|To say that Batman Begins is fantastic solely because of one man's performance hardly does this motion-picture gem justice, but to walk out of the theatre and discuss the movie's success without mentioning his name in the opening sentence defies all reason. So here it is: Christian Bale is bowling over audiences world-wide.|
It's tough to fill the shoes that Michael Keaton left behind. Many have tried... Need I mention the abominations to the screen that big-time names like Val Kilmer and George Clooney left behind in their sordid attempts. It seemed gutsy at best, if not suicidal, to cast a has-been teen-heartthrob from the early 90s that has been where for the past 10 years to take a stab at the role.
Maybe not... When I first saw Bale tackling the role in a trailer, I was initially surprised, but then thought "this should be good." This 30-something actor from Wales has got to be one of the most under-rated/cast actors today. I was disappointed in '92 when the musical, Newsies, failed to leave much of an impression on audiences. It was 10 years later that I saw him again in Reign of Fire and Equilibrium.
Unfortunately, McConaughey stole most of the little attention paid to Reign of Fire while I don't remember Equilibrium even coming out in the theatres. It seemed Bale would never catch a break... until now.
Batman Begins is taking the world by storm. It's blown the box office away in the UK and US alike. With a reception like this, I don't think this Bale is going anywhere soon... much to our delight.
Christopher Nolan is the young director that took this project on. Some may remember him from the artsy-thriller Memento in 2000. I can't say enough about his effort in this seamless production. Nolan develops an incredible amount of back-story in a believable and entertaining way, respectful of the comic and somehow makes the effort feel fresh and original.
The sole criticism I would offer is a puzzling scene where Bale seductively coaches a sexy Wayne Enterprise secretary on her putt-putt technique that may have fared better on the editing floor. The scene sticks out like a sore thumb... if anyone can guess its purpose, I'd be interested to hear about it.
Other than that, rising star Katie Holmes adds a believably intelligent, do-gooder love interest holding her own alongside spectacular notables like Liam Neeson and Gary Oldman.
According to the hails at the box-office, odds are you've seen it already; if not, hopefully I've convinced you to run and find out for yourself what all the buzz is about.