The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

faith restored

After all that anticipation, Batman Begins was a fantastic romp, complete with the believably good looking Mr Bale and a really rather good supporting cast. The Man In The Comfy Chair didn't enjoy it, but then I've always been more into Movie Trash than him.

The film fronts up to the fact that anyone who runs around at night in a bat suit has got to be a bit scarred emotionally, which is refreshing. There's no pretence that Batman is somehow superhuman or invulnerable (I'm sure I wasn't the only person in the cinema who winced when he stuffed-up a jump off a building - it looked truly painful). His motivation, and what makes him different from your run-of-the-mill vigilante, are both explored, perhaps not as fully as needed, but then this is still a Hollywood film.

It was dark, but it was also funny - the humour was more as if the characters had a sense of humour than the writers, if that makes sense. Natural rather than forced probably puts it better.

The vision of the city was great - very stylistically similar to the animated series I used to gobble up when I was younger. Of course there are silly moments and plot holes (when Alfred got into the future Bat Cave without crumpling his suit and I pointed this out to TMITCC, he turned to me and said "is this the first time you've noticed something absurd in this movie?") but they're not so bad that they distract much. I thought the car chase scene was too long, but then maybe that was just more realistic (and it was a nice touch showing it being replayed on the telly too).

I haven't read the relevant comics but am very curious about the League of Shadows - a secret society that deals to corrupt civilisations when they think it's time to kill them off. It would be interesting to look at the weapons they have used for this over the centuries - there is some reference, in the film, to an attempt to use "economics" on Gotham.

I'm not sure I want this reinvention of the franchise to continue (that way lies disappointment sooner or later) but at least there wasn't a padded codpiece to be seen anywhere.


Aaron Bhatnagar said...

From Bateman to Batman - he's a heck of an actor. Although, Christian Bale will to me always be remembered as "Patrick Bateman" for his dialogue with "Paul Allen" in American Psycho when he has the drunk Paul Allen awaiting the wrath of his axe in his Manhattan Apartment.

Xavier said...

Some of us may *like* stuffed codpieces, span!

span said...

really X? even on Chris O'Donnell?

may i then recommend a rewatch of that 80s classic Labyrinth - Mr Bowie's trousers always disturbed me as a child.

In regard to American Psycho - it's a movie I thought I would hate and I really, well enjoyed is the wrong word but... I liked it. Particularly the Huey Lewis and the News critique, and also at the end, Bale's confusion is just perfectly done. Quite hanging out to see The Machinist, which is supposed to be brilliant, once we replace our dvd player.

Rover said...

Useless factoid 101:

Christan Bale became famous when he played the central role in "empire of the sun" as the kid caught up in war.

A young Ben Stiller was also in that film for a few minutes

span said...

ah but did you know that the guy who plays Bale's best friend in Reign of Fire (a Crap movie, despite the dragons and Mr Bale) was also in two other incredibly crap movies: Dracula 2000 (the fact that they didn't release it until 2001 really should have indicated to us just how awful it was) and Timeline (i learnt my lesson and avoided this one, it's gone straight to dvd).