Saturday, June 18, 2005

Batman Begins - moving picture

Well, it's a nice piece of fluff.

I can't claim to be any sort of expert on Batman. I've watched a few episodes, some of the other movies, and read Dark Knight Returns, and that's as far as my travels in the Batman universe have gone. But even with this very limited exposure, Batman Begins is not my Batman, not by a long shot.

Batman is a man whose power lies in all sorts of clever gadgets. He is not a man who learned ninjitsu in the far reaches of frozen Asia, from a secret society of city-destroying righteous fanatics.

Batman's villains are as overly theatrical as he is, and love/hate Gotham so that they'll never be able to leave it alone: they have enormous chips on their shoulders and something to prove, and above all, they are and stay local. Batman's villains are not international secret societies acting for the good of mankind.

It felt as though they'd sold out Batman's roots for the sake of going with popular trends.

And perhaps it is merely Dark Knight Returns speaking (one of the best collections out there), but there is so much that can be explored with Batman. He's anything but a black and white figure, so very complex and close to straying into the evil he's trying to fight. The movies I've seen haven't attemped to play with that. He's always the saviour of Gotham, no matter what his actions.

That said, he did engage in some rather random and wanton destruction in this movie. I'm fairly certain Batman isn't about wanton destruction, especially not against the police, but that's what he did. No way the cops deserved all that. Or the people living in those buildings. As if no one died, pah.

(But the bat mobile was pretty cool. I'll take one for Christmas, thanks.)

It is a pity that no one movie/book/game/anything can be viewed on its own now. Intertextuality plays such an enormous role in life, alas, in Liam Neeson I saw Qui-Gon Jin lecturing Bruce Wayne, especially when he started talking about fear and anger, and not giving in to them.

There was a lot of monologing about fear and anger. It seems every film now must be packed full of seemingly meaningful dialects on some form of philosophy, and it seems that most films that do so fail to have a single clear messege they're trying to present. Rju and I wandered out afterwards and had no idea whether or not fear and anger were good or bad, or allowed one to kill, or not to kill, or...yeah. A rant about the film that I read somewhere said there was no actual dialogue in the film, just speeches, and I'll second that.

And finally, one of those Hollywood 'make it so' wand-waving deals; if a microwave emitter is powerful enough to vapourise all the water around it, then believe me, it's powerful enough to do the same to the water in all the humans near by, too. Don't tell me you can set that thing off, stand next to it, and not feel a thing. Biggest no brainer I've seen.

It's not a bad film, if you don't have any expectations. It's not a film that will stay with you, either.

Verdict: Brain candy is necessary at times. Treat it as such. (Christian Bale needs a better haircut.)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous26/6/05 13:32

    Totally feel you on the water-microwave emitter deal.

    Intertextuality was a problem for me too. I mean, beautifully cast for the most part, but how many dollars did they wave in front of Neeson, yet continually ignore the "geez.. this is quite a lot like Qui-Gon" tingling? (Same goes for Saruman as a Star Wars character..)

    Katie Holmes. Right.

    Hey -- at least the actor for Scarecrow was awesome.

    Still, tell me a better comic (superhero) movie..


    PS: Maybe you should come up to Canberra for when Neil Gaiman visits (July 19), as I hear he's charging $160 in your city..