Patrick Bateman? More like Patrick BATMAN! Am I right, fellas?!?
REPPED: You can add Christian Bale to the Mount Rushmore of superhero performances because he brings legitimacy and nuance to Batman in a way that hadn’t been fully realized until Batman Begins! Bale has such a reverence for this character and it shows in every facet of his performance. He’s able to balance the playboy billionaire and brooding avenger in seamless fashion and they’re all consistent with the character’s comic book origins. While the bat nipples are long gone, we’ve entered another extreme on the other side of the spectrum: the bat voice. It makes sense for Bruce Wayne to change his voice when putting on the cowl, but it does feel a little goofy at some points. Despite that, Christian Bale’s Batman is menacing but vulnerable, smart but amateur and this still remains the peak live action version of Batman.
NEGGED: Most superhero films, with the exception of a few, have a villain problem and it’s an offense that not even Nolan can escape from. Having a seasoned thespian like Liam Neeson is always a plus and he’s great as the mentor, but he’s not in it enough to make a lasting impression. The character of Ducard is interesting because he’s the inverse of Bruce Wayne’s father, Thomas Wayne. While Thomas Wayne is rich and benevolent, Ducard is a much gruffer father figure to Bruce and serves as the essential piece to Bruce’s eventual turn as Batman. Of course, every superhero film needs a villain with an evil plan, but introducing the real villain near the end of the second act never makes him a true menace to Batman.
FINAL VERDICT: This isn’t simply a movie about a rich guy becoming a superhero, it’s about a broken man learning to come to terms with his guilt and fear. Batman Begins felt like the first Batman film where Batman was the most compelling part of the film and not the villains. Nolan and Bale tackled this source material with respect for the character and in doing so they created a compelling character drama under the guise of a comic book film. This still remains one of my all time favorite superhero films of all time!