I picked up Batman Begins for $11.96 at Sam’s Club the other day and w00t! it’s the best Batman movie ever.
Batman Begins completely buries the 1989 Tim Burton thing, which time has not been kind too. Originally, I thought it wasn’t bad. (Compared with the 1966 version with Adam West, for example.) I didn’t care for the music by TAFKAP and saw the overemphasis on the Joker as misguided (“Holy Cow! We got Jack Nicholson to be in our movie! Let’s give him lots of screen time!”). Although I definitely prefer the rounded 1980’s bat logo a lot better than the angular 2000’s version. (The 80’s version is very Web-2.0.)
When Liam Neesen says he speaks for R’as Al Guhl, I thought, oh, I remember that name! Sort of. I couldn’t remember the character, but I was puzzled, because I had a vague idea that he was a bad guy, and Neesen says that criminals were afraid of him. Of course, all became clear as the movie unfolded.
The bad-guys were a little odd. Since the chief bad guy was a relative unknown, they shouldn’t have thrown in two additional bad guys (the crime boss and the corporate fat cat) because it makes it harder to figure out who the actual bad guy is. If the chief bad guy was, oh, the Joker, then sure.
The Rutger Hauer character was a mistake for another reason. Batman fights criminals. Not heartless CEOs. And yes, I realize that some people can’t tell the difference. But if you’re going to appeal to those people you’re already in trouble, because Bruce Wayne is a gazillionaire. He may be a limosine liberal, but he’s a limousine liberal. The levelers that can’t tell the difference between the Joker and Carl Icahn aren’t going to be swayed just because Thomas Wayne was a doctor and he built some kind of mass-transit system.
As for people who can tell the difference… I suppose the point was that the wealthy elite, by being unconcerned with the hoi polloi, are unwitting allies of the actual criminals. Possibly. I would agree in theory, but only after attaching so many nuances and provisos and secret protocols that it would make a bad comic book. Still, people see Batman to watch him slap the cuffs on (or kick the crap out of) the Joker or the Penguin, not Gordon Gecko.
I’m not sure if the fat cats were meant to be unwitting accomplices, especially Earle. Did he know about the microwave emitter? He fired Fox for asking questions, but the bad guys smuggled it into town in Falcone’s container. Maybe it was just CYA. But maybe he’s the Hollywood ideal of a tycoon who keeps a handgun in his desk because he’s really no different than the mob bosses. Which, if true, is not only stupid but proves my point about the movie having too many bad guys. So let’s give the movie the benefit of the doubt and say he’s not in league with the crime league that is in league with the league of shadows.