Instead of staying up and writing about it as soon as I got back (like I did for Episode III), I decided to sleep on it and write a quick review of Batman Begins this morning. I can tell ya right now that I did enjoy it and it is a much better Batman movie with promise of even better sequels. Still, I felt like for everyone one thing Begins did right, it did another one thing wrong.
I’ll start with the good. Christian Bale is the definitive young Batman. There is no one else who could do this character better. Batman is a tough character to play because there are these two entirely different personalities involved to do it right. Bale plays the rich smug playboy Bruce Wayne and the tortured Batman perfectly. The performances from everyone in this flick are very good. You really don’t expect anything less from the list of grade-A actors and actresses involved and they all deliver.
The first hour of the movie is of the all about a younger Bruce Wayne and the events that eventually influence him to become Batman. In fact, there is no Batman in sight for all of this time. We get to see why he is the man he’s turned out to be and the things he does to suppress or enhanced his fear. These were, by far, my favorite parts of Begins.
Time for the bad. After the first hour, it seemed as though the studio suits stepped in and said, “Enough is enough. Bring in Batman.” It’s almost as if another movie starts at this point. You get bum-rushed with Batman, how he gets his toys, and bad guys doing their bad things. The whole last half of the story was just too rushed. On top of that, the plot the bad guys think up to destroy Gotham City is just to far fetch for me. It’s ridiculous to the point where all I could think about were the older movies and their stupid plots. Here you get this first great hour. A very realistic, believable, and human story about this guy and it paces well. Then you get this next hour very rushed with a story that’s not very believable at all. It just doesn’t fit.
You would think a Batman movie would have to have some great action in it. Well, this one definitely has a lot, but it’s just so poorly produced. The shots are too quick and too tight. It seemed to me that they were purposely hiding the fact that no one could move naturally in that batsuit. The only exception to the poor action sequences were the sequences with the batmobile. I had some reservations with the batmobile when I first saw the trailers, but I came out surprisingly impressed with it. No reason to hide a car, so these shots were wider and the cuts were longer.
In the end after all of the issues I had with the flick, it still turned out to be a case of the positives outweighing the negatives. It’s a good flick, but it could have be so much more. The end sets it up for many more movies to come. I think they were feeling out the audience with Begins and it’s definitely a step in the right direction. The bottom line is that Batman Begins a great start to a great franshise and I can’t wait to see the sequels.