View Full Version : Ebert: Batman Begins = ****

Dr Mordrid
14th June 2005, 09:25
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times says this;


Unlike the earlier films, which delighted in extravagant special-effects action, "Batman Begins" is shrouded in shadow; instead of high-detail, sharp-edged special effects, we get obscure developments in fog and smoke, reinforced by a superb sound-effects design. And Wayne himself is a slow learner, clumsy at times, taking foolish chances, inventing Batman as he goes along.

This is at last the Batman movie I've been waiting for. The character resonates more deeply with me than the other comic superheroes, perhaps because when I discovered him as a child, he seemed darker and more grown-up than the cheerful Superman.
The Chicago Tribune had this to say;

Director-co-writer Christopher Nolan ("Memento") transforms it into one of the artier, more noir-drenched, psychologically tortured and memorable of all the recent big comic-book-hero movies.

It's the best of the Batman series since director Tim Burton moved on after 1992: a violently kinetic, eerie portrait of a revenge-driven, two-faced hero -- frivolous playboy socialite Bruce Wayne by day and masked crime-fighter Batman by night -- waging pathological warfare against the fiendish master criminals who have turned Gotham City (partly re-created in Chicago) into hell on Earth. That horrific rogue's gallery includes brutal mob boss Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson), smarmy Dr. Jonathan Crane, alias "The Scarecrow" ("28 Days Later's" Cillian Murphy) and the Enron-style corporate snake trying to steal Wayne Industries, nefarious Richard Earle (Rutger Hauer). As if that weren't enough, the Joker leaves his calling card by the film's end.

The Detroit Free Press;

"Batman Begins" is not the movie of this unrequited Batman-lover's dreams, but my movie will never get made.

It would be a black-and-white film noir, set in the 1940s, with no special effects whatsoever (except those performed by stuntmen). It would be directed by someone very guilt-ridden: Martin Scorsese.


I would however, have no problem keeping Christian Bale, who plays the Dark Knight in this strong, clever revisionist imagining of Batman's origins directed by Christopher Nolan and written by Nolan and David S. Goyer, who grew up in Michigan obsessed by Batman and other comics. Goyer was chosen as much for his fandom as his resume, which includes adapting the "Blade" comic for film. The major contribution he has made is keeping Batman grounded.


This is not a quipping, winking, posing Batman. About his only attempt at wit is when a high-tech visionary at Wayne Enterprises, which Bruce Wayne (Bale) has lost control of, shows him a boxy, prototype assault vehicle the company developed, then shelved: "Does it come in black?" asks Bruce, thinking symbolic.


It's hard to imagine anyone under the age of 12 following any of this, but the truth is, "Batman Begins" isn't kid stuff anyway. As the PG-13 rating would make clear if anyone believed the ratings these days, this is a grown-up comic book movie, with no comedy. Though it has none of the gore or nastiness of "Sin City," Nolan has purposely sacrificed the over-the-top "fun" and fantastical elements of the previous films to keep "Batman Begins" rooted in logic and reality. Those who like to pick these films apart for consistency will find precious little to gloat about.
Other reviews seem to go along similar lines, with a few like the Detroit News not liking Katie Holmes becuse she "looks too young" to be a prosecutor and other such nonsense. Otherwise it looks like a winner.

The biggest criticism of Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne?

He's too humorless, as if that's a problem when we're talking about Batman :confused:

Dr. Mordrid

14th June 2005, 10:00
Critics looking for "humor" in this movie?

It would be like asking for a heroine in "Saving Private Ryan": it's not what this movie is about, friends.

14th June 2005, 10:52
You know because all heroes should throw out one line wise cracks everytime they beat up a thug ala McBain in The Simpsons:

Ice to see you.