This movie should have been called The Dark Knight
Joker | Michigan | 09/01/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In my opinion, Batman Begins (2005) should have been called The Dark Knight because Batman takes centerstage in this movie, unlike in The Dark Knight (2008) where Batman seems to take a back seat to The Joker and Two-Face. That's the irony - in the movie that's called The Dark Knight, Batman actually takes a back seat to the villains, who steal the show. I personally think The Dark Knight should have been called The Joker Emerges, or something like that.
Now I want to make some observations about this movie.
First of all, it's inevitable that the new Christopher Nolan movies will always be compared to the Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher movies, so that's one thing I myself will do. In contrast to Burton and Schumacher, Christopher Nolan went for darkness, realism, and seriousness in his Batman movies in an effort to make them far different than the semi-campy (though dark) Burton films and all-out campy and bright Schumacher films. I feel that Batman Begins is TOO real. It's TOO serious. To me, Batman movies should have an element of fun to them. An example is Batman (1989) - The Joker was evil, but he had dark humor to go along with his evilness. He used gadgets, like a hand buzzer and squirting lapel flower. Sometimes he went a little too far, like dancing, etc., but he showed he was funny as well as dark and evil. It was a good balance. It seems that in the Nolan movies, all the fun has been sucked out of them and they're way too serious and realistic. Their overall atmosphere and look seem a lot like crime dramas that you see on primetime weeknight TV. I found Batman Begins quite boring for the first hour or so, and this is a big reason why.
I thought the acting was fair to pretty good. The best acting came from Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard. Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox was also pretty good. Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow was OK. I thought Scarecrow was somewhat of a boring villain who didn't do much, and borderline cheesy. Gary Oldman was pretty good as Commissioner Gordon. I thought Katie Holmes was pretty good as Rachel Dawes. I like her portrayal of Rachel Dawes a little better than Maggie Gyllenhaal's in The Dark Knight.
Christian Bale? I thought he was a mediocre Bruce Wayne and a mediocre Batman. Not bad, but not good. His voice while he's Batman sounds as if he's been smoking for 40 years. Bruce Wayne comes off as too much of a playboy in this movie as well as in The Dark Knight. He seems to have an attitude and is arrogant. I think Michael Keaton owns the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in the 1989 and 1992 movies.
I dislike the Batmobile in this movie. Now, the Batmobile has been through many incarnations in previous movies. First, there was the Batmobile from the '60s TV series and 1966 movie called Batman: The Movie. Then, the Batmobile from the '89 and '92 movies. Then a different one in the '95 and '97 movies. They all were CARS. Like they should be. Right? Well, Christopher Nolan decided that the Batmobile appeared as a car too often, so he changed it to what is called a "Tumbler" that looks like a cross between a tank and a Hummer, so now the Batmobile isn't even a car. Bad. This goes too far, in my opinion.
The Batcave? It was cool. It's slightly better than the Batcave from the Tim Burton films.
Batman's costume? It was on par with the costumes used in the '89 and '92 Tim Burton films, maybe slightly better.
Some of the conditions in this movie were unique and different, such as the pouring rain in a few scenes.
I found the musical score by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard to be flat and unmoving in not only this movie, but The Dark Knight as well. They in no way compare to Danny Elfman's masterpiece scores from the 1989 and 1992 movies.
I found the movie hard to follow at times, so I needed to watch it again to understand it.
This is a two-DVD set that comes with many extras.
I think this movie is just as good as The Dark Knight.
Overall, this is a pretty good movie, but I still prefer the movies from 1989, 1992, 1995, and 1997, especially the 1989 and 1992 movies.
If you've never seen a Batman movie before, I think you should watch this as well as The Dark Knight and then watch the 1989 and 1992 movies for starters so you can do the inevitable comparison just like I have. You might like the older movies better, or you might like the new Nolan movies better. Everyone has their own opinions.