Batman Begins: The Unwatched Batman Movie

I don’t mean to imply that I haven’t seen it. Oh no, I’ve seen the shit out of it. I saw it in theaters, and then had a memorable post-film chase scene because my classmate warned me that my ex-girlfriend was in the theater…leading to me sprinting three blocks through ice and snow.

I’m not a sprinter, but fleeing her was absolutely worth it.

But as many times as I’ve re-watched The Dark Knight, and even the relatively contentious The Dark Knight Rises (which I adore), I think I’ve seen Batman Begins four times, max.

Many of the same characters. Some magnificent effects. Great fights. Montages upon montages. Awesome explication, like when Alfred explains that they’re buying thousands of a specific portion of Bats’ costume.

But I hardly ever watch the film, and I’ve been given cause to reflect on why: I don’t need that origin. There’s been plenty of digital ink spilled on the challenge of superhero origin stories, particularly as they relate to reboots. What’s tricky with Batman is that he’s always retelling his origin. The whole character is wrapped up in a war on crime that he started to avenge his parents.

But I don’t need to see kid Wayne doing kid Wayne stuff on the way to being awkward stocking-cap Batman. That’s the element of the retelling I find boring. By contrast, however, I’ll watching Batman fight the Joker over, and over, and over again. Ledger’s Joker is amazing, but so was Romero’s. Hamil’s Joker absolutely eclipses his other work from a characterization and craft perspective; obviously it can’t top Star Wars for the fame, but man…such good stuff. I’ve just finished re-watching the animated Justice League, and started in on Justice League: Unlimited. Joker’s barely in the former, but every time he shows up it’s magnificent. I’m already thinking that I need to get back into Batman Beyond again, and the Joker’s not even really in that!

Bane’s equally great. If there was a Hush live-action I’d watch the shit out of that. I have almost every animated DC flick to drop in the last decade; they’re killing Marvel on the cartoon front, and Marvel’s had some great shows as well. Batman is fun to watch, he’s spectacular to experience.

But I don’t need his beginning.

Also, I don’t particularly care for Katie Holmes.

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