Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Second Viewing of Batman Begins

To summarize some of my thoughts after the second viewing of Batman Begins, and yes, this post contains spoilers.

1. I can't get enough of the banter between Alfred and Bruce. Liked the conversation on board the private jet where he bought a Rolls using Bruce's money, and his quite serious request for Bruce to adopt an alter-ego to protect himself from repercussions. The film highlights the many roles Alfred plays, besides Bruce's butler and alibi / conjurer of ideas for his playboy persona, Alfred also had a hand in the Cave and the costume, as well as bailing Batman out of grave situations.

2. Fight scenes. The first viewing, I was sitting smack in the middle of the theatre. Today, I deliberately selected a seat about 1/3 from the back. The view's better though, you can see much of the Batman's throws and punches. However, for the fights between Batman and the League of Shadows, I feel that the cinematography was done on purpose that you cannot see much, as the action happens quick. Just like Carmine Falcone's view of the fights at the dock - very swift, very confusing, very in-character.

3. The excellent handling of Lucius Fox's character. Just like in the comics, which I felt he suspects Bruce to being Batman, but doesn't act like he knows, or wants to know. In this film, he acts upon Bruce's instructions (to save Gotham) and Alfred's plea for help - again the suspicion is highlighted, but like his conversation to Bruce, to not to treat him like an idiot and as long as he isn't told what those equipment is for, he doesn't have to lie. And I liked the bit he reminded Bruce on - that all the stuff belonged to him anyway.

4. Just to say it out loud, Liam Neeson is Henri Ducard is Ra's Al Ghul. A pity that Ken Watanabe is like a cameo here playing Ra's decoy. Clues to Neeson being Ra's include his conversation with Bruce in the beginning reminiscing about the death of his wife, and conversations at Wayne Manor with regards to being involved in many of the League's terrorist activities, like the Great Fire of London. I like this bit, because although the Lazarus Pit is not shown, it can be indirectly inferred to in order for Ra's to partake in those activities - he has lived a long time, and can only do so with the power of the Pit. Now, if only Talia shows up...

5. The development of the relationship and trust between Gordon and Batman. At first, it was one of mistrust - as Batman (sans constume) seeks out Gordon in his office, only to have Gordon in pursuit, with service revolver drawn. Batman seeked Gordon out at his apartment later to assess if Gordon can be trusted. When Commissioner Loeb orders the SWAT Team into Arkham, Gordon went in on his own to try and warn his "friend", and to assist him in helping Rachel Dawes. And in the finale battle, Bats entrusted him with the Batmobile, as well as the all important task of derailing the train. The final scene is right out of Year One, and that in itself, makes every fanboy happy.

Not sure if I'll go for a third screening as it doesn't make economical sense in a way - the money spent could buy me the DVD when it's out! But we'll see... :-)

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