Saturday, June 25, 2005

Film Review: Batman Begins

I couldn't tell you how disappointed I was with Batman Begins. I went into London IMAX with such high hopes that the auteur of Memento could command. With a stellar cast in Christian Bale (who was dynamic in American Psycho) and other notable British actos (Gary Oldman, Liam Nesson etc.), he should.

Through reviews I expected the first hour to be a history lesson in the origins of Batman hence I was prepared for ill acting by a young Bruce Wayne and bad philosophical pondering of Bale's journey in Asia. But what I did not expect was it would be so boring. I held on. I knew the good part would eventually arrive when Bale dons the mask.

I waited eagerly as Bale tored up Watanabe's Ninja Palace. I waited as he found his new Bat cave, obtained his new suit and boxy military vehicle. When the action did finally arrived I was crushed. The scene I most looked forward to - the police car chase scene - was so utterly mindless I actually slept through it for a minute. No lies here, but in truth it was partially because the theatre was so cold.

I am sorry but with all the hyped I found this to be an overrated film. Katie Holmes was a total miscast. I can't see how she can be taken seriously in Hollywood. No wonder what has gripped the nation's red top tabloids (and some) has been said to be a publicity stunt. The only notably good acting were by Morgan Freeman and Cilian Murphy but both had very minor roles. And Gary Oldman's usually intellectual and psychotic acting skills were of no use here as the good cop. And the plot was totally incoherent.

This would, sadly despite much hope, never be able to come even close to unseating the two classic Tim Burton Batman films. Some has stated that Batman Begins will be the darkest of all Batman films. It might visit in great details of Bruce Wayne's past, but sadly not noir or nihilistic enough. This summer, go watch Kungfu Hustle instead.

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