Movie Review: Batman Begins (2005)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2005 action movie starring Christian Bale and Katie Holmes.

Synopsis: Seeking to clean up the streets of Gotham City after his parents' were murdered, billionaire Bruce Wayne trains with Ra's Al Ghul and the League of Shadows. However, when he realizes the league's extremist goals differ from his own, he returns to Gotham City to fight crime on his own as Batman, a decision that puts him directly at odds with the League of Shadows' plan to wipe out the city.

Who's In It?


This was one of the rare movies my wife and I watched when it first came out at the theater and, for the most part, we enjoyed it. However, I had not seen the film in a while and, when I had an opportunity to do so last night (while waiting for her to get home from work), I decided to watch it again. As it turns out, my opinion of it is still the same as it was when I first saw it, it is one of the best superhero movies I've watched.

There are a couple things I really like about this film. The first is the fact it doesn't assume everyone knows Batman/Bruce Wayne's (Bale) backstory, a major pet peeve of mine when it comes to films in this genre. Yet, at the same time, while the movie takes the time to explain who he is and his motivations, it does it in a way that prevents the film from bogging down and seeming longer than it is.

I also was a huge fan of Neeson's performance as Ducard/Ra's Al Ghul. I've seen this character played by a couple different actors and his rendition is, by far, the best. Neeson played the character correctly, there was a hint of evil in him but, at the same time, he was still somewhat likable, partly because his motivation for wanting to destroy Gotham City did make a bit of sense (though it was, admittedly, extreme).

I did find I was a bit disappointed by the movie's other villain, Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy). This was mostly because he was essentially reduced to an almost sidekick-like level with Ra's Al Ghul being the main bad guy. Considering his ability's, it would have been nice to see him have a bit more of a prominent role and not see him get defeated (more than once) so easily. However, while I was disappointed about one of my favorite Batman villains, I did feel there was just enough overall villainy to keep the movie interesting.

Final Opinion

As I mentioned, it would have been nice to see a less watered down version of Scarecrow in this film but, overall, I thought this was a good movie. There's plenty of action in it and even the most casual viewer can follow along with the plot without feeling like they should be doing some research at their local comic book store. If you haven't seen this film, I do recommend it.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 10/25/2015, StevenHelmer
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