Where does the time go. On June 15, 2005, the world saw one of the most recognizable superheroes in movie theaters in a way no one has ever seen before. It is believed that the superhero genre in film was elevated to new heights because of this movie and the figures behind this movie. Batman Begins should be recognized and appreciated as one of the most celebrated superhero movies ever made. To celebrate Batman Begins‘ 10th Anniversary, let’s take a look at several qualities that made the film so special.
The fact that it was an origin story: Every Batman movie since Tim Burton’s adaptation only touched on the fact that Bruce Wayne’s parents were murdered in front of him, who killed them, how Bruce found the cave, etc, but no movie went into detail about these facts until Batman Begins was made. This movie went to great lengths to tell the world who Bruce Wayne was before he donned cape and cowl, who knew him, who trained him, how he found the cave etc. By going with the origin story it was like starting from scratch.
The exceptional cast: This movie had star power going into production and by the time it was over, they all just owned every moment given to them. Christian Bale was amazing as both Batman and Bruce Wayne, Michael Caine was exceptional as Alfred, Gary Oldman rocked as Jim Gordon, Morgan Freeman is always superb and did great with the role of Lucius Fox, then you add Ken Watanabe, Liam Neeson, Tom Wilkenson, Cillian Murphy, Katie Holmes, etc. Batman Begins had a fantastic acting ensemble.
The realism: For so long fans of the Batman movies were used to the nightmare-esque setting that was Gotham City; the endless skyscrapers, the gothic architecture, the overall grimness and dark tone, but Batman Begins gave the world it set itself in a great sense of realism as if the settings themselves were modern and current. Gotham City actually looked like a real city for a change and that in of itself was refreshing.
The introduction of characters who haven’t been seen before: Truth be told, I never knew of characters such as Lucius Fox, Ra’s Al Ghul, Scarecrow, Boss Falcone and how significant they were to the Batman mythology until this I saw this movie. By the time this movie was over, I would never forget who these characters were and how important they were; how Boss Carmine Falcone ran Gotham before Batman arrived, how Lucius Fox provided Bruce with the tools needed to become the Caped Crusader, how Ra’s Al Ghul and the League of Shadows taught Bruce the philosophies necessary to become a “symbol that can be everlasting. Incorruptible.”
The critical acclaim: Hands down, at the time of this film’s release, this was the best Batman movie ever made. The attention to detail was so precise it was not lost on critics, guilds and audiences. Batman Begins was nominated for 49 Awards, including one Academy Award, winning 17 of said Awards, and receiving overwhelming positive reviews from film critics.
The music of Hans Zimmer: Considered to be one of the best film composers in the business and I considered his music score for this movie iconic and it just gave the film such a prestigious presence and resounding intensity. Usually, the music of a movie is taken for granted but Zimmer gave Batman a soundtrack that epitomizes the term memorable.
Wally Pfister’s Cinematography: Remember when it was mentioned that Batman Begins was nominated for an Oscar, that was because of Wally Pfister vision and camerawork. The cinematography of this movie was so distinct that so many moments play out with just beautiful artistic and dramatic appeal such as when Bruce returns to the cave that triggers his fear of bats and the bats just fly and flutter all around him, that was extraordinary on the eyes. Wally Pfister’s eye was on the money with this movie.
The fact that it washed the God-awful taste from Batman & Robin away: The last Batman movie prior to Batman Begins was Joel Schumacher’s abomination, the one that starred George Clooney, the one with the Bat-nipples, with that sorry excuse of a Bane wannabe, you know which one I’m talking about right? Batman & Robin brought Batman to a standstill and when Batman Begins finished, Batman & Robin looked like a joke, which isn’t really saying much but still.
This movie brought DC out of hibernation: At the time of this movie’s release, Marvel Comics was unveiling films like X-Men, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, while DC remained dormant. It wasn’t until Batman Begins, when DC Comics started to exhibit signs of life; when they realized that they had a chance to make money off of this movie as a potential franchise and perhaps jump-start other films that they would eventually get around to. This movie brought DC back to relevance again at a time when Marvel was producing quantity and DC realized that through Batman Begins, they could counter quantity with quality.
CHRISTOPHER NOLAN!!!: What more needs to be said? He was already a big name thanks to Memento, but the world knew how good of a director he was when he changed the superhero movie landscape. What he created with Batman Begins was profound, unprecedented and gritty to the core. Christopher Nolan brought Batman to heights no one has ever have because of the first installment of his Dark Knight Trilogy: Batman Begins.