Friday, June 17, 2005

review - Batman Begins

3/5 Batman Begins

For me, this wasn't the spectacular, flawless rebirth that a lot of people were hoping for. But, I believe this is by far the best of the Batman films and I look forward to more with Christian Bale as our hero, as well as the rest of the ensemble cast.

The dialogue was often terrible. There was a good twist on how to make a bad guy (Scarecrow), chillingly played by Cillian Murphy (Cold Mountain, 28 Days Later.) The opening felt a tad cheesy with the training, etc.

Katie Holmes was not credible as a lawyer and in my mind, she reinforces why I consider her to be a flyweight actress. She has beautiful, deep, dark brown eyes, however. In scenes with Christian Bale, he has a deeper prescence than she does. I wouldn't miss her if they went with someone else next time. Bale was very good - convicing as a troubled person seeking a change, mysterious and possessing a dark soul. Clearly, he's an actor of substance.

Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine were solid, as usual, appearing as if acting comes efforlessly to them. I didn't find Leeam Neeson particularly strong. He seemed to be going through motions, which is a rarity for him. We saw too little of Gary Oldman but hopefully, there will be more of him as he becomes the Police Commissioner.

The plot wasn't all that great, but "save the world" (or, in this case, Gotham) stories are usually horrible. Still, there is a tie-in to the beginning, our new nemesis Scarecrow and his modus operandi. Some of these scenes may be frightening to children - I know they spooked me!

At the end of Batman Begins, we see who the next bad guy is...I loathe the idea of the campier bad guys appearing once again. They main bad guys bring back memories of the TV series and that's not a good thing, IMHO. I hope they take the plunge to introduce new enemies for these modern times.

At 2 hours and 20 minutes, I felt it was too long. Overall, however, this is excellent fare for the masses and deserves to be a blockbuster. The franchise has been reborn.

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