One of the key reasons that ‘The Dark Knight’ smashed box office records back in 2008, and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ did the same last year, was that they were building upon the firm foundations of their 2005 predecessor, ‘Batman Begins’. Begins leaves any prior cinematic canon behind; it forgets Adam West’s 60’s caped crusader, Tim Burton’s darkly stylised late 80’s Batman and Joel Schumacher’s campy 90’s incarnation. Instead director Christopher Nolan starts from scratch with a slightly altered origin story chronicling the inception of the Dark Knight.
Nolan, and his co-writer, David S. Goyer, craft one of the great cinematic origin stories; skilfully dividing their time between Bruce Wayne learning to become at one with the shadows, the donning of the cowl, protecting the ones he loves and saving his city from destroying itself from the inside out.
This is story telling on an epic scale, dealing with themes of justice, revenge and destruction. Nolan has done what few Hollywood directors manage to do and used a blockbuster budget to create something mature and powerful. Batman is a dark character; he is emotionally cracked, and any film about him should reflect that. Batman Begins does just that.