Saturday, June 25, 2005

Film Review: Batman Begins

The pre-Batman Batman is trained in the orient as a ninja by an Irish actor with a bad fu manchu. Through rigorous martial training, he is compelled to face his fear of bats, which he sustained in youth while recreating at the bottom of a well. This pre-fetish incarnation of Batman transcends his fears by embracing them, laying the groundwork for his new identity--in this case a symbol, both "elemental" and "terrifying." (Saddled with the task of making a rational case for the Batman franchise, I challenge you to do better.) This brings us to the middle third of the movie, easily the most worthwhile as it develops the most important relationships, best characters, and sexiest costumes. The whole ending is a goddam travesty, and it pains me to reference it. Let's just say the Scarecrow is a welcome reprieve from the overarching sub-plot of ninjas using microwave weaponry to vaporize the city's water supply in order to catalyze inert psychedelic properties that have been deposited there. Katie Holmes is not terrible, and one can only thank divine providence for delivering Rutger Hauer a non-embarrassing role. If you loathed the other "Batmans" as much as I did, you will find this film about as tolerable as Episode III in relation to its abjectly offensive predecessors.

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