Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 2005. Warner Bros., Syncopy, DC Comics, Patalex III Productions Limited. Story by David S. Goyer, Screenplay by Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer, based on characters created by Bob Kane. Cinematography by Wally Pfister. Produced by Larry J. Franco, Lorne Orleans, Charles Roven, Emma Thomas. Music by James Newton Howard, Hans Zimmer. Production Design by Nathan Crowley. Costume Design by Lindy Hemming. Film Editing by Lee Smith. Academy Awards 2005.
The winged rodent superhero is back, and he’s a sight for sore eyes in this dark, brooding and exciting adventure by Memento‘s Christopher Nolan. Giving us more insight into the birth of millionaire Bruce Wayne’s nocturnal alter ego, the film sees a young Wayne (Christian Bale) learning about justice from a group of highly skilled warriors in the far East (under the tutelage of Liam Neeson, oddly enough) before returning to his home in Gotham City and beginning to fight crime on his own terms. Taking the guise of what he fears most, a bat (childhood accident thing), he goes after the city’s most corrupt force, a crime lord (Tom Wilkinson doing a lame GoodFellas accent) who has the majority of the local officials in his pocket. Along the way he builds a bat cave with the help of his trusted servant Alfred (a wonderful Michael Caine) and tries to avoid getting too close to a D.A. who could steal his heart (Katie Holmes). Cillian Murphy is terrific as a very scary Scarecrow (complete with terrifying mask) and Morgan Freeman equally wonderful as Bale’s assistant in all things mechanical. Moody cinematography, excellent writing and a healthy sense of character as well as bold and exciting action scenes combine for a wonderful night at the movies and the best Batman movie since Catwoman strutted her stuff thirteen years earlier.