Batman Begins–Before You See It

Ed. Note:  I labeled this a before you see it review because there aren’t many spoilers in a Hollywood blockbuster.  However, if you really don’t want to know anything before watching this movie, then you may want to read this after.  Consider yourself forewarned. 

                                                                                                                                        3:48 a.m.    7/3/4/05

j0384730I am Batman. No, I’m not, but I did see Batman Begins last night, and in a movie theater, to boot. My favorite movie theater with its faux theatre look and organ player. I even bought a thing of popcorn, though I smuggled in my own water. I am not paying three dollars for twenty ounces of water-no way. Anyway, I went with a friend who’d already seen it but wanted to see it again. I settled in, not expecting much. Why? First of all, I knew Batman wasn’t going to die-nor anyone close to him save for his parents early on-which takes a lot of tension out of the movie. I mean, it’s hard to get too worked up when he’s in trouble knowing that he’ll make it out of there alive.

The other great thing about this theater-The Heights-is that they had two previews, no commercials, then the movie. How great is that? Unfortunately, some idiot took his daughter to the movie-eight or nine, I would say-and she wouldn’t stop talking during the movie. Most of it was asking what the hell was going on, and it got on my nerves. This isn’t a children’s movie, and it would have been better if he rented it when it came out on DVD if he wanted to show it to her. I’m one of those people who can’t block out external stimuli, so I had a hard time concentrating on the movie. I tried to block them out, but I couldn’t. What kind of example is that for a father to allow his daughter to talk during a movie? Sheesh.

Anyway, first we have THE BATS! When they fly at Bruce Wayne, the woman on the right of me nearly jumped into her man’s lap. Her jump is the best part of the movie experience, bar none. I love bats so I’m glad to see them make more than one or two appearances in the movie. Follow my thoughts during the movie.

What the hell? I didn’t know this was a HK action flick! Oh, sure, the white man beats the Asians in kung fu, AGAIN! Why does this always happen? What is that thing on Christian Bale’s face on the side of his nose? A huge mole. It’s distracting. Oh, it’s Liam Neeson. He looks good. I’m glad he’s a bad guy for once. How did he get in Bruce Wayne’s (Christian Bale) cell? Here we go!

Oh, Ken Watanabe. What’s up with the bad makeup and the bad acting? Ooooh, ninjas. I like ninjas. Lots of fighting. Nice body, Christian Bale. Not as excited about the face, but that’s ok. More fighting, a few laughs, then Bruce betrays the brotherhood because he’s not a killer. He flees back to America to resume his role as rightful heir to the Wayne fortune, but with the added bonus of wearing all black at night and getting to play with some really cool gadgets, dreamed up by Fox (Morgan Freeman), a forgotten man in the Wayne corporation.

Katie Holmes’ eyes are weird. Her lips are too big. Would an assistant DA really wear that kind of outfit? Who plays her boss? He looks familiar. Well, let me look it up on….Give me a sec….Damn dial-up….It would help if I remembered his name in the movie. Ok. Seems to be a guy by the name of Larry Holden (Irish!) as Finch. He was in Memento, which is probably where I saw him. Anyway, back to the program. Who is Rachel Dawes (Holmes) to tell off Bruce when he plans on killing the man (Richard Brake) who killed his parents? Dang, she slapped him! Twice! Bitch. Isn’t she too young to be an assistant DA? Hm.

Overacting, overacting, ah, Michael Caine as Alfred. Lord, is he good. He is the backbone of this movie, really. I love that most of this movie is done at night and the sepulchral overtones. It’s gorgeously done. Ew! Dr. Crane (Cillian Murphy) is so freaky looking! No, not as the Scarecrow, but as himself. He looks kind of like the guy in Smallville-you know, the one who plays Superman-but exaggerated. His lips are too girly, his eyes are too something. Everything about him is just a bit off. Looks-wise, I mean. His acting is great. Supercilious and spooky. Perfect combination.

What’s up with the voice, Batman? It’s highly irritating. Bale is convincing as both the moody Dark Knight and the fluffy playboy. The scene where he shows up at some function with a sports’ car and two babes is hilarious. I wasn’t expecting this movie to be so funny, but I’m glad it is. Humor and darkness entwine together so beautifully. More bats. They are majestic as they fly. Oh! Batman just gave something to a little boy. I bet that’ll be important later on. When does Liam come back? I can’t believe Gary Oldman (Jim Gordan) in this movie! He’s usually the bad guy or the freak, but he’s the good guy in this one. He does a great job as a solid, morally-upright man who is pained by the decay of his city. His New York accent is pretty good, too. The fact that most of the main characters are from the U.K. is pretty negligible here as they all do a bang-up job of imitating Americans.

Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson) is so damn ugly. Hey, wait, how can he be thrown behind bars so soon? The movie isn’t even half-over yet! I like the way Batman drapes Falcone on the spotlight, making the outline of a bat in the sky. Cool. Why doesn’t anyone suspect that Bruce is Batman? Especially Rachel? That’s not very believable. Oh well. Munch, munch, munch. Whew! I’m glad Morgan is playing a role a bit outside the ‘wise old Negro giving sage advice to young white man’. Instead, he’s giving him toys! Lots and lots of toys! See, the Dark Knight is James Bond but in a mask. Fox (Freeman) is his Q. I only know it’s Q because I read it in another review, though I thought of the James Bond thing while watching the movie.

More stuff, more stuff, more stuff. Mmmm, Liam’s back. He looks so fucking hot in that suit. Why aren’t there Asians in the Brotherhood? Besides the main guy-Watanabe-who dies early on. How can an inoculation work so quickly and after the fact? Hm. Shouldn’t the boy be seeing things, too, since he doesn’t have the antidote? Why doesn’t he use the thing Batman gave him to get out of the bad situation? Why doesn’t Rachel now realize that Bruce is Batman without him having to give her a big fat clue? Oh, earlier, how do the cops stick to Batman’s tail? Why isn’t he using the hyperdrive? You telling me that his car can’t ditch a few cops? To add insult to injury, I’m supposed to believe that no one died? Yeah, right.

Back to the end of the movie. Wait, I don’t get this whole main pipe pressure thing. Oh, and the microwave thing? That just makes me laugh. They should have given it a different name. Ohhh, Rachel’s nipples again! I read a review that posited the director saying, ‘Turn down the heat. Katie’s nipples aren’t showing through her shirt.’ I thought that was funny, but it’s pretty much true, especially if you’re looking for it. Oh, will Batman survive? Will Liam die? Need I ask? Whoosh! We’re home free. Rachel kisses Bruce before dumping him-of a sorts-which is fine because she’s not strong enough to be with him. She should be able to kick some ass, not just use her Taser thing. I heard they’re not using her in the second movie because they want a stronger actor as Batman’s girlfriend. Yay! I thought Liam had a chance of making it out of the train alive until it exploded.

So, do I recommend it for your Netflix Queue? Yeah, sure, when it comes out. It’s entertaining and mostly taut pacing. Sure, there’s nothing unpredictable about it, but it’s darker than most other Batman stuff, which is appreciated. Batman has always been a favorite of mine because he’s the only superhero with no powers, and he wears black. Throw in the fact that he has a nice bod and is broody as well, and that takes him to a whole ‘nother level. I don’t recommend you spend the nine bucks to see it in the theater, however, except that the action is so much better in a theater than on a television screen. Either way, go ahead and watch the Dark Knight the way he is meant to be.

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