Christopher Nolan is back, the ace director who created the mind bending world of Inception and directed the Highly Successful The Dark Knight returns as we travel back in time. You may remember that the first 2 reviews I did were Inception and The Dark Knight well this month it is time to go back in time and see what came before The Dark Knight. I have an interesting story about Batman Begins. It was about a year ago and I was watching Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Straight after that was Batman Begins on ITV. I missed the first 40 minutes and after watching Batman Begins I could clearly see that Batman Begins is better than Lord of the Rings (all 3 Lord of the Rings films).
Batman Begins takes a different look at the Caped Crusader by putting the character in a more realistic world than the world of a Super Hero; it makes the film more like a Crime Thriller than a Super Hero Film. This also adds to the characters with them being realistic and not having any supernatural powers. It is also an origins story explaining how Bruce Wayne went from having his parents killed to becoming the Caped Crusader. The story was written by David S. Goyer with Music provided by Hans Zimmer. The film was the first film to be produced by Legendary Pictures.
Christian Bale stars as Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman. He is joined by a marvellous cast which includes Michael Caine as Alfred (Bruce Wayne’s Butler), Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox (The man who supplies Bruce Wayne with all the Technology needed to be Batman), Gary Oldman as Sgt James Gordon (one of only a few uncorrupted police in the city), Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard (the man who trains Bruce Wayne in martial arts and to fight injustice) and Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes (a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne and a Gotham City District Attorney).
The film starts out with a boy called Bruce Wayne who is playing with a friend of his called Rachel Dawes and he falls down a well and is attacked by Bats. Then the narrative changes to an adult Bruce who is in a prison in Bhutan. He is approached by a man called Henri Ducard who invites Bruce to train with an elite group of warriors called The League of Shadows which is run by a man named Ra’s Al Ghul. The narrative returns to Bruce as a child and he goes to the theatre one night with his parents. His parents get shot and die, the man is then captured and Bruce is raised by the Family Butler Alfred. Many years later Bruce returns to Gotham from University to attend the court appearance of the man, who killed his parents, he is to be set free so he can testify against a major crime boss. Bruce intends to kill him but one of crime bosses assistants gets to him first. Rachel discovers what Bruce was going to do and tells Bruce that his father would be ashamed of him. That night Bruce goes to see the Crime Boss named Falcone. Falcone tells Bruce that Bruce would not understand. Bruce then decides to travel the world and get into the mind of a criminal and eventually gets put in prison for stealing from his father’s company.
The Narrative returns to the Present where Bruce is trained by Henri Ducard and once fully trained the truth is revealed. Ra’s Al Ghul wants Bruce Wayne to lead the League of Shadows and destroy Gotham City which Ra’s Al Ghul believes has become so uncorrupted that it must be destroyed. Wayne refuses and destroys the palace of the League of Shadows and saves Ducard’s life in the process. Bruce then decides to return to Gotham City.
On the journey back to Gotham Bruce learns that he is technically dead because the CEO of Wayne Enterprises wanted to take the company public. Bruce explains to Alfred of his plan to turn himself into a symbol to scare criminals. Bruce discovers a cave underneath Wayne Manor where bats are living and then chooses his image. He visits Wayne Enterprises and discovers a science division and meets a man named Lucius Fox who allows Bruce to use some of the equipment that has been created there. Bruce enlists Gordon’s help in disguise and then begins prepare his equipment; he also gains access to an armoured car.
Batman then stops a Drug Shipment, Captures Falcone and gives Rachel the evidence needed to convict him. Batman also uses Falcone’s body on a big light and uses it as a signal for the police to follow (creating the Bat Signal). Falcone is sent to Arkham Asylum with help from its corrupt administrator Dr. Crane. Crane has been paying off Falcone to ship a toxic Hallucinogen into the City. When Falcone wants a bigger share Crane uses the Hallucinogen on Falcone making him go Insane. Batman later finds Crane and the toxin is used on Batman. Alfred finds him and takes him home. A few days later Bruce wakes up on the day of his birthday and is given a cure for the toxin by Lucius. Rachel then visits Crane and Crane shows her that he is pouring his toxin into the water supply, he then sprays her some of his toxin. Batman arrives and rescues Rachel and then evades the cops in his Black Armoured Car. He takes Rachel to his cave and injects her with the cure. He then gives her 2 vials of the cure and puts her to sleep, Alfred then takes her home. At his birthday party Bruce finds out from Lucius that the toxin can only be used when it is in a vaporised state, he also finds out that Wayne Enterprises has lost a device which turns water into a vaporised state.
While at the party a woman introduces Bruce to a man named Ra’s Al Ghul. Then he sees Henri Ducard who reveals to Bruce his real Identity as Ra’s Al Ghul. Bruce pretends to be drunk to get his guests to leave. Ra’s then tells Bruce about how the League of shadows has worked for years. They destroy a civilization when it’s reached its pinnacle and becomes a home of corruption, they previously caused the Black Death and set London on Fire. They have previously attacked Gotham before and failed. They have been working with Crane to poison the city with Insanity and are now about to cause the whole city to lose its mind. The League then traps Bruce in Wayne Manor as they set it on fire. Alfred returns and saves Bruce.
The League then release all the convicts from Arkham Asylum causing all the inmates to escape. All the cops in Gotham turn up as well as Gordon and Rachel. They are then trapped on the island as Ra’s Al Ghul turns on a machine designed to vaporise water causing everyone in the area to go mad. Gordon uses one of the Vials of the cure from Rachel and meets Batman. Batman tells him what is going to happen and gives Gordon the Batmobile. Batman then saves Rachel and a small boy and reveals to Rachel his true Identity – “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me”. Batman then fights Ra’s Al Ghul on a train which is heading to Wayne Tower which is also the central hub of the whole water supply in the city. Gordon uses the Batmobile to destroy the train tracks stopping the train from reaching the water supply and Batman leaves Ra’s Al Ghul on the train just before it crashes.
The next day Bruce takes control of Wayne Enterprises and put Lucius in charge as CEO. At the burned down remains of Wayne Manor Rachel meets up with Bruce who says to him that Batman is who Bruce really is. Batman then meets up with Lieutenant Gordon who tells him that they have a long road ahead and also tells Batman of another criminal who leaves a playing card at the scenes of his crimes. Batman says he will look into it and then leaves.
Batman Begins is a Brilliant film with many enjoyable pieces. The new direction created by Nolan and Goyer makes this an incredibly enjoyable film for everyone. The story is well written and the cast play their parts well. Katie Holmes in particular is very good as Rachel Dawes and is a lot better than Maggie Gyllenhaal who plays the role in The Dark Knight.
The Dark Knight is a lot better than Batman Begins but there are some pieces in Batman Begins which should be in The Dark Knight. The fight between Batman and Ra’s Al Ghul is brilliant whereas the Fight between the Joker and Batman could have been better. Also Begins has a lot of appearances from the Batmobile which gets destroyed in The Dark Knight.
Hans Zimmer has created some amazing pieces of music in films in recent years but his work in the Batman Films is probably his best with a brilliant theme for the lead character which is also heard in The Dark Knight, it is truly an iconic piece of Music. Batman Begins is a very enjoyable film and one of the Best Super Hero films around. Nolan and Goyer have made something excellent and it continues with The Dark Knight and the upcoming Dark Knight Rises. Batman Begins is Excellent from start to finish and an extremely enjoyable for everyone.