Let us dive into the history on how Batman Begins was developed. In 1997, Joel Schumacher directed Batman & Robin starring George Clooney as The World’s Greatest Detective, which was a follow up to Batman Forever. It did well at the box office, but it received a massive amount of negative reviews from critics, movie goers, and comic book fans from across the globe.
At first, Schumacher was supposed to direct a sequel with George Clooney returning as Batman but due to the overwhelming backlash of Batman & Robin, Warner Bros. (WB for short) immediately discarded the planned sequel in favor of returning the series back to its original dark roots.
Many filmmakers, screenwriters and producers attempted to come up with screenplays including The Wachowski Brothers/Sisters, Darren Aronofsky, and Joss Whedon, unfortunately WB rejected the scripts. Until one director named Christopher Nolan, who was fresh from films such as Memento and Insomnia, was hired by WB to write the script alongside David S. Goyer.
Nolan wanted to tell a superhero film in a gritty realistic tone with a dramatic structure. After a year of researching the mythos based on Batman, WB green-litted the project. That took a lot effort people! This is how you take notes before you adapt a novel, short story or comic book series into a full length film.
After another year of casting actors, filming scenes, and editing during post-production, Batman Begins was finally released in 2005. The movie received critical acclaim and was a box office success. The public, critics, and comic book fans loved it.
Two more films came out in 2008 and 2012. Batman Begins is the first film in Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy, which is arguably considered The Godfather of Superhero films.
The following review contains no SPOILERS, it means you’re free to view it.
Positive & Negative Elements
Positive: The First Act shows Bruce Wayne’s journey on how he became The Caped Crusader. For the first time in a Batman film, we finally get to witness his vigorous training.
The Three Act Structure/The Hero’s Journey was organized carefully piece by piece.
The Cast including Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Tom Wilkinson, Ken Watanabe and Cillian Murphy all did an excellent job on their performances.
Character Development involving Bruce Wayne becoming a vigilante who seeks justice to protect the people of Gotham City from scum & villainy spreading across districts.
Action Sequences were fantastic, especially a chase scene with The Batmobile which is my favorite part of the film.
Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend/love interest Rachel, factors in from past to present. She’s not a damsel in distress, she’s capable of defending herself without Batman’s help.
According to Nolan, the film is influenced by Blade Runner, Lawrence Of Arabia & Richard Donner’s Superman. The latter film is the one that influenced Nolan the most.
The Batsuit design looked cool. Thank God the costume doesn’t contain bat-nipples or bat-credit card. Batman’s suit is a realistic version inspired military black ops minus firearms.
Cinematography has a bunch of gorgeous looking shots courtesy of Wally Pfister. Gotham City is a massive playground resembling an open world map like the Grand Theft Auto series.
Like Memento, Batman Begins is told in a non-linear or not in order timeline. It was used appropriately.
Bruce Wayne/Batman has an internal flaw that involves his tragic origin story which causes his parent’s deaths.
The Tone for the film fits the atmosphere. It felt like I was watching a live action film adaptation of Batman: The Animated Series.
A Surprise Twist near the end of the movie. Won’t tell you what it’s all about.
One of the lead character yells out “RACHEL!” Katie Holmes’ ex-husband Tom Cruise, also yelled out the name Rachel in War Of The Worlds, this film also came out the same year as Batman Begins. I prefer Batman’s Rachel than Dakota Fanning screaming constantly as her character Rachel Ferrier.
The Best Line in this movie is “Why do we fall.” (Beat or Dramatic Pause) “So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” It definitely deserves Bonus Points, because it gave me chills.
Practical Effects were used heavily such as The Batmobile and The C.G.I. was used sparingly because Nolan doesn’t like C.G.I.
The Batmobile is a cross between a tank & a sports car heavily based on Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.
The Story is a mix of Batman storylines including Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One. Like I said before, Nolan did a lot research on the mythology.
Oscar winning composer, Hanz Zimmer & James Newton Howard wrote the musical score filled with unforgettable tracks.
The Central Theme is about overcoming your deepest darkest fears by becoming one who can manipulate fear into criminals.
A character quotes a line from Independence Day. As a bonus, Will Smith went on to portray Deadshot in Suicide Squad. Plus, Hitch came out the same year as Batman Begins.
Negative: I couldn’t find any boo boos in this reboot. Similar to my review for Insomnia, Christopher Nolan has made another flawless home run yet again.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Batman Begins is an excellent retelling of Batman’s origin story fleshing out a fully detailed backstory on how he earned his abilities, combat skills & batsuit.
Thank you Mr. Nolan for resurrecting my favorite superhero, if it weren’t for you, many reboots and future superhero films such as Planet Of The Apes, James Bond, Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Extended Universe, and Godzilla would’ve never existed in the first place. If you are a massive Batman fan or Christopher Nolan fan like me, I strongly recommend this movie. Trust me, you’re gonna have an incredible experience that’ll blow your friggin’ mind from start to finish!