I can describe Batman Begins in two words...
And for those of you who don't consider yourselves geeks, you'll love it, too. Just ask my wife who went with me yesterday as we finally got around to seeing a movie I have been drooling over for two years now.
Was it worth the hype and buildup of anticipation? You're damn skippy it was!
It was dark, it was twisted, it was evil, it was everything that Batman is supposed to be. Finally.
Christian Bale owns this movie. He IS Batman with no uncertainty whatsoever. He was born to play this role. I was stoked when I found out some time ago that he was cast as the Bat. After seeing how dark a character he could play in movies such as American Psycho and Shaft, I knew he would be good. Yet, he has this charm and debonair quality to him that you just can't help but love. No wonder he can do films like those and still be liked by the movie-viewing public. I think as far as many people are concerned, he is always going to be that wide-eyed kid from Empire of the Sun, although he is doing his damnedest to shed that image.
But what surprised me entirely was that there was nary a character in the movie that wasn't good. Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson, Tom Wilkinson... you name it. In past Bat flicks, the supporting characters really got the script shaft. They were just in it so the producers could say that they included such and such important character from the original storylines.
The villains were decent in the original films, but they got worse as the franchise continued. In Batman, Jack Nicholson was spectacular as the Joker. In Batman Returns, both Danny DeVito and Michelle Pfeiffer were enjoyable as the Penguin and Catwoman, respectively (duh). However, the Riddler (Jim Carrey) and Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) were merely tolerable in Joel Schumacher's first outing in Batman Forever. By Batman & Robin, forget about it. Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) were terrible. Heck that whole movie was so bad I could never finish it.
This film, however, brings the franchise back to life and brings it as close to Frank Miller's Dark Knight comics as has ever been achieved on celluloid. You are left wanting more and they dangle the bait right in front of you at the end of the film like a rabbit on a greyhound track. And I know so many of us that will be continually racing around that track until that sequel finally comes out.
Thankfully, they've already locked up Bale, Freeman, and Caine for a second, and, as has been rumored, a third movie, too.
Will I be there for the opening weekend of the next Batman movie (instead of the second weekend)? If they cast who rumors say they want to cast for the next baddie (read only if you can handle spoilers; personally I want to see either PB or MH), I sure as hell will be.
What am I saying? I'll be there opening weekend regardless of who they cast.
This is what summer movie going is all about.