Rewatched Jul 16, 2012
Mr. DuLac’s review:
People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can't do that as Bruce Wayne, as a man I'm flesh and blood I can be ignored I can be destroyed but as a symbol, as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting.
This is actually the first Batman film I've ever liked. I know I'm in the minority when I say this, but I never liked Tim Burton's Batman or Batman Returns. I always found them too goofy to really enjoy. The two Batman films that followed aren't even worth mentioning by name.
Now this is where people would expect me to say that Batman Begins is better then the Burton films because they're more realistic. People seem to say that a lot, while I guess you could say that it's "more realistic", the fact is the film is anything but realistic. I know what people mean when they say that, they're just not expressing themselves correctly and the folks that hate this film love to jump down their throats whenever they here that. What people are mistakenly identifying as realism is actually the world surrounding the characters and not the characters themselves and what they can do.
This is still very much a comic book movie, it's just treated much more seriously then it was in previous films. Batman still accomplishes things that no normal human being should be able to do, but it's presented in what seems to be the real world as opposed to the cartoony Gotham City we've been shown before. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze would stick out in these Batman films like Mel Gibson at a Jewish temple on Yom Kippur.
Not only does it take the material seriously, but it puts character and story before action and special effects. Bruce Wayne feels like a tortured soul for the first time in film history and not a goofball millionaire with a costume fetish. As much as people love to hate Christian Bale, I still believe he's a great actor and the best one to have portrayed the character thus far. His "Batman voice" didn't bother me at all this time... we'll see after I watch The Dark Knight again if I feel the same way.
The rest of the cast is fantastic and unbelievable in some respects. I say this because the talent in the film doesn't correspond with the size of the role with Gary Oldman and Tom Wilkinson probably being the best examples of small roles going to huge talents. You can't hold that against the film though, it's just a case of having more acting talent then it could possibly ever hope to showcase. With the exception being Katie Holmes of course. Not a horrible performance, but underwhelming to say the least with who she is surrounded with. Does anyone even notice her when she had scenes with Cillian Murphy?
Murphy's performance is probably my favorite of the film. He's just a joy to watch as the off-tilt Dr. Jonathan Crane. I find that he's the power behind almost all his scenes, even the ones with Wilkinson and Bale. I have to stop talking about the cast or I'll be typing all night, and I haven't even mentioned anything about Michael Caine, Liam Neeson or Morgan Freeman. The cast is that insanely stacked.
At the end of the day I loved this movie because it was about character and story first. It doesn't rush to show us Bruce Wayne in the cowl and cape, instead it makes his journey to becoming Batman important.