I’ve just re-seen
Batman Begins. Its on the plane, the sound track is piss poor, the screen is tiny but these limitations only enhance the quality of the script & the drama of the story. This is what super-hero fiction is really about. As argued by the Captain, all the predecessor Batman stories remain cartoons (well they would be wouldn’t they) and we’ve been waiting for this story. I know I’m getting old, and I’d had a good airline lunch, but Thomas Wayne’s (Bruce/Batman’s dad) funeral scene made me a bit weepy, but the film really takes off as Rachel Dawes, Bruce’s childhood playmate lectures him on the need for the good to fight for justice and oppose criminals and fear. Fantastic! He proves that while he might be a slow listener, he did hear what she said, when he refuses to become an executioner in the monastery of the League of Shadows. It is however, Rachel’s speech on the need for good people to strive together, maybe without hope, and maybe believing one to be alone for good to prevail that is the moral centre of this film. It is Rachel’s certainty and implacable moral centre, and her continued attempt to make justice work as opposed to Rhas-Al-Ghul’s moral vacancy and genocidal mathematics that are the opposites between which the Batman (and hence the viewer) makes their choices.
It is this sort of moral dilemma that makes super-hero fiction, and especially the Batman. Unlike the others, he has no super-powers. He is human, the choices he makes are ones that we can also make, and he chooses justice, the side of the weak and the side of victims. He is a hero! Also because he makes these choices for good, the stories inspire – that’s why he is a hero, and this version of the story brings it home.
I know I shouldn’t, but the first bat signal, created by Batman, using Falcone’s (the Mafiosi) body on the searchlight worked for me. I wouldn’t want the man that did that after me.
Also this time I was able to see at least three nod’s to the film’s fictional predecessors. The first time Bruce (Batman) travels to the batcave, he goes through a book case as they did the Adam West version. During the car chase, the batmobile drops caltrops a la James Bond’s Aston Martin and the
I’m Batman, comes straight from Keaton on the 1989 i.e Burton’s Batman.
I shall definitely be watching it again on DVD so I can control me viewing speed, check out the extras. I’ll definitely be watching the next one. I’d love to say that only
X-Men has the same depth of story, but I’ve yet to see
The Fantastic Four.
Originally posted on my sun/oracle blog, republished here in Feb 2016.