Batman Begins

Directed by Christopher Nolan

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Batman Begins

Batman series resets, with gritty results

Director: Christopher Nolan
Cinematography: Simon Margetts, Wally Pfister
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes
Studio information: Warner Home Video, 141 minutes
Original Theatrical Release: 2005
Extras: Character/weaponry gallery, 72-page comic book, more

Once your superhero franchise has served up a cackling, tights-wearing Jim Carrey

and a gun-toting, shoulder-pad-sporting Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s time to get back to basics, which is exactly why Batman Begins is a welcome change of pace. Not only do we see Gotham in the daylight, but Christian Bale may also be the first Bruce Wayne who’s more at home crouching in a monastery with his hair in his eyes than attending a dinner party for which he’d have to trim his nails. Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine are excellent in wry star turns, and the slick young man who throws a burlap sack over his head to become Hallucinogenic Gas Guy is easily the creepiest of the Batman villains. The missteps are at the half-hearted edges: the secret über-bad-guy is a let-down, Katie Holmes is merely a pretty face, and Gotham, alas, is just another set to explode.

See Paste’s review of Batman: The 1943 Serial Collection.