Batman Begins

I saw Batman Begins last night with some friends and ran into more friends at the theatre in a nice little coincidence.

I remember seeing the 1989 Batman movie with my brother. I took him to the flick as his birthday present and we had a blast. After that was the first time I ever read a DC comic. Up until that point I’d been a real Marvel zombie.

Flash forward 16 years and here we are.

I may have nostalgia for the original Tim Burton film but Batman Begins is the best Batman that’s been put to film so far. The casting works incredibly well. All of the characters have a very strong sense of self that keeps the movie entertaining even though it takes over an hour before even Batman appears in costume. It’s character-heavy, menacing and well built with some really effective interactions. The supporting cast makes the whole thing click – Lt. Gordon (Gary Oldman), Alfred (Michael Caine), Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) and Ducard (Liam Neeson) in particular really knock it out of the park.

In fact the Bruce Wayne scenes work so well that when Batman is in costume kicking ass he’s oddly less compelling. I think that was also hurt by the scatter-shot editing and shaky cam they used for the action shots, which projected up on the big screen just made it look like visual jumble instead of sleek and cool fighting.

The plot has holes and there are scenes that could’ve been done better, but the characters are so sharp you can let the little things slide. It’s a smart comic book movie in the caliber of Spider-Man 2, X-Men 2 and Sin City as far as quality of adaptation. It’s really good.

A 13-year-old Zub would’ve been hypnotized all over again and gone absolutely comic book crazy.

Maybe I’ll ask Joe if he wants me to take him to Batman Begins as his birthday present this year…

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