Batman Begins is the long awaited 5th film in the Batman franchise (which kicked off in 1989 with Tim Burton's Batman). But to think of this film as part of that series really does undermine this film. As the name implies, this is a new beginning for the Dark Knight. This film focuses on the origins of Batman. How he trained, who trained him and, most importantly, why he fights crime. To this end this is the first comic book film to successfully meld the action expected from a comic and a psychological examination of the obsessions of the superhero mind. The reason why this film succeeds where a film like Ang Lee's The Hulk did not, is that in addition to offering a psychological captivating premise to a superhero's origin, Christopher Nolan (Indie director of the ground breaking Memento) did not forget the fun elements of the Superhero genre. This film also succeeds where previous Batman films failed because this is the first film to focus on the hero and not the zany (and usually mega star) villain.This film boast one of the most impressive casts of actors ever featured in a superhero film (sure Superman had Hackman and Brando, Batman had Nicholson, Daredevil had Affleck, but the supporting actors were not always of the big screen calibre of the leads). Christian Bale dons the cape and mask in this film and we quickly forget about Michael Keaton (the best Batman prior to Bale), Val Kilmer, Adam West, and George Clooney. He is supported by Academy Award winners Michael Caine, as the venerable butler Alfred, and Morgan Freeman, as Wayne Industries Lucious Fox. Academy Award nominees Liam Neeson, as Henri Ducard, Ken Watanabe, as Ra's Al Ghul, Tom Wilkinson, as crime boss Carmine Falcone, and Gary Oldman, as Sgt. (not commisioner) James Gordon. In addition hot up and comers like Katie Holmes (as Bruce Wayne's love interest) and Cillian Murphy (of 28 Days Later) as the Scarecrow round out the cast. After Batman Begins, you will quickly forget about other Batman films, as this should now be the definative Batman movie.

Popcorn's Bucket 10/10

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