Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Batman is back

So, the other day, I was talkin' with Andi (shout out) about how I thought Revenge of the Sith was okay, "but," I said, "it wasn't a real kick-ass prequel like, uh, uh..." and I couldn't really finish the sentence.

That night, I saw Batman Begins and can now end the sentence.

If you'll let me get all hi-falutin' in my reviewing for a minute, I'll 'splain.  See, the Batman franchise managed to change with the times.  It grew up.  It got rid of the brightly-colored comic book villains and aimed for a more real looking film.  (Which is pretty ironic, considering how the original 1989 Batman movie was a huge jump on the reality-scale from the 1960s TV series.)  But Batman Begins isn't just another movie in the series with big-name actors trying to be bigger-than-life villains.  It ignores the other movies altogether (except for broad, general plot-points) and comes in with its own vision.  A grittier vision.  A darker vision.  (A vision in which not everyone in the movie is an A-list actor taking part in the franchise on a lark.)  A ... dare I say it ... post 9/11 vision in which the villains don't dress themselves in fluorescent costumes and take on silly names to work their evil -- but hide in plain sight as people just like you and me.  Batman Begins makes the earlier Batman movies look silly -- because they're a product of their time, and we're living in a different time.

Star Wars never grew up.  Three prequels later, and George Lucas is still playing in the exact same universe.  (And why wouldn't he?  It keeps making him piles of money.)  But it's just another Star Wars movie -- with slightly better effects, thanks to the advancements of technology.  We're generally pleased to go back there -- to have one final romp in the world of Jedi and droids and light sabre battles.  But there's nothing new to it, nothing particularly special.  It's more of the same stuff that entertained us from '77 to '83 -- and it doesn't pay any attention to the fact that we are some 22 years older.

Batman Begins is a 2005 Batman movie.  It is exactly what it needed to be.


andreakingme said...


Ah. Okay. So. Batman Begins, huh? I didn't like the few I'd seen (one with Michael Keaton and the other with ... well, you see how memorable this is for me because I can't even remember the other guy's name who starred as Batman). This is good to know.

I still wanna see Revenge, though. Won't be complete and all inside until I do.


pegluh said...

All hail the Dark Knight, is all I can say.

Oh, and Christian Bale to my laminated card. Thanks.