Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: Batman Begins (2005)

It turned out that Christopher Nolan could exist in the mainstream quite comfortably and we could all breathe a sigh of relief. He sure wasn't afraid to sink further into it. In what seems like a huge risk in hindsight, he approaches the story of Bruce Wayne in a novel fashion, using a lot of the same narrative trickery from Memento and some pretty heavy themes given that this is about a man in a costume who punches bad guys (Like Leonard Shelby, Bruce IS the plague on Thebes). The efficiency of the first half is Nolan operating at full capacity, or at least very near it, so I'm not quite sure what happened to the second half. It's possible that killing off the Rachel Dawes character in the second act could have cleared up the action (it certainly would have helped The Dark Knight immensely). And yeah, sure, the suit looks a little dumb and the Tumbler is never cool, but they have little to do with how suddenly preachy and overbearing the film's characters get. Was there no better way to dispatch the villain than via one-liner that sounds like it belongs to a different superhero? Whew, good thing that news report says no cops died in that stupid, reckless chase through the city or I might have to question how good I am at doing my job. "Is this a time to joke, Alfred, when there's a flaming log on my chest?" Should we really let Gordon drive the Tumbler? Ehhhh. Of the three Nolan Batmans, this is the strongest stylistically, the weakest in content, a film I want to like more until I remember what happens in it.

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