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Batman Begins (PG-13)

Action/Adventure 140 June 15, 2005
By Robert Wilonsky
Batman may have been resurrected from the goofball graveyard in which Joel Schumacher buried him in 1997, but he doesn't quite live again. This new iteration, directed by Memento's Christopher Nolan, is often a drag. The filmmakers ditch the camp but go too far in the other direction, investing Batman Begins with such reverence that it borders on tedious self-seriousness. It feels as though there's more dialogue in Batman Begins than in its four predecessors combined, and if the first half is overbaked, the second is undercooked -- a bunch of comic-book whizbang dealing with a plot by the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) to poison Gotham City's water supply. Even if there were a great movie here, it would have been undone by two lead actors who are barely even there, asked to deliver lines they can't handle: Christian Bale, playing the Batman with clipped wings, and Katie Holmes as an assistant district attorney who doesn't have the gravitas to pass as an intern. Come back, Alicia Silverstone; all is forgiven.
Christopher Nolan Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Katie Homes, Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Gary Oldman, Rutger Hauer, Tom Wilkinson Christopher Nolan, David S Goyer Emma Thomas, Charles Roven, Larry J Franco Warner Bros. Pictures

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