Batman Begins Movie Review

This isn't your father's Batman. (That Boy Scout Adam West would never do such a thing.) He's not even your brother's Batman. (Tim Burton's vision was dark, but whimsical too.) No, this killer is your grandfather's Batman, the Dark Knight who, in his early 1939 appearances in Detective Comics, didn't show any qualms about dispatching the bad guys.

Web Behrens has a superb review of “Batman Begins”, which comes to theaters Wednesday, in the Chicago Tribune. Not only does he detail the movie itself, but he does a remarkable job of encapsulating the very long history of Batman (who first appeared Detective Comics #27 back in 1939) comics, movies, television show, and graphics novels.

Although his enemy fires a gun at him, Batman shows no fear — and no mercy. Dangling from a rope, Batman zips through the night air, landing with all his weight on his foe’s neck, which breaks with a sickening snap. And that’s it — one fewer villain in the world.

This isn’t your father’s Batman. (That Boy Scout Adam West would never do such a thing.) He’s not even your brother’s Batman. (Tim Burton’s vision was dark, but whimsical too.) No, this killer is your grandfather’s Batman, the Dark Knight who, in his early 1939 appearances in Detective Comics, didn’t show any qualms about dispatching the bad guys.

That vigilante extreme isn’t on display in “Batman Begins,” the new film version that swoops into theaters Wednesday. It didn’t actually last long in the comics either — soon enough, Batman adopted a code against killing — but the film shares the dark tone of the original comics. The vengeful hero beneath the cowl (played this time by an imposing Christian Bale) decides that, although it’s wrong to kill criminals, that doesn’t mean he has to save them, either.

With that attitude it’s no wonder that, 66 years ago, artist Bob Kane and author Bill Finger modeled their new hero after a creepy, nocturnal mammal. Bats, after all, are insectivores that spend their nighttime hours ridding the world of undesirable creatures. But the dark detective surely made a striking contrast to the art form’s other breakout star, Superman.

While I usually wait for flicks to hit DVD so I can watch it for a fraction of the price in the comfort of my living room, I’ll be seeing this one at the theater.

Related:

DC Comics Superhero Movies:
Batman Begins Movie Trailer
Brandon Routh as Superman
Kevin Spacey to Play Lex Luthor in New Superman Film
DC Comics Unveils New Logo

Marvel Comics Superhero Movies:
‘Fantastic Four’ Movie
DAREDEVIL MOVIE
Kelsey Grammar to Play “Beast†in X-Men 3
X2
Thomas Haden Church to Play Bad Guy in ‘Spider Man 3-
Topher Grace in Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man 2: Philosophically Speaking
Spider-Man 2 (Movie Review)

FILED UNDER: Comic Books, Popular Culture
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.