“They told me there was nothing out there, nothing to fear. But the night my parents were murdered I caught a glimpse of something. I’ve looked for it ever since. I went around the world, searched in all the shadows. And there is something out there in the darkness, something terrifying, something that will not stop until it gets revenge… Me.”
Warner Bros. Pictures in association with Legendary Pictures, Syncopy Films and DC Comics present…
Visionary creators Artist Bob Kane and Writer Bill Finger gave debut to the fictional superhero in Detective Comics No. 27 in May 1939. The development of the most popular character in the history of comic books was given headway by drawing inspiration on the like of The Phantom, Doc Savage, Zorro, The Shadow and the “Worlds’ Greatest Detective” Sherlock Holmes. Over the years, Batman has given insurmountable access on wealth, resources and state of the art technology to fight criminals not just in Gotham City but in the world over!
Director Christopher Nolan (Memento) breathes new life in the epic story of one of the world’s most famous fictional characters transpired endlessly in history in any medium from books, graphic novels, TV series and films! Anchoring on the “origin” of fear, his vision for the reboot of the “Dark Knight” has made it comes across in the real world bringing urban warfare, criminality and corruption at its very core! Since the previous failure of 1990’s film series (we are talking about the third and fourth installments), Christopher and acclaimed Writer David Goyer (Blade) worked on the script in 2003 to give it a more gritty take and realism!
Their combined work helped the actualization of the film, with comic book origins Batman: The Man Who Falls deals with Bruce as a boy who fell from the well and started to gain these fears of bats. While Batman: The Long Halloween from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale gave inspiration to the gang lord Carmine “The Roman“ Falcone who controls the underbelly of the city’s rotting state and lastly, Batman: Year One which encompasses the premise of the film in terms of Bruce’s recluse from life serving as a catalyst from his hiatus and coming back to Gotham to be its protector with the help of an old friend Police Officer Jim Gordon!
Music was brought to us by the tandem of Hans Zimmer (Renaissance Man) and James Newton Howard (The Fugitive) where it brings a gritty and monumental take on the film’s soundtrack, their inputs and timing synchronizes flawlessly with the background and situation the characters play in! While Director of Photography, Wally Pfister (Insomnia) captured breathe taking shots from the mountains of Iceland to cover the “journey” and going back to in the gritty cityscapes Chicago and London to represent the hero’s city! Casting by John Papsidera (Catwoman) and Lucinda Syson (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) was fantastic, citing not just Award Winners but also remarkable actors and actresses to give full meaning on the Director’s take on the film!
Executive Producers as usual is Michael Uslan (Batman) and Benjamin Melniker (Shoot) always gives their full support on any Batman projects that would enable a much given recognition not just for the fans but for readers and audiences as well!
Rising star and fan favorite Christian Bale (American Psycho) is Gotham’s son, Bruce Wayne! / Batman! I can even see his resemblance to Mr. Kane; with a long starkly face that would become the icon that everyone would remember! He was chosen from a long list of actors ranging from Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Billy Cruddup, Joshua Jackson and even Cillian Murphy was included in the line-up. Christian gave the Director what was actually needed to portray the different facets of Bruce’s and Batman’s character giving emphasis on his playboy persona, the angry young student and the emotional and yet mature man! These became his masks as the crime fighter took over his disposition in life!
Michael Caine (Cider House Rules) is the ageless Butler Alfred pennyworth who served the Wayne Family for generations; his unrelinquishing care and support for the Master has given the focal point of being a surrogate father figure for the troubled and lonely man. Together with Jim Gordon who was one of the first few people who console the orphan! Gary Oldman (Criminal Law) on the other hand, engages the honest cop who works for a corrupt police department! He is one of the very few people that Batman trusts and by doing so; help each other to save the city!
DA Rachel Dawes is portrayed by petite Katie Holmes (Disturbing Behavior) a childhood friend and confidant for Bruce; they were even given a sort of “love” back story but was never really explored and given depth making Katie just a filler for the film to come into full circle! On the other end, her main “affection” was given to Carmine Falcone is the city’s main gangster he is played by Tom Wilkinson (Jilting Joe) their dynamic as prosecutor and a main figure in crime gives it susceptibility to keep the story going to work in the background! Tom as always provides a commendable performance his straightforward wickedness combined with brutality makes him more fun to watch!
International mainstay Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai) is Rah’s Al Ghul (consequently) the Head of the League of Shadows and Liam Neeson (Gangs of New York) is man-hunter and The League’s “front man” Henri Ducard, they the one-two punch of the group seeking to impose “justice” as they see it fit and destroy everything that comes in their way! Their loyal supporters such as Dr. Jonathan Crane also known as the Scarecrow, Cillian Murphy (On the Edge) brings his creepiness and ante-up the game of cat and mouse seeking to poison the water pipelines, he’s undertakings can be attributed for his loyalty to his Masters agenda!
More supporting casts which brings the film full circle is none other than Morgan Freeman (Bruce Almighty), who was perfectly casted, an ally to Batman’s cause he is Lucius Fox serving as weapons and transportation supplier! Mark Boone Junior (Lonesome Jim) is the bulking bully Police Officer Det. Arnold John Flass who also came from the Year One storyline as Gordon’s partner. Linus Roache (Beyond Borders) is Dr. Thomas Wayne and the passive Sara Stewart (3 Blind Mice) is Martha Wayne, the father had clearly shown his love for his son, from his fall until the time of their demise!
The film was given high praises seeing on how Bruce’s need to become the hero that he was meant to be is absolutely taken genuinely from its comic books and graphic novels. His will and motivation to be the living symbol of justice as a precursor to his city has made it even more fascinating to experience! Truly an outstanding piece that will forever be etched not just in this generation but in the next century as well!
Now, a newly promoted Lt. Jim Gordon awaits for his ally to arrive, he needs help on a “psychopath” running around in the city, he left a calling card…I bet Batman will definitely have a ”smile on his face” when he meets this guy!