After Persia's wedding, H., M., and myself went out to see the movie "Batman Begins." Most of the comic-book-based movies of late have proven to be pretty good, but "Batman Begins" is particularly good: in a separate class, really.
The Sacramento News and Review review summarizes the movie well:
Stepping into the Batman role is Christian Bale, who establishes himself as the only man who should ever play Bruce Wayne for the next 20 or so years. He looks good in the suit and delivers the sort of angry, dangerous performance befitting the character. This isn’t the kind of superhero performance that will get him typecast, à la Christopher Reeve or Keaton. Bale delivers a real performance in a serious film, and I’m thinking he won’t have trouble being accepted as different characters in the future. Bale is too good an actor to be labeled.To me, several themes and points-of-emphasis make the movie the perfect post 9/11 film:
Batman Begins, as the title suggests, is an origin story. It spends much of its time telling us why, and how, Wayne became Batman. Disillusioned and haunted by the death of his parents, Wayne goes on a sabbatical, winding up in a Far East mountain range under the tutelage of ninja leader Ra’s Al Ghul (Ken Watanabe) and the mysterious Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson). When Wayne returns to the United States, he’s on a confused mission of justice and revenge. He reunites with his guardian and butler, Alfred (now played by a truly likable Michael Caine), and his childhood friend Rachel (Katie Holmes), now a powerful attorney.
- Gotham City is corrupt to its core, but honest people dared in years past to make it civilized, and struggle today to restore the glory years, nonetheless;
- There is a huge, huge gap between the public face of Bruce Wayne, and the private agony of Batman;
- Bruce Wayne spots the corruption in his ninja patrons (I didn't, until much too late) and turns the tables on them;
- Bruce Wayne fights hard to confront and master his fears.