Batman film in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy and features Christian Bale as the new Batman following the failure of Batman & Robin.
This review is the sixth in a series of articles that will examine every theatrically released Batman movie from Batman (1966) to The Dark Knight Rises in honor of The Batman’s release on March 4th.
Christian Bale Becomes The Dark Knight
Christian Bale takes the place of Geroge Clooney as the Dark Knight in Batman Begins and proves to be a more faithful adaptation compared to his predecessor. This film shows Bruce Wayne’s true origin story of becoming the Caped Crusader that we all know and love. This is not something that has really been explored in any of the previous films.
Bale is so far the only actor to encapsulate both Bruce Wayne and Batman in his portrayal. Other actors have done a good Batman or a good Bruce Wayne, but Bale is the first that seems to really understand how the two go together.
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My only nitpick with Bale’s version of the character is that he doesn’t make his own gadgets. I love Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, but I think having him provide Batman with all of his gadgets/equipment takes away from Batman’s character. While Bruce does modify some of the gadgets he never creates something on his own.
Ra’s Al Ghul is Batman’s Strongest Foe So Far… Oh and Scarecrow Is Here Too
Liam Neeson is an incredible villain as Ra’s Al Ghul. In Batman Begins, Ra’s initially serves as Bruce Wayne’s mentor, however, he turns on him after Bruce becomes soft for the people of Gotham. Ra’s feels that the League kill all of Gotham with Scarecrow’s gas as they are a lost cause. However, Batman learned from the mistakes of his past when he almost killed Joe Chill, the man who killed his parents.
Liam Neeson wasn’t actually revealed to be Ra’s until the climax of the film as he had someone impersonate him throughout the beginning of the film. This was a neat reveal as it gave Bruce a strong emotional connection to the character that we haven’t seen in previous Batman films.
As for Scarecrow, he was okay. This film really just used him as a pawn for Ra’s Al Ghul, which is fine. However, it would have been cool to have seen him in a larger role.
Batman Begins The Strongest Supporting Cast So Far
Batman Begins has the strongest supporting cast out of all of the Batman films so far, which is what pushes it over the edge as one of the greatest Batman films of all time.
Starting with Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, he is great character and partner for Batman in this film. While I do wish Batman created some of his gadgets himself, similar to the comics, Lucius is a fun character in this film.
Next is Gary Oldman’s Jim Gordon who becomes the best Gordon by default in this film. Batman (1966) and the Burton/Schumaccer series’ versions of the character. Those versions never took the character seriously or took time to flesh out the character. Meanwhile with Batman Begins, we were able to spend time with the character and grow an attachment to him. He also proved to be a real asset to Batman which I also feel was missing in previous films.
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Michael Caine’s Alfred is the best version of the character throughout the franchise so far. He serves as Bruce’s mentor throughout the film but also shows that he is able to hold his own as well. Other versions of the character have even taken inspiration from Caine’s Alfred, such as Jack Bannon’s portrayal in Pennyworth.
Rachel Dawes is a great love interest for Bruce Wayne / Batman in this film. I love that they had her be an old friend from his childhood, giving them an extra emotional connection. Rachel is also able to hold her own in this film which is nice to see. While there are plenty of moments where Batman needs to save her, the movie still portrays her as a strong woman and less of a damsel in distress.
Final Thoughts on Batman Begins
Overall Batman Begins is not just a great Batman film, but a great comic-book movie all around. This film holds up the best out of all of the Batman films so far in 2022.
Christian Bale is a great Bruce Wayne and Batman, the villains are formidable, and Begins has the best supporting cast of all of the Batman films to this point. The VFX hold up great as well considering the film was released in 2005. The music isn’t as good as other films such as Batman (1989) or Batman Forever, however it’s still decent nonetheless.I would recommend this film to anyone who is looking for a griping action flick as Batman Begins delivers on all fronts.
Up next is what fans have regarded as one of the best comic-book movies of all time, The Dark Knight. We’ll see if that is still the case in 2022…
Batman Begins stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard / Ra’s al Ghul, Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes, Gary Oldman as James Gordon, Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane / Scarecrow, Tom Wilkinson as Carmine Falcone, Rutger Hauer as William Earle, Ken Watanabe as decoy Ra’s al Ghul, and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox.
What are your thoughts on Batman Begins? Do you think the film holds up in 2022? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow The Illuminerdi on social media to be notified of more DC news and reviews like this in the future!
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