johnlink ranks BATMAN BEGINS (2005)

It’s been two weeks since I last saw a movie. Quite a long drought for me. I blame three things. First, my wife and I have been sick. Secondly, I started directing a show at the high school again, which severely eats into any free time I have. Thirdly, the Celtics season started. After a long day of work I can whip through a DVRd Celtics game in about an hour (or an hour and a quarter if it is a good game). I have trouble watching basketball in real time now. My reaction is usually “You mean I have to watch these free throws be shot in REAL TIME? Ridiculous.: Anyway, onto a film which will still be considered one of the first classics of the 21st century decades from now.

BATMAN BEGINS reboots the Batman saga, retelling his origin and starting him off on a new adventure.

I watched BATMAN BEGINS (2005) on 11.10.09. It was my fourth viewing of the film.


A second review, from July of 2012 can be found here. It is written utilizing this site’s now-standard article approach.


There are some things which bug me a little bit about this film. There is a heavy reliance on coincidence, which I feel could have been lessened had the movie run ten or fifteen minutes longer. There is also a tendency to hide the stunt guys by cutting in and out of the action sequences quickly, with many of the shots having a near Michael Bay shortness of length. But these are minor gripes over what is, ultimately, the film which helped save the comic book movie genre, and which gave it a more serious direction.  I will never forget my reaction after the first time seeing this, which was basically, “Finally, someone got it perfect.” Having some space (and the pleasure of knowing that they got it… perfecter in DARK KNIGHT) I can see some of those holes. But this is a film which considers depth of character and weight of decision over action. The action is there, but it is rewarding. We don’t see Batman until over an hour in, and we don’t see the Scarecrow for another half hour after that. This movie rewards patience, and expects attention. SCORE: 7


Tried to find a flaw in the rewatchability of this movie and could not. I found myself anticipating the big moments and discovering small new ones. Why do I get giddy when Morgan Freeman acknowledges Michael Caine? Maybe because I’d love to see whole movies between the two of them, rather than just one second of a ‘good-bye.’ This movie delivers the goods. And I give it a rare perfect score for its ability to do so. SCORE: 10


Some people have a problem with the Batman Voice from DARK KNIGHT. It makes a cameo in this one, and you wonder about the discussions between the two films. I can buy that Wayne decided he needed to change his voice more drastically that he did when he first put on the suit, so I’m not one who thinks that it was a disconnect between the two films.

But getting back to this first film, we have admirable acting all around. Liam Neeson immediately grounds this film with the gravity of his performance. I could watch him and Bale train all day. Cillian Murphy is not as perfect as he could be (especially after seeing Ledger) but he is a serviceable B-villain. Nice small parts from Rutger Hauer and Tom Wilkinson. Katie Holmes does a very nice job as the love interest, and I really wish she had come back for the sequel. But the thing that does it for me are these folks: Neeson as Ducard (or so we think…), Michael Caine as Alfred, Morgan Freeman as Fox, Gary Oldman as Gordon, and Bale as Wayne/Batman. Those five folks elevate the level of this film, from a mere comic book movie, to a well balanced and strongly performed film. SCORE: 8


The script by David Goyer and Director Christopher Nolan is all it needs to be. The origin is given appropriate time to develop, the action has purpose, and the characters have meaning. I think it could have been longer, and that is rare to say about a 140 minute comic book movie. I do have the complaint about coincidence sometimes trumping reality (of course Rachel will run into the Scarecrow on the streets), but I also understand the need to get all these characters together. SCORE: 7


Two points here. One goes for the cinematography, which is beautifully realized in an effort to make Gotham a character. The other goes to the music (by both Newton Howard and Zimmer) for creating a musical emotional equivalent to the images we see on screen. SCORE: 2



7+10+8+7+2= 34


~ by johnlink00 on November 10, 2009.

One Response to “johnlink ranks BATMAN BEGINS (2005)”

  1. […] I watched BATMAN BEGINS (2005) on 7.6.12. It was my fifth viewing of the film, and first since November of 2009. Original ranking can be found here. […]

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