Great film – go see. There, broken all the rules of reviews and started with the bottom line! Think of it like Spiderman, only better. This is the first film since Spidey that I’ve come out of thinking ‘can’t wait for the next one’ (and you just know there’s gonna be one).
The film starts with young (8ish?) Bruce being good friends with Rachael (who grows up to be a most watchable Katie Holmes), gaining his fear of bats, losing his parents, and them himself in anonymous Asian countries – although not necessarily in that order. Enter mentor in mountain-top monastry to teach our Bruce everything he knows. Before long Bruce is back in Gotham, and Batman is born…
The pacing is perfect – the story unfolds quickly enough to keep interest, while lingering enough to involve and create bonds with the characters. Incidently the casting is also spot on. Katie Holmes was an unexpected delight, and Gary Oldman, Liam Fox, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman were as solid as ever. Christian Bale himself was more than equal to the task, and made a highly sympathetic Bruce.
This was also by far the most realistic interpretation of Batman – his toys were pleasingly understated and explained (Morgan Freeman filling this Q-like role to a tee), and I personally liked the car! However one huge bug-bear regarded the microwave emitter, that could vapourise water at 2 km, yet apparantly have no ill effect on humans walking in front of it. Probably worth a small qualification on the realism – this is no gorefest, indeed the body count is tiny, and the representation of the fighting is pretty comic book. But hey – it’s a 12, and I don’t want blood and guts anyway.
Make no mistake, this is a dark film. Bruce is mighty angry and mighty hurting. It’s not entirely devoid of humour, but these are minor lightenings of mood, not the comic relief of, say, Keaton’s Bat. It probably is worth catching on the big screen, although more for mood than art, and I will definitly watch it again, althouqh probably not at the cinema.
Bottom line (again) – almost certainly the best Batman film so far. Watch and enjoy.
Seen at Ster Century, Leeds