Batman Begins is even better today than it was in 2005, and that is saying something. The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises elevate it a surprising amount. The first half, where Bruce Wayne confronts his feelings about his past and trains to save Gotham from its criminals, is one of the best origin stories in a superhero movie. The second half is good, exciting, fast paced Batman action. The acting, writing, and casting are almost perfect. The weak link, of course, is Katie Holmes' Rachel Dawes. The character is preachy and annoying, and Holmes' poor performance stands out like a sore thumb among all the fantastic acting going on around her. Another problem is the way the fight scenes are shot, so close up and choppy that it is hard to see what is happening. This works much of the time, because Batman is like a mythical version of a ninja whose movements are unpredictible and unknowable. But in the climax, when Batman is taking on equals, that way of shooting is misplaced. Other than that the action is great though. At first I hated Bale's Batman voice-give me Kevin Conroy any day. But I realized that it serves it's purpose very well. It would scare criminals, and no one would ever recognize it as belonging to Bruce Wayne. So now I'm cool with it, though for some reason it was a hundred times better in the videogame version. Those are the only blemishes in Begins. The villains were perfect for the movie, Ra's (which should be pronounced Raish) as a reflection of what Bruce is trying to be and Scarecrow for the fear motif, and both are well utilized. But the focus is all on Bruce and Batman, where it should be in his origin story. A grounded, surprsingly realistic (given certain elements like the microwave emitter), all around well made movie.
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