Story:David S. Goyer
|Release Date(s)||NA: June 15, 2005
UK: June 16, 2005AU: June 16, 2005
|Running Time||139 minutes|
|Prequel to||The Dark Knight|
Batman Begins is a 2005 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan based on the hit DC Comics graphic novel series Batman created by Bob Kane. It stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Michael Cain, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Ken Watanabe, Tom Wilkinson, and Rutgert Hauer. The film, as implied by the title, explores the origin of Batman, beginning with Bruce Wayne's childhood and then the eventual birth of the Batman persona.
The film began production in early 2003 after a series of unsuccessful Batman projects since the failure of the 1997 film Batman & Robin. Nolan and David S. Goyer aimed for a more darker and more realistic tone, with fear as the general theme. The film was shot primarily in England and Chicago and relied more on traditional stunts with minimal use of computer generated imagery. A new Batmobile (called the Tumbler) as well as a completely new Batsuit were created specifically for the film.
Batman Begins, which opened in theaters June 15, 2005 in the United States and Canada, was a critical and commercial success. It grossed 48 million USD its opening weekend, eventually totaling $370 million worldwide. Overall, it grossed $496,853,783 in both DVD and box office sales. It was nominated for an Oscar and 38 other nominations, and won 6 awards. A sequel titled The Dark Knight which was released in July 2008 saw the return of Nolan and Bale to the franchise.
Eight-year-old Bruce Wayne is playing with his best friend Rachel Dawes. In an attempt to hide from her after stealing a leaf shaped rock from her, he falls into a cave where he encounters a swarm of bats. Following his rescue, Bruce attends an opera with his parents which included actors dresses as bats. Having developed a fear of bats, Bruce pleads with his parents to leave early. Shortly after exiting the theater they are mugged by Joe Chill, who proceeded to kill both of Bruce's parents. Despite Chill's eventual arrest, Bruce still feels responsible for his parents' death.
Years later, after returning to Gotham City from Princeton University, Bruce attends the hearing of Joe Chill, whose sentence was suspended in exchange for testifying against mobster Carmine Falcone. He intended on killing Chill, but before he could act Chill was killed by a woman posing as a reporter. In a car ride, Bruce revealed his plan to childhood friend Rachel Dawes, who expressed disgust for his misplaced sense of justice. Rachel drops Bruce off at a restaurant in which Bruce confronts Falconi, who criticizes Bruce for being ignorant of the nature of crime. Bruce then decides to travel the world in order to study the criminal mind. After seven years, he is detained in a Bhutanese prison for theft, where he meets Henri Ducard. Ducard invites Bruce to join an elite vigilante group called the League of Shadows led by Ra's Al Ghul. Upon being freed from prison, Bruce travels to the mountaintops to begin his training with the League. During his training, Bruce finally overcomes and masters his fear of bats. When prompted to execute a criminal, as well as learning about the League's ambition to destroy Gotham, Bruce refused and escaped, destroying the temple in the process. Nevertheless, he rescues an unconscious Ducard from the temple.
Bruce returns to a mobster ruled Gotham City and begins plotting ways to expose and dismantle the city's corrupt system. He seeks assistance from Rachel, who became assistant district attorney, and Jim Gordon, a police officer who consoled him after his parents' death. Upon returning to Wayne Enterprises (run by William Earle) and pursuing a job in the Applied Sciences department, he acquires an experimental armored suit, prototype armored car, gas-powered magnetic Grapple Gun and various other state-of-the-art equipment with the help of former board member Lucius Fox. Along with various other components purchased from other companies, Bruce constructs the Batsuit. On his first mission as Batman, he thwarts a drug shipment and ties Falconi to a searchlight forming a makeshift Batsignal. He also prevents an assassination attempt on Rachel Dawes and provides her with evidence against a judge working for Falconi.
The following night after interrogating Detective Flass, Batman is investigating the drugs brought on a shipment. He confronts Dr. Jonathan Crane, who poisons him with a psychotropic hallucinogen which leaves him stunned. Narrowly escaping imminent death, he is rescued by his butler Alfred Pennyworth, who used an anti-toxin to prevent permanent damage. Two days later, Bruce finally recovers from his comatose state. He meets Rachel, who came to his manor to give him a present for his birthday. Bruce tries to invite Rachel to his birthday party, but she kindly refuses, stating that she had more important affairs to attend to. Bruce, knowing that Rachel intends to go to Arkham Asylum alone, suits up and follows her. At Arkham, Dr. Crane poisons Rachel with the same panic inducing toxin he used on Batman after showing her that it is being dumped into Gotham's water supply. Batman quickly intervenes, rescuing Rachel and infecting Dr. Crane with his own poison. When the police and SWAT team arrive to arrest Dr. Crane and Batman, Batman escapes with Rachel in the Batmobile. Upon returning to the Batcave, Batman administers the antidote to Rachel. After she recovers, he gives her two vials of the antidote for Gordon--one to inoculate himself with and the other for mass production.
Later on at his birthday party, Bruce is confronted by a group of ninjas from the League of Shadows and Ducard, who reveals himself to be the real Ra's Al Ghul and the one killed at the temple was a fake. Ra's, who was conspiring with Dr. Crane the whole time, plans to destroy Gotham by distributing the panic inducing toxin, which is most harmful when inhaled, via the main water supply and vaporizing it with a microwave-emitter stolen from Wayne Enterprises. Bruce forces his guests to leave by pretending he's drunk and insulting them. Shortly after, the group of ninjas set Wayne Manor ablaze while Ra's and Bruce briefly fight. Bruce and Alfred barely escape the flames after Bruce was temporarily incapacitated due to a beam falling on top of him. After the toxin was released in the Narrows section of Gotham, Batman came to aid the police in subduing psychopathic prisoners, including Dr. Crane, who were released from Arkham by the League. Rachel confronts Dr. Crane, who now calls himself Scarecrow, and manages to drive him away with a taser. Shortly after, a group of inmates threaten to kill her and Gordon's son who was with her at the time. Batman saves them and reveals his identity to Rachel, and then proceeds to apprehend Ducard and his henchman.
Batman, in a brief fight with Ducard's henchman, falls to the ground and is attacked by a mob of citizens who were poisoned by the toxin. He manages to retrieve his grappling gun (which was knocked down in the fight) and escapes by hooking on to the train containing the microwave emitter. While Batman fights Ra's on the train, Gordon drives to Gotham's central train station in the Batmobile and destroys the elevated set of rails attached to the station using the Batmobile's cannons. Batman, who defeats Ra's Al Ghul, escapes from the train leaving Ra's to perish in the explosion when the train crashes.
Following the incident, Batman becomes a public hero and Bruce takes ownership of Wayne Enterprises, firing Thomas Earl and appointing Lucius Fox as its new CEO. Despite his successes, he is unable to secure a close relationship with Rachel, who refuses to accept her love for Bruce while he leads a dual life as Batman. Later on, newly promoted Lieutenant Gordon reveals a new Bat-Signal for Batman. He explains that the police have yet to capture all of the released prisoners, particularly one which he notes "has a taste for the theatrical" like Batman and leaves Joker playing cards at his crime scenes. Batman promises he'll look into it and turns to leave but is stopped by Gordon who wants to thank him. Batman kindly replies by saying "...and you'll never have to" and disappears into the night.
Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale): A young billionaire who witnessed his parents the murder of his parents one fateful night when he was a child. Ever since the accident in which he was attacked by a swarm of bats, Bruce has had a fear of bats which he eventually overcame in his training with the League of Shadows. Firm in his resolution to fight organized crime, he dons the dark persona Batman, thus beginning his days jumping from rooftops as the Caped Crusader.
Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine): Bruce Wayne's trusted butler, Alfred has served the Wayne family for several years. After Bruce's parents died, he became Bruce's legal guardian until Bruce was able to take care of himself. Alfred serves as more of an adviser to Bruce, often counseling him about the decisions he makes and about life in general. On more than one occasion, he has helped Batman whenever he found himself in a predicament.
Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes): Bruce Wayne's childhood friend and love interest, Rachel spends most of her time finding ways to exploit criminals who are involved in organized crime. She eventually becomes the assistant district attorney, which puts her life in danger as she became a target of several mobster organizations. Rachel, despite being his close friend, is often very critical of Bruce and his lifestyle. After discovering that Bruce is Batman, she becomes proud of him, but refuses to pursue a relationship with him while he continues to lead a dual life as Batman.
Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman): A police officer who counseled Bruce after his parents died. He is one of few people who actively fight against organized crime in Gotham City. Gordon often gets assistance from Batman and vice versa in investigations and apprehending criminals. Through Batman, Gordon has also become a close friend of Rachel Dawes.
Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman): A former board member of Wayne Enterprises who eventually became CEO of the company. Lucius is a well educated man who assists Bruce with his job as a businessman and as Batman. Thanks to Lucius, Bruce was able to gather all the equipment and gadgets he needed to become Batman, including a utility belt, grappling gun, armored suit and an armored car. He also develops additional items for Batman's use, such as an antidote which saved Bruce from having permanent brain damage.