Batman Begins at Broadway Cinema

I thought Batman Begins was better than the other Batman movies by a considerable margin.

The cast was great. I liked the fact that the young Bruce Wayne wasn’t a particularly nice person. I was pleased with the way the romance subplot panned out. I thought there was a good balance between darkness and humour. I liked the bit at the end where they talked about the effect Batman would have – it sort of fit in with The Dark Knight Returns graphic novel, where someone says “if you toss in the victims of his fan club, the Batman-related body count is up there with a minor war”. Of course, it doesn’t come close to being that extreme in the film – so far, there’s only a hint of it raising the stakes for the villains, and no suggestion of a vigilante fan-club – but I like the acknowledgement of it as a possibility.

The only thing I was a bit worried about was the “I won’t kill you but I don’t have to save you” approach. It seems to be a bit ethically dodgy … especially given that Batman/Bruce Wayne created the dangerous situation in the first place. This particularly applied with the murderer he refuses to behead in the first half of the film. Although we don’t actually see the man dying in the fire, I don’t really see how he could have survived, so surely this means that Bruce Wayne is still totally responsible for his death. It almost seems like he can only kill people if he doesn’t actually see it happening … which is a line of thought I really don’t want to follow through on.

Still, at least it’s a clear statement of his moral position. In Dark Knight Returns, Batman says killing someone would mean “crossing a line I drew for myself thirty years ago”. I may not be entirely comfortable with where this Batman has drawn his line, but it’s a lot better than one of the earlier films (Batman Returns, I think) where he deliberately kills someone. That was just wrong for the character.

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