Saturday, June 25, 2005

Holy Crime Caper, Batman

Back to the beginning

And that’s what Batman Begins is, holy. Finally, after a wretched metamorphosis from dark, tortured gem to laughable comic farce, the ailing Batman franchise takes a right turn back to its roots. Batman Begins returns the Dark Knight to all his brooding, conflicted glory and performs a veritable check mate on its predecessors, save the original Batman with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson.

As for the pathetic Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, I believe that George Lucas secretly talked to Warner Brothers about his new strategy for taking a wonderfully compelling franchise and turning it into a series of ridiculous kid movies - a tactic that he would soon perfect with the launch of Stars Wars Episode 1. But, I digress…

Batman Begins gets it right by focusing on the events and emotional trauma that gave birth to the brooding badass in the first place. Strong performances by Liam Neeson, Michael Cain, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman round out this solidly entertaining flick. You’ll notice that I didn’t mention Katie Holmes in the strong performances category. Not that she performed badly, but she wasn’t really given a chance to – and that’s fine, as it helped center the movie around Batman and not his flying rodent groupies.

Perky Katie

Katie was nice to look at though, and that’s worth the price of the celluloid on which she appears. It must be really cold on set though, as Katie always seemed to be a bit chilly in her thin, clingy outfits. The same thing happened with Kirsten Dunst in Spiderman. Probably just a coincidence rather than some prurient scheme to sell more tickets to adolescent males. Probably.

Getting back to the film, I could yammer on about how Momento director Christopher Nolan kept the digital effects to a minimum in the fight scenes, and how the dialogue was just as entertaining as the frenetic action, but I won’t. I don’t get paid for this, so you’ll just have to see it for yourself. The bottom line is not to be scared off by the previous incarnations. Batman Begins is certainly worth your $9.

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