The Batman – Christian Bale Style

As superheroes go – THE BATMAN – is in a class that only has room for one !!!

There have been a few Batmen over the years.

However, as far as I am concerned, only two have ever come close to personifying what The Batman is.

Michael Keaton from the 1989 Batman and the 1992 Batman Returns is one.

Christian Bale is the other.

Both (for me) captured the darker as well as the vulnerable sides of Batman and Bruce Wayne.

I’m still tossing up who is the better but for now lets look at Christian Bale as The Batman. We’ll take it one movie at a time.

Batman Begins.

I like the Christian Bale  Batman movies because they delve into the history behind The Batman. What led him to take on such a persona. Christopher Nolan (director) has gone back to the darker side of the story.

Christopher Nolan with Cristian Bale and Michael Caine

A darker Batman and a darker Gotham City.

The Wayne Building in Central Gotham

In saying this he has not turned the movie into a blood and gore spectacle. I love that he kept that part of it restrained. The movie is dark enough that too much blood and gore would have turned it into a far different type of film.

What an incredible cast in this movie. All actors who can pull out wonderful performances.

1. Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman

2. Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox

3. Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth

4. Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard/Ra’s al Ghul

5. Gary Oldman as Sgt. James Gordon

6. Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes (She did a good job people. Pity she married Tom and never did the sequel)

7. Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane / The Scarecrow

Let’s face it – Batman needs good villians. Liam Neesan and Cillian Murphy were perfect for the job.

Back to The Batman himself. Unless you live under a rock you know how The Batman came into being. His parents were shot and killed in front of him as a young boy.

Gus Lewis as Bruce Wayne age eight

Which left Bruce to be raised by the family’s butler Alfred Pennyweather. When Bruce’s parents’ killer is shot dead, Bruce leaves Gotham. He decides to study criminals and he ends up in prison in Bhuton where Henri Ducard finds him.

Bruce trains with Ducard learning the arts of armed and unarmed combat as well as how to be invisible in the hunt. But Ducard wants Bruce to join the League of Shadows. A group under Ra’s al Ghul, who have over the centuries taken down a few corrupt civilisations.

Now we are getting to it. Bruce has been brought in to the League because they want to destroy Gotham City.

Gotham Skyline

This is where I love Bale’s handling of the characters. Bruce is conflicted. Yes he still has revenge in his heart – but he hasn’t lost his humanity.

Bale once described the part of Batman as having to play four characters: the raging Batman personality; the shallow playboy façade that Bruce used to waylay any suspicion; the vengeful young man; and the older, angrier Bruce who is now back in Gotham and discovering his purpose in life.

So – he takes down the League, but makes one error. Bruce saves his mentor Ducard. Even at this point in the movie I could see that that was a bad move. But – we need conflict right.

Bruce calls Alfred to come and pick him up. They could not have chosen a better Alfred than Michael Caine. Alfred has always been my favourite character after The Batman himself – so this was important to me.

The one thing Bruce feared was bats. This comes from being trapped with them as a child. So what does he do – immerses himself in them when he and Alfred find them in an old cave under the Wayne mansion.

Bruce also begins to let people get to know the playboy persona while they set about gathering the tools The Batman is going to need.

Christian Bale has been quoted as saying that being in The Batman suit made him grumpy (as the suit was uncomfortable and hot to wear) – which was actually a good thing character wise.

The Batmobile is a work of art. I wondered how they were going to make it modern without losing its magic – I think they scored a hit !!

There is a lot more I could tell you. But I think if you haven’t seen this movie – well you should.

There’s love and loss…

There’s cool gadgets…

There’s lots of action…

There’s wonderful cinematography…

A great script…

An awesome cast…

Hell – it’s The Batman people.

And in case you’re not convinced…one more thing…

***

For more on my love affair with The Batman – or how about The Batman and Robin…old school style.

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49 thoughts on “The Batman – Christian Bale Style”

  1. I like the Christian Bale Batman movies. George Clooney made a handsome Batman, but I grew up watching the television series with Adam West as Batman. You’re right… the television series was a “camp fest of farcical moments.”

    1. George Clooney is gorgeous – but he was just unbelievable to me as The Batman. The Batman is dark, has a bleak troubled soul, is full of demons – George just couldn’t pull that off for me. You just know Christian Bale is trouble, stormy, about to explode – my God – he really is The Batman…
      I did like the TV series, but that was a different time, and a very different take on Batman – I think there is room for the two – but I love where they have gone with this film series – can’t wait for number 3 next year…

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  3. Christian made the Batman sequel rock. Batman Begins was great, but The Dark Knight was a masterpiece. He made Batman a superhero that can exist, he has no super crazy powers and only uses his gadgets, stealth and strength. I’m a BIG fan and can’t wait for the next installment in 2012. I also miss Katie Holmes. For me Batman
    is the only believable superhero character :D

  4. Christpher Nolan is a genius. A director that really pulls out his thinking cap. Everyone’s at their jaws thralled and amazed on what he brought to the table. He escalated something familiar into something comprehensive. Nothing is easy with Nolan. Everything is precise and well-thought through. I’m looking forward for the third installment.

  5. You’re 100 per cent right. Bale is the best Batman to date, with Keaton in second place. I was not convinced by Clooney or Kilmer.

    Now that Nolan’s hanging up the cape after The Dark Knight Rises, who do you think could play The Joker in a future adaptation of the Batman film franchise?

    My wife and I were watching The Dark Night when it came on TV recently, despite buying the DVD which we never opened. The movie got us talking about all kinds of batty stuff. One of the subjects was about naming actors who we think would make an impressive Joker. Not Batman, The Joker; Kim–my wife, didn’t like Heath Ledger’s portrayal for some reason but I’m still mesmerized by it (I think that entire film was seamless which is rare).

    I want to see an adaptation in which the Joker is played by a woman. Not a woman playing a male role but an actual female Joker. I know, I know, DC loyalists might be freaking out right now saying, “What for? Harlequin is already the female Joker!” I’m not interested in a clever copycat. I want to see a real McCoy Joker but in female form. Kind of like, when Tory Amos produced her album Strange Little Girls by covering originally male performed songs from the perspective of twelve female characters. My wife and I think that Ellen DeGeneres is a shoo-in because of her slick timing.

    Kim and I also agreed that if the role was to continue being held by a man; the most likely case, then Johnny Depp would probably make a wicked Joker. She’s not too keen on my concept of a senior citizen Joker played by Robin Williams, however (I used to think that if the production was right, Schwarzenegger could reprise the role of Conan but as Robert E. Howard’s aged Conan King; if memory serves me correctly, that idea was even hinted at in the screen adaptation of Conan the Barbarian). Do you think that Robin as the Joker is as far fetched as the idea of Eddie Murphy playing The Riddler? Anyway, she thinks that Ray Liotta would make a better older Joker. It’s his eyes.

    Of course, we were talking about known Hollywood celebrities but I do wonder about those talented artists whom no one has heard about. Spike Lee was well known for making big names out of virtual unknowns, so it’s a possibility. The face of Batman’s nemesis could belong to someone down the street from me or you.

    So, what do you think? Who’s your pick for The Joker?

    1. Who I think would make a great Joker ?? Well this is probably going to blow your mind – Brad Pitt !!!
      Wait – before you run screaming from the building – think of Fight Club, Snatch, 12 Monkeys. He does insane really well, and there are enough similarities between he and Heath Ledger that it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine him as an older version.
      I LOVED Heath’s performance – it has me riveted everytime I watch the movie.
      I can’t see Depp as The Joker – but maybe as The Riddler. Though I have another canditate for The Riddler. A young actor currently starring in Supernatural – Jared Padelecki. He is so underestimated. In series 5 there is an episode (Swan Song) where he plays the part of Lucifer having a conversation with his human personality – it is riveting to watch.
      I’ll have to ponder the whole female Joker thing – hmmmmmmmmm.

      1. I can tell … you have a firm grasp on the world of Batman. BIG Batman fan here: I’m in countdown mode here, too. Very curious to see Chris Nolan’s take on the Bane story. So far, I really like what Tom Hardy has done. I’m oscillating with excitement!!!

  6. As a Batfan, I must say: Cool article! Funny, even before “The Dark Knight Returns” hits the theaters, there’s already talk about a Batman “reboot,” much like the reimagining of Spiderman in the upcoming “The Amazing Spiderman.” As Hollywood is wont to do, they’ll probably cast some young, flavor of the week actor to play Bruce Wayne/Batman. But to me Christian Bale will always be the definitive Batman; anyone else will be a pale imitation.

    1. Thank you !!
      I wish they would just give it a rest for a while.
      Find a NEW idea occassionally.
      I can’t imagine anyone taking The Batman to the places Christian Bale has done.

      1. Agreed. I can’t see how anyone, no matter how talented, could possibly top the Chris Nolan trilogy, and I’d rather that they didn’t even try. But, of course, this is Hollywood, and they’ll no doubt try to wring every last penny out of the Batman that they can.

        1. I am so sick of remakes…I just did something I did I had said I wouldn’t. Watched the new FOOTLOOSE. Okay it has all the shine of a new movie, but please…other than that it sucked compared to the Kevin Bacon one. Now I get that maybe, and this is a big maybe – that today’s generation will consider it to be their Footloose…but HOLLYWOOD…STOP !!!!!!
          All the talent – and there is so much writing talent that has the capacity to come up with new ideas…what is wrong with them ??

  7. Nice write up on the Bat…it always annoyed me that the TV series and a lot of the movies camped the story up for laughs and deviated away from the original comics were quite dark themselves…I like the Christian Bale Batman over the others but couldn’t abide Heath Ledger’s Joker – IMHO, the Jack Nicholson version was the more intimidating….

    1. How I love it when I find like minded people here… ;) :)
      You have quite a few posts that I will work my way through…fascinating stuff. Loving The Power of Words !!!!

  8. Great post! Any Batman post will always get a thumbs up from me but this goes far beyond “just another batman post”. I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said here. Bale is definitely the best batman role so far. I’m really hoping that the new Batman comes here to Oman! Thanks for this post. Great read!

  9. I just saw Batman TDKR last Friday; FLAWLESS!

    It is just a terrible shame that the experience of watching a well made film about clinging to the hope a better way of life and committing yourself to fighting to achieve that goal has been severely hurt by one young man who is either criminally insane or sociopathic.

  10. DWL at your comment prompter …

    Loved your review … some may consider it a spoiler but it made me very much interested in watching it .. then I realized that I have already ..but fell asleep :S SO I shall go watch again cause I obviously missed a lot lol

  11. I’ve only ever watched Christian Bale play Batman, and I wont be looking for others because I think he’s absolutely wonderful. I’m not one of those die-hard fans who read all the comics, and for me to actually understand the character of Bruce Wayne/Batman and enjoy it…few can do it.

  12. Michael Keaton is my favorite Batman. I love the supporting cast in the Christian Bale movies and I love getting the backstory. Christian Bale’s troubled personal life seems a good match for the character, but his whispered delivery annoys me. I know it’s because of his accent and he has improved, but still…

    1. I do love Michael Keaton’s portrayal. Until Bale he was the only Batman that got it for me…but there is something about Christian Bale’s The Batman that just stikes all the right chords with me. To be honest I liked that he whispered. It made sense to me. I always took it that it was a way to disguise his voice which would otherwise have been recognisable to those that knew Bruce Wayne.

There are two things I know for certain. One: Bert and Ernie are gay. Two: I want to hear your opinion.

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