Christian Bale: Batman has been portrayed in many ways by various different actors throughout the past few decades. From Adam West’s portrayal of the caped crusader in the 60s to Keaton’s great turn as The Dark Knight in the 80s and now Pattinson donning the cape in 2022, there have been no shortages of nuanced and iconic takes on the beloved superhero. But Christian Bale’s performance as the Bat of Gotham as well as Bruce Wayne has arguably been the best. Not only is his “I’m Batman” one of the most iconic and memorable lines in all of cinema history but the way he carried multiple personas around different characters like Batman usually does and excelled at every single one of them. He was intimidating and threatening but he was also someone you could feel so much for. A tortured individual whose parents’ death still weighed heavily on him. His character was shown as someone who is by no means fearless or invincible and he plays that part perfectly and phenomenally. He brought everything about his version of the character to the forefront and did not miss a beat. It is because of his brilliant performance that you will see how his actions and emotions are motivated and affected by the acts of others as well as his will to save those he loves. His portrayal is the heart of the movie.
The Perfect Ensemble: Batman Begins also had the most perfect Alfred played by the legendary Michael Caine. And, one of the greatest Batman villains of all time, Ra’s Al Ghul was brought to life by Liam Neeson who thrived on this menacing role as the leader of League of Shadows. Neeson was able to skillfully capture and convey the mentality and the vision of a complex character such as Ra’s with a level of pure sophistication.
Before Cillian Murphy was busy kicking ass as Tommy Shelby on Peaky Blinders, he did a stellar job of playing a classic Batman villain, Scarecrow. And besides his angelic voice, Morgan Freeman brought heart, humor, and a friendly presence as Lucius Fox. Katie Holmes’s Rachel Dawes had undeniable chemistry with both Bruce and Alfred. And if that is not enough, even Joffrey Baratheon was in this movie.
Character Dynamics, Solid Action, and Perfect Mix of Tone: Batman in itself is a very rich character whatever the iteration might be, and has lots of aspects to explore but what makes Batman Begins so good is the character dynamics in this movie. One of the most notable of them being the classic Batman saga relationship between Alfred and Bruce. We see Bruce putting himself in death’s path in order to keep Gotham safe while Alfred being the man who would put Bruce above all and wants nothing other than happiness for Bruce. That has been conveyed so beautifully and lies at the heart of the trilogy as well. And as I said earlier Rachel Dawes does a brilliant job of being Bruce’s only friend. The movie is dark as obviously a Batman movie should be but it has enough lighter and sarcastic moments especially between Lucius and Bruce that really lightens the mood and make you feel relaxed a bit. And certainly so, the action is raw and solid, from Bruce’s training session with Ra’s to him fighting crime in the streets of Gotham slowly becoming the guardian angel of the city, it’s all be done like a perfect action crime movie.
More than Batman: This is not just a story about Batman, it’s also about Bruce Wayne. Batman Begins shows that Bruce is more than Batman. Throughout the movie, we see his billionaire playboy persona as well as his real persona who is battling and still struggling with the death of his parents. One of the most iconic moments from any superhero movie ever will forever be from this movie when Batman saves Joffrey Baratheon and Rachel asks him who is he and he answers by saying, “It’s not who I am underneath but it’s what I do that defines me” which was a callback to the time when Bruce was partying like his usual playboy self and Rachel sees him like that, so he tries to explain that this is not him and underneath all that he is a good man, to which Rachel says, “It’s not who you are underneath Bruce, it’s what you do that defines you.” It is humane moments like this that make this movie what it is. A forever classic.
A Perfect Origin Story: The early 2000s was a time of superhero origin stories and there could have most certainly been fatigue on that specific story but Batman Begins did not feel like it, it brought something new to the table. It felt fresh and new even in its style as it kept going forward and backward at different instances of time showing Bruce at different stages of life and showing his growth from those stages as well as his emotional state during that time as he deals with the grief that has surrounded him his whole life. The movie is very much a psychological war in Bruce’s mind and we get to see so many different sides of him. Bruce’s own weaknesses add multiple layers to his character. We also get a pretty deep look at his and Batman’s psyche and get to see what drove him towards his no-kill rule. We see his ideology, motivation, and everything surrounding it and it all works so well and these all elements combine to become a perfect origin story.
What do you think makes Batman Begins so damn good? Comment below and let us know.