Batman Begins Show more Show less
The film that paved the way for Nolan's trilogy is the best film in the series. It set the tone for Nolan's Batman universe and its success allowed Nolan to make a trilogy.
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Batman Begins is a love letter to his comic book origins
Batman embraces his origins and becomes a symbol of fear. The Batman of the first film is the most understandable Batman of the trilogy. He tries to stop organized crime to prevent the pain and trauma that he experienced as a kid from happening to anyone else.
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Batman Begins features the most stylized version of Gotham out of Nolan's trilogy, making the film look like a comic book come to life. In addition to the tone that the stylized setting establishes, Christian Bale's take on Batman adds character to the film. Bale's performance in Batman Begins is the most fierce and physical out of all three films and the subsequent films lack this tenacity. This vigor is true to the character as depicted in the comics, and adds to the tone that Nolan is establishing. Batman Begins also relies on more obscure villains than the other two films, allowing more time to be spent focusing on Batman himself. Batman is not only the protagonist, he is also the main character. The film is also able to handle multiple villains well, which speaks to how well written the story is. Batman is a character that will always have close ties to feelings of guilt and fear because of the trauma he experienced as a child. Batman Begins embraces this relationship with fear and guilt. Throughout the film, Bruce Wayne must confront his fears to save Gotham. He dresses up as Batman because he is scared of bats. He faces Scarecrow who uses gas to become his enemies' greatest fears. Bruce uses all of these encounters with fear, as well as the guilt of doing nothing as his parents were murdered, to save Gotham. Batman Begins understands that fear and guilt are what makes Bruce Wayne Batman, and the use of these themes elevates the film above the others in the trilogy.
While the film does focus on Bruce Wayne's motivation for fighting a one-man war on organized crime, some of the sequences in which he does so are shot poorly. This was an artistic choice on Nolan's part to add a sense of chaos and confusion to the action. However, it doesn't work well. It interrupts the rhythm of the film and rather than allowing the audience to experience the fear from the henchmen's point of view, it takes the audience out of the film. Due to the choppy nature of the action scenes, this film is not the best in the trilogy.