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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Movie Review:Batman Begins

Premise:A vigilante fights against criminals and his former allies destroying his city.

Cast:Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes, Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard, Michael Caine as Alfred, Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane, Gary Oldman as James Gordon, Tom Wilkinson as Carmine Falcone, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, Linus Roache as Thomas Wayne, Sara Stewart as Martha Wayne, Richard Brake as Joe Chill

Director:Christopher Nolan

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for intense action violence, disturbing images, and some thematic elements

Genres:Action, sci-fi

Notes:The first movies in the Dark Knight trilogy. Pictures taken from IMP Awards and Rotten Tomatoes belongs to Warner Brothers.

Pros:The villains are awesome. Avoids falling into cheesiness.

Cons:Some plot holes.

What do you do when a messed-up rich kid decides to disappear? More importantly, how do you handle it when he suddenly comes back - after 7 years?

Batman isn't quite sympathetic here. Yeah, it's sad his parents die, but he's less the dark creature you feel sorry for and in my opinion, more fascinating the same way a dangerous, majestic animal is. But the bad guys in this movie are cool. We've got the oh-so-sneaky League of Shadows, plus a doctor who has no qualms about experimenting on patients. The actors playing them only increase the good feelings I get when they appear onscreen. (Not those kinds of good feelings!)

One thing that I have heard pointed out when talking about this movie is a hole in the villains' plot.
Namely that the microwave emitter doesn't vaporize any people. And we didn't hear anything about cases of people boiling water and getting a lung-full of poison.
End spoilers

Overall, I left this movie satisfied and would recommend it to anyone who prefers their Batman on the darker side.

Sex:One kiss between Rachel and Bruce. Bruce takes a couple of pretty ladies to a hotel where they go for a swim in the fountain. Couples are seen in the background flirting. A few shirtless scenes, though in many cases they aren't too sexy. The dirty-minded such as myself will note that the headboard on Bruce's bed resembles a pair of upside-down boobs.

Violence:A kid falls down a well and is swarmed by bats. Bruce starts a fight in a prison and gets dragged off to solitary. He's later trained in a monastery or cult of sorts, told he will face death on a daily basis. He's attacked even though he can barely stand. He and his trainer sword fight on a frozen lake (and Bruce falls in once). When he's told to kill a man, he refuses. Then he and someone else nearly fall over a cliff.
There are plenty of Batman-on-bad-guy brawls and interrogations. A train crashes. Three different buildings are set on fire. In one case, Batman's clothes ignite as well. He causes a car chase and runs over an occupied cop car with the Tumbler (no deaths, somehow). When Alfred sees the whole debacle on TV, he says it's a miracle no one was killed.
Joe Chill guns down the Waynes. Bruce takes a gun to the man's trial and considers killing him, but someone else beats him to it. When Rachel finds out, she slaps him and tells him his father would be ashamed. A crime informs Bruce there are several law enforcement agents and legal forces in the building but they wouldn't do a thing if he decided to blow the rich boy's head off. He then has his guys punch Bruce in the face and throw him out.
Minor character Zsasz and other escapees corner a woman and child before Batman saves the day. (It's scarier if you know more about the character.) Batman uses his grappling gun on a man to pull him up (then drop him down) several stories. Two men corner someone in an alley to kill her before Batman intervenes. A woman uses a taser on Batman (which doesn't work) and on Crane (which does). Offscreen, a man slits his wrists to fake an insanity plea. Several people are shot. A man's head is slammed into a mirror. People mob Batman.

Drugs/Alcohol:The villains use a toxin that Scarecrow is famous for. It causes those breathe it to imagine their worst fears come to life (a few of these hallucinations are shown onscreen). Batman stops drug smugglers.
Part of Bruce's cover as a billionaire involves drunken antics. He sarcastically thanks people for coming to his house and drinking all his booze. A scene takes place in a bar. There's social and celebratory drinking. A woman is sedated.

Language:"G*dd**n", "bloody", "crap", and "J*sus" are said once or twice. "H*ll" and "d**n" are both said several times.

Spiritual:Mostly metaphors and parallels. A villain rhetorically asks if he is mortal or if his methods are supernatural. The League of Shadows can be compared to a cult or religious extremists. A man says to Bruce:"You are in hell, and I am the Devil." Bruce retorts:"You're not the Devil. You're practice." When an interrogated man uses the expression "I swear to G**", Batman tells him "Swear to me!"

12/27/2016 update:One of the main characters is whitewashed.

So what did you think? A good beginning? Or did you end your watching of the series here?

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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