Batman Begins is the origin story of Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), better known as Batman. The film follows Bruce from a child, developing his fear of bats and witnessing the brutal murder of his parents in the back alleys of Gotham, his training with the league of shadows all the way to his first act of saving Gotham city from a poisonous toxin attack as Batman. This already separates Batman Begins from every single live action batman film before it. We actually truly care and understand the Bruce Wayne aspect of the character within the first 20 minutes of the film, setting Bruce up as a prisoner in an unnamed camp, a trainee under Ra’s (Liam Neeson) mentorship and a broken human. That is something that Christian Bale excels in for the entire trilogy and especially this film, he understands that Bruce Wayne is really a facade for Batman, they’re separate characters and he plays them to a tee. Bale is the most complex and yes, I’m going to say it, BEST, Batman to ever hit the silver screen. He’s believable as a playboy billionaire, a broken man and a crime fighting bad ass… however, that could change come March 24th.
Now, let's take a look at the real heroes of this film (yes that was a Deadpool reference in a Batman Review, calm down Liam), director Christopher Nolan and co-screenwriter David S Goyer. Both Nolan and Goyer rejuvenate life back into the Batman franchise with a film focused more on story and characters then explosive action. Christopher Nolan brings the darkness, mood and grittiness that has always been sitting there in the comics just waiting, begging, screaming, to be put on screen and he just does it so well. The mess that is Gotham City is captured beautifully by frequent Nolan collaborator Wally Pfister, who relishes in the darkness of the film. It all feels real, tangible, like this could actually be happening somewhere in the world as I type this very sentence.
Now, you couldn’t have possibly thought I'd talk about Batman Begins without mentioning Hans Zimmer’s and John Newton Howard’s superb score, could you? Zimmer and Newton’s score for Batman Begins is brilliant. It encompasses the darkness, the epic moments and the tragedy of the character and the world, and it does what any great film score should do, go mainly unnoticed, but elevate the scenes to a new height when it is used. Zimmer and Nolan are probably one of my favourite cinematic relationships in Hollywood. My favourite track from the Batman Begins score is probably ‘Corynorhinus’, it’s exceptional and emotionally charged. Zimmer’s score’s for Batman only get better from here (hint hint The Dark Knight).