The death of Bruce Wayne… the conception of something bigger, something iconic, something that can’t be destroyed or corrupted … the birth of Batman.
This film brilliant portrays how the rich billionaire Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) decides to face the corruption and criminality that is running rife in the city of Gotham City after the murder of his parents. Before he can stand up to mob bosses and the corrupt law-men, he must first train and face his own fears. Fears that stem from a childhood accident. Fears that also take him back to the night of his parents murder.
Trained and guided by the secret society ‘The League of Shadows’, Bruce learns how to use ninjitsu, theatrics and fear as tools and weapons. He learns to be invisible even in plain site. He learns the skills to take on numerous foes single handily.
After a conflict of ethics with the League, Bruce leaves the order and returns to Gotham to find that the years away has been very rough on the city. The city is now in a worse position than ever imaginable. The poor are without hope while the rich are corrupt and self-centred. Even the company Bruce’s father built has been turned into a weapons manufacturer.
By reinstating himself into Wayne Enterprise, Bruce teams up with ‘experimental science’ overseer Mr Fox (Morgan Freeman). This loyal friend of Bruce’s father allows Bruce to ‘borrow’ some of the Wayne Enterprises more far-fetched products (items that later become Bat-suit, his gadgets and the Bat-mobile).
With the help of good cop Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), Batman sets to work fixing Gotham. Investigating and taking down the big crime boss of the city unearths a larger plan at work. A plan to reduce Gotham to ruins, a plan to cleanse the city, a plan that is almost already at fruition.
Can the Wayne family save Gotham? No
Can Batman? Just possibly
This film brilliantly portrays the billionaires transition to detective / vigilante and hero of Gotham. It’s genuinely quite dark and scary in places (namely scenes with the villain Scarecrow) although Bale, Freeman and Caine do have the occasional line in conversations to lighten the atmosphere and make you chuckle.
The scarecrow is psychotic and deranged, played chillingly perfect by Cillian Murphy.
It shows how Bruce must make decisions and sacrifices to turn Gotham around. He must drag the prestigious family name through dirt. He must put loved ones in the way of danger. He must being hunted by the people he is trying to save.
This film is probably in my top 3 films and I can’t recommend it enough. The story, script, setting, music, characters and actors are all near flawless. Plus in hindsight this is ‘sequelled’ by The Dark Knight… what a brilliant combo of two films
A must watch by anyone and everyone.