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Monday, June 27, 2005

batman begins again

I just got back from seeing “Batman Begins” for the second time, along with jmc and his lovely wife. It’s definitely the best of all the Batman movies so far, and even one of the best superhero movies ever, with excellent actors, a fine plot and script and great direction.

I’m a big comic book fan from way back so my review is from the fan boy perspective. The movie spends a lot of time on Batman’s origin and it pays off later, both in believability and plot turns. By the time Bruce Wayne first appears in costume, the background story has you believing as much as possible that maybe, just maybe, a billionaire orphan might be motivated and capable of pulling off a stunt like that.

After the costumes come out, believability is always tough to maintain, but the only other costumed character is the Scarecrow and his outfit (only a mask, really) is given a plausible background (basically a gas mask). The director also makes a wise choice in how he shows Batman in the movie. Very rarely do we see him in full. Instead, Batman is shot as if he were a monster in a horror movie, so that audience gets a feel for how he might be perceived by the criminals he fights.

I’ve seen reviews of the movie from conservatives and leftists, both trying to make the case that it supports their point of view, but as far as I can tell, the politics of the movie is somewhere between muddled and non-existent. Bruce Wayne’s father is clearly a limosine leftist, but that’s the only explicit attempt at politics. There is also a minor character named after a libertarian writer, but that is so obscure that I wonder if the filmmakers were even aware of his origin when they pulled that villain from the comic books.

All in all, a big thumbs up!

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