A Superhero without Superhero Powers
Batman Begins
Review Review by Ross Anthony

Hey, guess what? This is a real good film. Actually, the first half of this production is an excellent movie and the second half is still pretty darned-good.

As the title implies "Batman Begins" is an origin story. This is usually my favorite part of Superhero epics -- how about you? The filmmakers took some interesting risks in casting a lesser-known, though strong actor -- Christian Bale. Bale fits the role and the costume well. He's brooding, strong, vulnerable, yet decisive -- and perhaps even more than all of that -- as about as real/believable as Batman gets.

Another surprise is director Christopher Nolan of the highly acclaimed Memento. For those who haven't seen this unique, yet brain-straining feature; suffice to say that Nolan is great with thought and suspense -- but action? What an exciting risk to employ. Personally, I think these risks pay off in spades. This is a film that cares a great deal for what is going on inside the Bat-Man's head; the action is more of an accent.

The fight scenes are shot close in; Nolan seems to have made a conscious decision not to compete with other more "martial arts" hand-to-hand action flicks. His action scenes are dark, the sounds and movement jeer a chill or more accurately -- fear.

Building a solid motif around fear, this strong screenplay unfolds masterfully until the two-thirds mark, at which point some of the pacing slips just a bit, and further complications blur its initial beauty. I enjoyed the idea of the masked foe introduced at that point, but his actual execution on film smacked of the phony supervillians I didn't like in earlier Batmans. That said, the film's other foes are well-acted, enjoyable, respectably intimidating.

A good film -- you'll get your money's worth.

"It's fascinating to me," Says writer/director Nolan, "the idea of a person who would confront his innermost fear and then attempt to become it."

  • Batman Begins. Copyright © 2005.
  • Starring Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Michael Caine, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Morgan Freeman.
  • Directed by Christopher Nolan.
  • Screenplay by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer.
  • Produced by Emma Thomas and Charles Roven, Larry Franco, at DC/WB.

Grade..........................A (3.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:18:48 PDT