Bizarre Noir #7: Batman Begins.

Welcome to the seventh (and final) of seven posts that will review bizarre noir movies! I hope you enjoyed the series. For more information or previous entries, check the posts below this one.

Batman Begins.

Year of Origin: 2005.

Director: Christopher Nolan.

Why it's bizarre: Superhero!

I’m sure you probably wouldn’t think of a Batman movie as noir, but it is. It has the majority of the common elements. Batman is a detective, for all intents and purposes. He always has a strong female counterpart. He has a troubled past, and he’s a troubled person. And there’s no darker or grittier of a setting than Gotham City. And it has never been grittier than in Batman Begins. Christopher Nolan’s revamp of the series takes us back to the very beginning on how and why Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) first became Batman. After leaving to discover the dirtiness of the world, Bruce is found by Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson), a spokesperson for a group known as the League of Shadows, led by Ra’s Al Ghul (Ken Watanabe). But when Bruce finds out what they’re really about, he backs out and returns home to Gotham to butler Alfred (Michael Caine) and childhood sweetheart Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes). But all is not well in Gotham. Crime is higher than ever with crime lord Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson) and the mysterious workings of asylum owner Jonathan Crane (Cillian Murphy). So Bruce, with the help of Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), gets the cool gadgets to use as Batman, and then gets the help of policeman Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) to help bring down the crime of the city.

Obviously, there’s a load of big names in this movie, so the acting is phenomenal. Christian Bale, to me, is the perfect Batman/Bruce Wayne. The only acting downfall was Katie Holmes, but even she wasn’t completely horrible.

There were quite a few things when I first heard about this movie that I thought were mistakes. For instance, the look of the batmobile. I thought it was ridiculous… until I saw it on film and realized it was awesome. Also, as much as I love Gary Oldman, he wasn’t exactly how I pictured Gordon, but he pulled it off, as well.

The cinematography is great, dark, and gritty, as it should be. Christopher Nolan has a great style that was really fitting for the world of Batman. And all the action is cool, especially the batmobile chase through the streets and rooftops. Batman is dark and mysterious, yanking people from the sky, hiding within the shadows, etc., which is exactly how he should be.

The only negative I can really give it is that, on subsequent viewings, I find it’s way too long. I always have trouble getting through the whole thing. There’s two interconnected stories in the movie, so I know a lot is important, but there just feels like some of it could have been trimmed a bit to make it slightly shorter. Other than that, the movie is great, and I can’t wait for The Dark Knight.

A Keanu 'Whoa'

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