Batman Begins (2005)

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Christopher Nolan had already proved he could do characters and dialogue and in this latest reinvention of the classic comic book character, he proves emphatically that he can do action as well. Taking cues from Tim Burton’s previous attempt to bring the character back to its dark roots, Nolan’s vision is so gritty and believable it makes Burton’s film seem as comparatively camp as the Adam West TV series that preceded it.

This origin story has no radioactive spiders or associated silliness; just an intelligent examination of a man’s guilt and desire for revenge and the psychology of fear. This combined with unlimited resources that wealth can provide, Batman is born utilising some brilliant production design that not only looks fantastic, but also looks plausible. Christian Bale was the perfect choice for the role, bringing a single minded intensity to the character and is just as convincing in his Pimpernel-esque role as billionaire playboy. The supporting cast of genuine character actors including Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman add a lot of dramatic weight and the script is cleverly fleshed out.

Possibly the only flaws are the fact that although Liam Neeson and Cillian Murphy are both great it lacks a focal villain – something obviously rectified quite spectacularly by Heath Ledger in the sequel – and Katie Holmes is a bit of a dead zone but these gripes are insignificant compared to Nolan’s achievement in bringing Batman to believable life. For me, this is easily one of the best superhero movie ever made and it stands up handsomely to repeated viewings. A future classic.

9.5/10

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