Batman Begins (***)
I want to give Batman Begins the full 4 stars because overall I enjoyed the movie, but the action scenes really did not meet my expectations. I say wait for a Saturday night rental instead of watching it at the theater.
I know better than to go to a movie with expectations, but I had been looking forward to this movie since I heard it was being made. Batman is one of my favorite superheroes because he has no super powers, he is human and mortal and yet accomplishes so much more.
The fighting in the movie looked very well choreographed but I as bothered by the poor angles in some of the fighting scenes. I understand that it was filmed that way because Batman is supposed to be swift and shadow like, but I think better filming of the fighting would have taken this movie to a whole new level.
The acting was all over the place in this movie, we had some great performances by Michael Caine, Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman did an ok job, but I really thought that Katie Holmes and Christian Bale both did not explore the full range of emotions that the characters they were playing could have had.
Batman felt somewhat flat, I am sure that the script called for a distant character but I really wanted to relate to him. It was hard to look at Bruce Wayne and felt empathy towards a rich boy that seemed to remove emotionally from the world… anger, revenge and fear were portrayed but what happened to compassion, caring and love. I really got the sense that Batman missed his parents, but I did not get the sense that he loved them or their “cause”.
Michael Caine as Alfred was superb. His comedic timing was just outstanding and he was more than comic relief, he was the conscience that Batman lacked. He kept Batman going when he wanted to give up in more than one occasion and showed true love for the boy. His sense of responsibility felt more real than the commitment portrayed by Batman.
Now my favorite character of all time in Batman slew of villains is Ra’s Al Ghul. Liam Neeson as (Ducard/Ra’s Al Ghul) did an excellent job. When I first heard the name mentioned in the movie I was surprised and excited. Ra’s Al Ghul is a villain that is driven by conviction and he teaches Batman so much. In a sense Batman’s quest in the movie to learn from the criminals culminates by training with one of the biggest one of them all. Scarecrow felt flat on his face, the character was already freaky looking without the mask… how can they make a face look that plastic.
I truly enjoyed the movie, and it is a must see for any Batman fan. Wait until it comes out on video if you have not dropped your hard earned cash already, the sound and picture in the theater would not do much difference for the enjoyment of this movie.