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 Friday, 17 June 2005
Friday, 17 June 2005 21:00:28 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) ( )


I have been a Batman fan for, well, longer than I can remember. And this movie made me happy.


Among the various superheroes I have followed for years, Batman has always been at the top of my list. At different times in my life what has attracted me to Batman has changed. At one time it was the gadgets and the car, then the pure incorruptible goodness, then later the dark, dangerous and edgy mystery. It is this latter version of Batman, as the dark knight, that has been with me longest.


Years ago I collected most of a title called Moon Knight. Moon Knight was published back when Batman tended toward being the detective rather than a dark force for good. But Moon Knight was never particularly good. He was a religiously converted (maybe) mercenary, driven by his own internal demons (gods or insanity or both) to do heroic deeds. I loved that comic.


But Moon Knight really pales in comparison to the portrayals of Batman as a dark knight. A force of vengeance tempered with justice. This is the maturity of the Batman mythos as I see it now through adult eyes.


Given that, the only Batman movie of any quality ever made was the one with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Until now.


All the earlier movies were feature-length episodes of the old Batman TV show. And that was great for the gadget-loving, detective wannabe, pure goodness seeking version of myself in my youth. But after about age 10 that kind of thing just doesn’t cut it.


All the later moves tried to blend the old Adam West feel with the edgy dark night of the Tim Burton movie – with utter and complete failure. They were, by far, worse than the corny Adam West stuff, which at least was honest in its level of silliness.


This evening however, I saw Batman Begins and it made me happy. It feels heavily inspired by Batman the Animated Series from around 10 years ago. And that animated series was some of the best Batman to ever be made. Batman Begins has the full dark knight motif going, with the visuals to back it up.


But perhaps best of all was the immediate feel of the movie. Sure there’s stuff where you have to suspend disbelief – it is the superhero genre after all. But it felt consistent and real. Unlike all the previous Batman movies (barring the animated ones) this one wasn’t surreal. Even the Tim Burton movie had a healthy dose of the surreal, but not Batman Begins.


So for what it is worth, as a life-long Batman fan I am quite happy with Batman Begins and expect that the DVD will sit nicely alongside my Spiderman, X-Men and Daredevil DVDs – and of course the Tim Burton Batman, which remains quite respectable in my view.

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