Monday, July 16, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Batman Begins (2005) ***½

PG-13, 140 min.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman,  Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Ken Watanabe, Mark Boone Junior, Linus Roache

“Batman Begins” redefined the concept of the comic book adaptation movie. It took the comic book superhero out of the comic book and into a legitimate cinematic universe. Preceded by the successes of “Spider-Man” and “Spider-Man 2”, which worked because someone finally put a fan of the comic books at the helm of the movie, “Batman Begins” took the comic book movie a step further away from comic books with another fan at the helm.

Christopher Nolan came up through Warner Bros. making the complex and dramatic thrillers “Memento” and “Insomnia”. It seemed as if Nolan worked so hard for the sole purpose of getting a swing at Batman. “Batman Begins” approaches the concept of the origin story, not as an origin, but as a story itself. Instead of just learning Bruce Wayne’s inspiration for becoming the Batman, Nolan actually shows us how he becomes Batman. This is something that was relegated to montage sequences before this movie.

Nolan also understands that Bruce Wayne created Batman because of a more realistic criminal element than costumed villains. Yes, the Batman rogues gallery of freaks is essential to the Batman universe, but Tom Wilkinson’s Carmine Falcone is a much more plausible mob boss than you usually find in comic book movies. Batman’s inspiration was from real criminals, not crazies like the Joker. The Jokers come later. And they most certainly do.

Read my original review here.

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