YMMV: Batman Begins

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Depending on how you interpret some of the Crane's dialogue, he could be a case of Even Evil Has Standards. When Falcone says there's "an answer" to idealistic prosecutors, Crane says he doesn't want to know. Is it indignation, or just fear of the potential consequences of knowing that information? When Ducard says that Crane thought the league's plan was to hold Gotham to ransom, does this mean he wouldn't have supported genocide, or that he only got involved because he saw something in it for him?
      • In answer to the first question, it is a pretty clear case of him covering his own ass. If he knows what Falcone intends to do to Rachel, then he is also an accessory to that crime. If he does not, he can claim that he though Falcone was just going to threaten her or something. That's why Falcone says "Yes you do. [Want to know]" He knows what Crane's up to, and wants him to share the risk.
      • "Yes you do" means that he recognizes that Crane is a Sadist. On the one hand Crane is Genre Savvy enough to know that the less he knows about what happens to Rachel Dawes, the less he has to lie about it later; on the other hand, Crane is a sick bastard who hates her and the idea that she died some horrible death makes him smile.
    • The CEO who takes over Wayne Enterprises after Thomas & Martha's deaths can fall victim to this. Is he a Jerkass Regent for Life for refusing to hand the company over to Bruce; or is he justified in not handing the company over to Bruce, as young Master Wayne was pronounced dead several years ago and has no experience in the business world? Is he a Jerkass for firing Lucius Fox, or is he simply cutting costs by ditching a division that's losing them money? See Informed Wrongness below as well.
    • And, perhaps most of all, whether Joe Chill genuinely meant it when he claimed to regret shooting Bruce's parents. Falcone claims Chill told him Thomas "begged like a dog", but is he to be believed?
  • Base Breaker: Rachel Dawes. Is she the moral center of the film, and justified in not dating Bruce until his time as Batman is done, or a preachy Purity Sue who seems to be in love with an idealization of Bruce, not the real man (and vice versa - Bruce is in love with an idealization of Rachel but not the woman herself)? This only upped with The Dark Knight.
    • It doesn't help that she's apparently meant to be a tough, crusading career woman but due to Katie Holmes feeling more like a high school cheerleader trying to hang out with the big kids, Rachel ends up feeling more like a naive twit who's in way over her head.
  • Broken Aesop: Bruce Wayne in his training to become Batman, is ordered to kill a criminal that the League of Shadows arrested, but re refuses since he decided he will not be an executioner, the moral is If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him, but to escape the temple without having to kill the criminal, he intentionally burns the whole temple down, presumably killing many people there, maybe even the criminal he was ordered to kill in the first place.
  • Broken Base: "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you." Justified loophole to Batman's one rule, or cruel decision that equals the same as murder?
  • Critical Dissonance/Vindicated by History: Despite an overall Rotten Tomatoes approval rating of 85%, Batman Begins holds a rather mixed percentage of 62% from the site's Top Critics (i.e., main news publications and magazines), with critics jarred by the serious tone of the film, although some like Roger Ebert gave the film rave reviews. Since then, the film has become highly regarded in light of the genre becoming more respected within the industry, particularly once people saw what The Dark Knight built on top of the foundation of Begins.
  • Designated Love Interest: The general opinion towards Rachel Dawes.
  • Designated Villain: William Earle, the Wayne Enterprises CEO. As Centives this article discusses, most of the business decisions he makes during the film are perfectly legitimate, he seems to honestly care for the Wayne family but balances it with intelligent business management, and we have no evidence he's helping the villains or doing anything else illegal. The one wrong thing he does is fire Fox and try to cover up the paper trail linking the stolen microwave emitter to Wayne Enterprises, but that alone doesn't justify Bruce's decision to fire him without telling him.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Minor example. Many people are well aware of the odd, almost memetic, gravelly voice Christian Bale uses when Wayne is in his Batman persona. It's very pronounced in the two sequels, but if you watch this film, you'll see that Bale hardly uses the gravelly voice at all! He mostly only speaks in a slight whisper.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Cillian Murphy's chilling performance as Dr. Jonathan Crane is widely considered to be the best thing about the film - and he's many filmgoers' favorite villain of the trilogy, or even the Batman franchise as a whole!
  • First Installment Wins: Inverted; the movie's two sequels were what drew attention to The Dark Knight Saga.
    • Played straight for those who felt underwhelmed by the sequels' lacks of gritty atmosphere that was noticable in the Begins.
  • Genius Bonus: In the film's version of Batman's origin story, the reason young Bruce and his parents are in central Gotham on the night the latter get shot, is to see an opera. The opera is Die Fledermaus, and since the story of this opera concerns a young man's pursuit of vengeance and involves him being dressed as a bat (Fledermaus is German for 'bat'), it's eerily prescient. In the film, young Bruce, scared of the bat costumes and intense music, asks to be taken outside - where his parents are promptly mugged and killed. Therefore the ideas of bats, vengeance and fear are firmly linked in the boy's mind from then on... Recognizing the relevance of the opera is a bonus in itself, but the real bonus is a humorous one: Die Fledermaus is actually a lighthearted, comic opera full of songs about how nice champagne is. The plot in more detail is about a man getting even with his friends for dressing him up as a bat when he was drunk on his stag-night. The film presents the opera scenes as overpowering and intense, and the general impression of opera as always being tragic and intense, we can understand why a small boy might be freaked out. But once you know he was simply watching a funny, light farce, you start to wonder if Bruce is just a little wussy.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • While exploring an underground cave, Bruce wears a bright, circular light on his chest. Sorta like a later billionaire turned superhero...note 
    • The same Liam Neeson quote above can also become funny in hindsight if taking the wording into account.
    —>Ducard: Once I had a wife... my great love... she was taken from me.
  • Memetic Mutation: After Game of Thrones started, it's now popular to yell at Batman for not letting Joffrey die.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The League Of Shadows crosses this upon actually dispersing Crane's fear toxin. Their claims earlier on that Gotham was beyond saving could have been interpreted as a Secret Test of Character, and if not, there was nothing in the movie that could rule out them being convinced otherwise... and then when they explained their means of destroying it there was nothing to rule out that they could have been talked out of THAT. But once they actually went through with said means of destruction, they were definitely beyond redemption like they claimed Gotham to be.
    • Falcone crosses it by having a female assassin disguised as a reporter ice Joe Chill and, when Bruce Wayne confronts him about it, taunts him about the death of his parents before eighty-sixing him. When he returns as the Batman, the special treatment he accords to Falcone (using him as a prototype Bat Signal) is satisfying.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • The Scarecrow attempting to poison Gotham's water supply with fear gas? He also tried that in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Dreams in Darkness".
    • Scarecrow seeing a demon Batman after being dosed on his own fear gas also happened in Batman:TAS, specifically his debut, "Nothing to Fear".
  • One-Scene Wonder: "Demon Batman", that is, Batman from the POV of a fear-gassed Crane.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Definitely better than most and it had some very unique and innovative ideas for a Licensed Game (not to mention full participation from its All-Star Cast), but it was still considered average at best. On the bright side, it went on to greatly inspire the Batman: Arkham Series, which averts this in every way possible.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Well, it's actually more a case of bad lines than bad film (the film itself happens to be a good start to a perfect trilogy), but Shane Rimmer's lines as a water technician as Ra's Al Ghul's train hurtles towards him are perhaps the clunkiest and worst-written in the entire franchise. Fans of RiffTrax can almost hear Mike say "got that audience?" in the background. Nevertheless, he puts the required effort into them, and the audience feels happy when he survives.
    Old Water Technician: The pressure's coming straight for the main hub under Wayne Tower, and if that pressure reaches us, the whole water supply, right across the city is gonna blow!
    Old Water Technician: Evacuate the building. We're right on top of the main hub, and it's gonna blow!
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Jonathan Crane is traditionally portrayed as a lanky, ugly man, so having pretty boy Cillian Murphy play him can be jarring for comic fans. However, it works and arguably Crane's insanity is even more disturbing when covered up by a pretty face.
    • Katie Holmes as Rachel. Not that she does a bad job per se, but rather that she looks way too young to sell the hardened career woman seeking justice that she's supposed to be. After all, Rachel is supposed to be around 30, but in 2005 Holmes was still in her early 20s.