Batman Begins poster.Young Bruce Wayne, after witnessing his parents' murder.Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne from Batman Begins.DVD cover of the Widescreen Deluxe Edition of Batman Begins.

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Batman Begins

Batman Begins (2005) is a American film based on the comic book character created by Bob Kane. The movie was first released on June 15, 2005, directed by Christopher Nolan, and written by Nolan and David S. Goyer. more...

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Although it is the fifth live-action Batman movie since 1989, the movie is neither a sequel nor a prequel to the previous Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher movies, but rather a complete revision or reboot of the series. It more closely follows the darker psychological theme of the Batman comics and graphic novels.

Plot summary

Batman Begins explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight's emergence as a force for good in Gotham City.

A young Bruce Wayne (Gus Lewis), while playing with young Rachel Dawes (Emma Lockhart), falls down a well and is attacked by a flurry of bats. After his father, Thomas Wayne (Linus Roache), pulls him from the well, Bruce begins having nightmares about bats. One night, the Waynes go to the opera where Bruce becomes scared at some of the dancers' portrayals of bat-like demons (from Mefistofele). Bruce experiences a panic attack and begs his father to leave the theatre early. The family exits into an alley where they are confronted by a mugger, who, despite the calm submission of Thomas, shoots both him and his wife. Fatally wounded with a bullet in his chest, Thomas Wayne's last words to his son are, "Don't be afraid." Bruce is left physically unharmed, but in a state of total mental shock.

After being comforted at the police station by police sergeant Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and being told "good news" about the shooter, Joe Chill, being arrested, Bruce is taken home by family butler Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine), who raises him in the absence of his parents.

We cut to roughly 14 years later; now a young adult, Bruce (Christian Bale) has returned from Princeton University for the parole hearing of his parents' murderer which was arranged as part of a deal to testify against the crime boss Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson). Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes) is now a Gotham City Assistant District Attorney. The killer is granted parole, but is murdered immediately after the hearing by a mob operative. Bruce Wayne was planning to kill him as well, but was robbed of the opportunity. When Rachel learns this, she explains the difference between vengeance and justice to Bruce, and then tells him that his father would be ashamed. Bruce becomes ashamed of himself and promptly goes to confront Falcone. After the fateful meeting, a disillusioned Wayne steals away on a cargo ship, and travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice and "turn fear against those who prey on the fearful."

He is later arrested and jailed by Chinese police for the theft of goods that, ironically, belong to Wayne Enterprises. Approached by Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) in jail, representing Ra's al Ghul of the League of Shadows, a group of fanatical assassins. Traveling to the home of the League of Shadows in the Himalayas, Wayne learns to use theatrics and deception as his greatest weapons. However, after his training, Ra's and Ducard tell Wayne that he must lead the League to destroy Gotham, a source of evil according to the group. Wayne refuses to destroy the city he loves while vowing to fight evil his own way, and battles Ra's before making his escape. Ra's is killed in the battle, but Wayne manages to save Ducard.


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