8:00 PM, 16th August, 2012
There's no denying that Christopher Nolan changed the way the world looks at comic book movies. No longer just an exercise in merchandising, Nolan's Batman films went beyond word balloons to the essence of comic book lore, delivering not just great adaptations - but cinema of the highest calibre. So it's only fitting that we pay tribute to his Dark Knight trilogy with a return to Gotham City in the lead up to The Dark Knight Rises, the concluding chapter of the tale.
After losing his parents in a senseless mugging, Bruce Wayne (Bale) exiles himself from his privileged life in Gotham to search the world for answers. He eventually finds discipline in the Far East under the tutelage of Henri Ducard (Neeson) and the mysterious League of Shadows. Years later, Wayne returns to Gotham to save the city from the brink of destruction. Adopting the fearful symbol of a bat, he puts his new skills to use in the guise of a masked crime-fighter known as the Batman.
First and foremost, this is a film about Batman. Despite having 'Batman' in their titles, the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher-directed versions of the Caped Crusader were always more about the villain of the week than Bruce Wayne himself. Nolan wisely focuses his brooding film on the man beneath the mask, and shows us how someone dressed as a bat has captured our imagination for 70 years. A visceral, rousing start to the trilogy, Batman Begins transcends mere genre to become a cinematic experience that demands revisiting at every opportunity.