Batman Begins (IMAX)
Looking at the origin of the caped crusader, “Batman Begins” follows the tragic death of his wealthy parents. Impacted by injustice, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) turns to the intense training of Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) but eventually breaks away from the order, preferring to fight for justice, not the destruction of evil. Wayne returns to crime-plagued Gotham and teams with the family butler, Alfred (Michael Caine), to begin his double life as a crime fighter. Wayne’s arsenal of gadgets is developed by Lucious Fox (Morgan Freeman), a faithful worker in the family business. Since the death of Wayne’s father, Gotham has become a cesspool of corruption with mobsters and corrupt law-enforcement officials. The D.A.’s office has a lone crime fighter in Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes) who was a childhood friend of Wayne. After years of separation, their paths cross again to bring peace to the city.
This seems to be the year of prequels. We just found out how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader and now we get to see how Bruce Wayne became Batman. This is by far the best Batman film of them all. Not only is Christian Bale more convincing in this role than any other actor who has played the caped crusader, but the entire film is more believable. While still being a “dark” film both literally and figuratively, Christopher Nolan hits the mark by not overdoing things. The fight scenes are believable and under control. You don’t have people jumping 30 feet in the air and then kicking someone. Nor do you have someone fighting overwhelming odds and not getting hurt. Nolan develops the story well, taking his time and letting you get to know the character and what makes him tick. You really get to see why Bruce Wayne takes on his alter ego, Batman. It all comes together and it all makes perfect sense. The only reason Dove cannot award the Dove Seal to this film is because one biblical profanity is used.
The use of language is really too bad because the film has some interesting perspectives and insights into society. Things like “What chance does Gotham have when good people do nothing?” Just like we saw in “Revenge of the Sith,” Batman is told, “Your anger gives you great power, but it can also destroy you.” Henri Ducard’s view of being too lenient on criminals is that “criminals thrive on society’s understanding.” One of the classic lines in the film comes from Batman when he is asked “What’s that?” He responds, “Backup.” You will understand and hopefully agree if you see the film.