YMMV / Batman Begins

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Rachel Dawes meant to be portrayed as a strong crusader of justice or a blind idealist in over her head? While the former seems to be the interpretation most fans wanted, the writing and Holmes' acting enforce the latter.
    • 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? Indeed, none of Bruce's public behavior lends itself to implying he's responsible enough to run the company.
    • The film itself isn't wholly clear on whether Joe Chill is a Sympathetic Murderer: besides that his desperation was driving him, was the reason he couldn't look an adult Bruce in the eyes a sign of his penitence, just plain cowardice, or a mixture? And did he really claim that Thomas Wayne "Begged. Like a dog", or was that simply Falcone cruelly twisting the knife to try and break Bruce's resolve? On the flipside, the film does make clear that while Bruce's inability to forgive him isn't wrong, his attempt at vengeance for catharsis isn't an acceptable option.
    • "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you." Justified loophole to Batman's one rule, or a cruel decision that equals the same as murder?
  • Base-Breaking Character: Rachel Dawes. Is she the moral center of the film and justified in not dating Bruce until his time as Batman is done, or is she a preachy character 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.
  • Critical Dissonance: 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, however, 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 Hero: As Honest Trailers pointed out, Bruce commits a lot of crimes in his pursuit of justice, including arson (burning down the League of Shadows dojo), vigilante interrogation, property damage (the aforementioned dojo arson, as well as many cars and buildings with the Tumbler), manslaughter (the people that died in the fire, including the fake Ra's Al Ghul, and Murder by Inaction (leaving the real Ra's Al Ghul for dead). This is something that is thankfully rectified in the sequels.
  • 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. However, he's doing things with the company that the Waynes would not have, so he's treated as an antagonist. The one objectively wrong thing he does is fire Fox, taunt him over it, and try to cover up the paper trail linking the stolen microwave emitter to Wayne Enterprises.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Joe Chill seems to get this a lot, with many saying he deserves sympathy points for not actively enjoying his needless murder of a boy's parents in front of him, even going so far as to call the deaths an accident. Even if that could apply to Thomas, which, granted, is debatable, Martha's death was anything but unintentional.
  • 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!
  • Fight Scene Failure: Watching this film after its two sequels (and Inception), it's glaringly obvious that Christopher Nolan was still getting the hang of doing fight scenes. The major action sequences are okay for the most part, but the early fight between Bruce and the League of Shadows is quite awkwardly shot and edited.
  • Genius Bonus: In this 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 Mefistofele, and since the story of this opera concerns the battle by between good and evil for a man's soul, it's eerily prescient. In the film, young Bruce – scared of the devil costumes and intense music – asks to be taken outside, where his parents are promptly mugged and killed. Therefore, the ideas of demons, death, and illusion are firmly linked in the boy's mind from then on.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • 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 Bruce returns as the Batman, the special treatment he accords to Falcone (using him as a prototype Bat Signal) is satisfying.
    • Chill gunning down Martha Wayne simply for screaming, and the murder of the Waynes in general; while the film still works to humanise him somewhat, it also makes clear that his actions are unforgivable and even Chill himself openly acknowledges this.
  • Narm Charm: 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!
  • 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.
  • Race Lift:
    • In the superhero film featuring Batman, white actor Liam Neeson plays Ra's al Ghul, who is traditionally depicted in Batman comics to be of Arab descent.
    • In the comics, Commissioner Loeb is white. He is played by black British actor Colin MacFarlane in the film.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: One major complaint about this movie is how the Scarecrow was treated. Despite being built up as a major threat, he gets gassed by Batman and is last seen in the movie getting Tased by Rachel.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Jonathan Crane is traditionally portrayed as a lanky, ugly man (That's even where the name comes from!), 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 mid-20s.
    • Averted with Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard/ Ra's Al Ghul. Liam Neeson already fit the mentor type due to usually playing good guys, but gets a chance to show off his abilities to play the villain after The Reveal.