Batman Begins (2005) – Christopher Nolan (Dir.), Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Katie Holmes, Tom Wilkinson, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, Rutger Hauer, Liam Neeson, Ken Watanabe, Gary Oldman…basically everyone ever

And starring Dracula as Batman!

Finally, we have reached it, like Orpheus emerging from Hades, the Eurydician Batman franchise, can see the light of life once more. It’s golden rays trickle across it’s skin, turning it into a sexier, leaner, darker, better, harder, faster, stronger version of its former self. Gone are the cheesy soundtracks by Prince, the insane leaps of comic-book logic (almost), Jim Carrey’s crotch and the abortion of Arnie’s comedic ‘skillz’. What we have here is the closest thing to a ‘film’ this Dark Knight has offered up thus far. Christopher “Look How Smart I Am” Nolan leaps from his backwards-logic, indie, thriller-face into blockbuster-dom, a knight in dark armor, wielding the blade of ‘Good Acting’, the lance of ‘Intelligent Direction’, the bow of ‘Coherent Characters’ and comically oversized battleaxe ‘Sensical Plot Developments’. Yes, he does have to confront the terrors of ‘Cliche One-Liners’ and ‘Complete Logical Fallacies’, and yet, like Mel Gibson emerging from the Thunderdome, he steps out, victorious, and makes out with Tina Turner on her lady lips (Tina Turner being, in this metaphor, ‘General Not-Terribleness’). He injects this tale with, as the Jews would say, hootspa. And, for pretty much the most part, he’s incredibly successful.

So, as the title would correctly suggest, this is the beginning of Batman. We see him as a whiny kid, demanding that he not see opera on the grounds that opera is terrible (bring on your wrath, opera singers, I will take you on, one by one). Well, apparently God loves opera because, in order to teach young Bruce a lesson, he has a crackhead murder his parents. Oops. Boys and girls, take note and listen to your Benjamin Fucking Britten, otherwise your parents will be mercilessly gunned down. Well, Brucy-wucy gets all angsty, and decides, like every college graduate, to go to Asian and find himself. And by ‘find himself’ I mean pick fights with random Chinapenese people in prison. While there, Liam “Very Special Set of Skills” Neeson discovers him and tells him to climb a mountain. Which one? Who the fuck cares? At the top of said mountain is an oddly-hairless-upper-lip Ken Watanabe doing the most racist impression of a Japanese person I’ve seen since, well, Inception. Well, Bruce, a man who is determined to never murder people, ends up blowing up the League of Shadows, thereby indirectly causing the deaths of dozens of men, either from random wood falling or just simple exposure. From there, he returns to his house, where Michael Caine is planning an elaborate heist of everything the Waynes own by hiding Minis surreptitiously throughout the mansion and playing ‘The Self-Presevation Society” on a loop. From there, the infinitely wealthy and kind of intellectually dull Bruce Wayne turns from a whiny little bitch trying to do an impression of Jack Ruby into a deadly spelunker and then into the Batman we all know and love. And it is fucking awesome.

Trust me, honey, keep the bag on. I know it’s terrifying, but it’s better than what’s underneath.

Also, the terrifyingly and unnervingly beautiful Cillian Murphy has returned from murdering British Nationals and slipped into a mask closely resembling a Stephen King wet dream to drive everyone in Gotham mad. Will Batman be able to stop him before he evaporates all the water and drives the city insane? Yes. Duh. (Spoilers) Will it be awesome? Yes. It fucking will be. Seriously, finally we have some badass bat-action. There isn’t a SINGLE turtleneck in the ENTIRE film. Do you know how happy that makes me? There was a scene where Katie “Fills Out A Sweater Surprisingly Well Too Bad About Her Inability to Be Interesting” Holmes is wearing one and you can see Christian “YELLING” Bale ready to rip it off and assimilate its fashion-blandness in order to join his misguided predecessors. But he doesn’t. In all the previous incarnations, Batman has some fucking random-ass gadget to help him out of exceedingly specific situations (Shark repellant aside, people) and occasionally he punches someone in the face. In this, he’s a fucking ninja. Do you know how cool ninjas are? Let’s put it this way: take pirates, remove the gay with the patented Rick Santorum “Pray Away the Gay Rape Spray” (TM), add a dash of cowboys, a hint of samurai and a double dose of ‘Don’t-Give-a-Fuckery’; distill it down to its base essence, cook it in Chuck Norris’s prostate (made of stainless steel, like all good Cuisinart tools) add a sprinkling of offensive asiaphilia and you have just one tenth of the awesomeness of ninjas. Now, take someone as infallibly panty-wetting as Batman and mix him with this ungodly potion for titillation and what do we have? We have theater owners mopping up rainbow vomit across the nation. Because people vomit rainbows when they are excited. Look it up.

So, yes, Liam “I Make Even Clint Eastwood Nervous” Neeson is the bad guy. I suppose he took time off from yelling at people down cell phones about his daughter and punching wolves in the snout to try to drive Gotham insane with his magical ‘Macguffin’ Device. I mean, I know this is Liam Neeson, a man known to skin major action stars and wear their anuses like decorative hats (because the Irish must have decorative hats), but his intimidation factor is severely decreased when his facial hair looks like he just ate a fucking poodle and forgot to wipe his lips. Seriously, it’s like an awkward teenager who insists on growing facial hair even though it’s patchier than my memory of New Years Eve 2010. And then we have Master Bruce, who for the most part is just kind of a rich prick. That’s fine, it just makes you care more about the indefatigable Alfred and his army of hidden Minis. Seriously, Nolan took the downtrodden butler that we saw in the previous films, shoved a healthy does of Bull-Adrenaline up his urethra and let him go. That smarmy asshole is one of the most well-rounded characters in the entire movie. Oh, and of course, we discover why Wayne is able to create such impossible pieces of technology because he has Morgan “God” Freeman making them for him. Mr. Freeman waltzes through this movie like a fucking pimp, tossing off lines as though the subtext is always: “I drove Miss Daisy, bitch.” I half expected an army of penguins to march through and begin mating at the sound of his sonorous tones.

This is your brain on meth ~ Michael Caine, teaching bat-related lessons

But, to top it all off, we have Mr. Gary Don’t Fuck With Me Oldman as the man everyone wants to be their father. I’m not sure if you know this, but Gary Oldman must be a fucking Highlander, decapitating every imposing figure in the English pool of late-age acting talent, whittling the competition down to nil because, after all, there can be only one. He, as Jim Gordon, is ball-blazingly amazing in both this movie and the next. With that porn star mustache you almost forget that he was the speed-freak bat-shit Tazmanian Devil-impersonator gunning down entire families in The Professional and accept that he’s just a big ole teddy bear made of candy and dreams. Also, hilarious side note, previous to becoming the nastiest little smegma-receptacle to ever take the throne, Joffrey “Someone Slap the Shit out of Him” Baratheon is in this movie as a wide-eyed little child having a bad LSD trip. I know we were supposed to care for him or whatever, but I really wanted one of the bad guys to take a hard back hand to his cheek. That’s for Ned Stark, you little twat-wazzle.

So, yes, I could come all over this wonderful redemption from the darkest of sides (“It’s ‘ice’ to meet you” – I will never erase it from my brain, Arnie. You bastard.) I could recollect the constant wet dreams that occurred in the months proceeding the life event that was this movie’s summer release. But I shan’t. Why? Well, with the handy tool of historical perspective, this movie has lost a little luster. At the time, the world was still caught in the almost decade-long flamboyant tailspin brought on by Clooney’s tepid Bat-thing, and Begins was the bat-equivalent of the Second Coming of Christ. There was no fur! No neon! No puns! This was something close to a real movie. I say ‘close’ because, as it’s sequel demonstrates, it could have been so much more. It’s not nearly as fun as, say, Batman Returns and doesn’t have anywhere close to the depth of The Dark Knight. It was a marker of the delicious wonders to come, like the menu for a box of chocolates, just teasing the taste-buds with the concepts of deliriously succulent treats hanging just beyond the horizon. This script was written by David “Blade Trinity” Goyer and, for the most part is pretty solid. But, like Madonna’s wrinkles, the ugly truth seeps through the Botox. We have sprinklings of cliched terribleness here, there and everywhere, from Gary Oldman declaring “I gotta get me one of those” to a random homeless dude announcing “nice ride.” They’re out of place, out of theme, out of character and came out of Goyer’s ass. If Batman is gonna be serious, then make him super-serial. Make him a thematic meditation on the concept of chaos versus order and the interaction of classes having violent climaxes. Oh wait. That’s the next movies. Also, the ending of the movie is fucking ridiculous. They have a machine that ‘vaporizes water’ with such violence that the entire plumbing system erupts throughout the city. You know what’s made of 80% water? Human beings. If that microwave emitter actually existed, Batman and Ra’s Al Ghul wouldn’t have been able to fist fight because they’d be too busy impersonating Veruca fucking Salt. Oh well.

Also, Katie, I know you did the strong thing and divorced Tom “Don’t Get Too Close He Might Have Sex With Your Earholes” Cruise. I respect you for that. Unfortunately, you are about as engaging as a soggy cinder block. You see it, lying there, and you wonder how it got there and why someone would take the time to get it all wet. And then you remember, it’s a fucking cinder block. It’s not going to make you laugh or cry. It’s just going to be a cinder block. You can’t expect it to be anything else. That wouldn’t be fair to the cinder block. Let it return to its friends in the massive wall of cinder blocks, all of them similarly dull. Let Ms. Holmes return to her ocean of general attractiveness, let her disappear into the waves and never been seen again. Honestly, she’s that forgettable. Luckily, Nolan was counting on that for the second movie. He recast the role with the significantly more talented Maggie Gyllenhaal, to which the world went, “Wait…well, we don’t really give a shit.” A victory for all, I feel.

“We’re here about Pod-Racing.” ~ Liam Neeson before a random fanboy tried shanking him in the gut. That fanboy is now a decorative rug.

And, of course, Tweets!

And we’re off! Please, Mr. Nolan, pull down your pants and let me see your delicious manhood. #batathon

He fell and died! Batman Begins: Kid Ends. Movie is over. Go home.#batathon

“This is what happens when you pirate movies in China!” “You grow a beard?” #batathon

Oh no! White man is oppressing us! Where is Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker? #batathon

“What country is this?” “Chinapan.” #batathon

“Your midiclorien count is very impressive Batman.” #batathon

“You can become something else entirely.” “Wait, I can be Michael Jackson?” “No…I…” “I want to be MJ!” Bruce didn’t get it #batathon

Neeson stared at him so hard that he fell off the back of a truck. Such is the power of Neeson. #batathon

“Which mountain is he supposed to climb?” “There is ONE mountain in Asia. It’s Mount Jackie Chan!” #batathon

And the asians run in fear of walking in front of Christian Bale’s shots. #batathon

“Colonel Sanders, do you have the chicken I ask for?” ~ Bruce Wayne very confused as to his purpose in Asia. #batathon

Why didn’t Neeson just kick the Nazi’s in the nuts? That would have been way more efficient than that fucking list. #batathon

Opera. Rich kid form of time-out. #batathon

Yep, Waynes, go out the back door. Like a piece of shit (see what I did there?) #batathon

Thus began Bruce Wayne’s life-long crusade against opera.#batathon

They should remake this with Gary Oldman playing EVERY role.#siriusbat #batathon

Oh shit! It’s the guy from Blade Runner! Disguised as Jerry Springer!#batathon

They died because of your white privilege. You little fuck. #batathon

“They come for you. And you make lists. List after list. Of jews. Jew after jew.” ~ Neeson, hero. #batathon

Katie Holmes, just where you belong. In the kitchen.#whydidyouleavetomcruise #batathon

“Wayne’s still in sweaters. I don’t care yet.” ~ Meg. Not giving a fuck like a champ. #batathon

Hey Joe Chill, wanna see my Jack Ruby impression? #batathon

Oh no! Hers was better! #batathon

IRONY! It’s a criminal offense in Chinapan. #batathon

But this batman has a NINJA turtleneck. How about dem apples?#batathon

“Can you believe Tom Cruise was the last samurai? IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME!” ~ Ken, bitter. #batathon

And then the movie turned into the Descent. And Bruce Wayne was eaten by albino Billy Corgan. #batathon

And Helena Bonham Carter as all the Bats. #batathon

“No, Cillian Murphy looks like he’s had plastic surgery and a creature from the deep.” ~ Rebecca, not getting it. #batathon

“This is the worst business tragedy since Harrison Ford chased me naked through the rain.” ~ Rutger Hauer #flashbacks #batathon

I also made a documentary about penguins, would you like to see it? ~ Morgan Freeman. #batathon

I also have Gwyneth Paltrow’s head in a box, would you like to see that? No? ~ Morgan Freeman. #batathon

“It’s called memory cloth. It remembers every time you jizz in it. BE CAREFUL.” ~ The Freeman. #batathon

“Wait…if I’m afraid of lawnmowers? Would I become lawnmower man? I should make that movie!” And it ended terribly… #batathon

“I’m Batman.” And fanboy panties were wet everywhere. #batathon

“Would you like some tape, Master Wayne, because you’re ripped.”#batathon

“I’m more than just a man drenched in cunnilingus juice.” ~ Wayne#batathon

“I own the Muscle in this Town” ~ Falcone, gay club owner.#batathon

Purple lightning brings purple rain. Prince returns… #batathon

“Oh, we don’t care what’s in that crate. It’s probably dead hookers. It usually is.” #batathon

The Narrows, brought to you by Final Fantasy VII. #batathon

“My boss is missing. We’re going to have a party! A search party. It’s very serious.” #batathon

That’s Katie’s mean face. Watch out, she might divorce you!#batathon

That’s the Scarecrow’s sex face. In that it is his only face. #batathon

“Stop spraying yourself, Scarecrow.” #batathon

Apparently, Scarecrow is scared of black men. Like all 1 percenters.#batathon

Bitch, you are no longer hallucinating. I’m dressed as a bat. Go back to sleep. #batathon

Don’t move! Neeson can’t see you if you don’t move! #batathon

“How many dementers are on the loose?” “Dem-what?” “I mean…forget everything I said.” Sirius Black, revealing himself#batathon

Batman…do you need a lozenge? #batathon

Who the fuck wears silk to fix a burned-down home? Katie Mutherfucking Holmes. #batathon

Wow, this one is harder than the others. That’s what Goldilocks said. :O #batathon

The cop version of “Anything you can do, I can do better” but with more grievous bodily harm. #batathon

And Batman spends the entire movie not turning his neck. #batathon

Thanks again, folks. Now, for the creme-de-la-fanboy-creme, we move onto The Dark Knight today at around 4ish CST today. There will also be a Batman impersonation contest. It will be glorious.

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Comments
  1. […] have The Animated Series. We didn’t have it, we’d lost it, until you came back to Batman Begins. We got it back last Dark […]

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