Everyone has heard of Batman one way or another but there’s only been two top film franchises based on the character. To start with, Batman was first created in 1939 by Bob Kane, now remembered as the original Batman creator and always credited for originating the character …but I am not here to talk about Bob Kane. I am going to talk about the films that started the franchises.
In 1989 a maverick filmmaker called Tim Burton started a successful Batman film franchise which he left after two films; his first Batman film is considered one of his best films, adding dark elements to the Batman character. As the film opens you can see that the characters are not ready to believe that the Batman is real…until The Joker arrives.The Joker was created when, as Jack, he fell into a vat of chemicals; it turns out that Jack murdered Bruce’s parents when he was a child, driving the latter to seek revenge on The Joker. Under the mask you see that Batman is actually wealthy socialite Bruce Wayne, who is coming to terms with finding a new love interest in Vicki Vale – a photographer – but after one date he feels that he can’t pursue her because his being Batman could endanger heir relationship. Bruce – as Batman – ends up saving Vicki from The Joker, who is falling in love with her, too. In the end Batman kills The Joker and continues his career in fighting crime.
Next up for the franchise, in 2005 a filmmaker with a English literature background called Christopher Nolan released a Batman film called Batman Begins featuring a Batman with added depth. As the film opens you see that Bruce Wayne is inside a Chinese prison, ready to fight criminals. After being bullied, he ends up in a cell with Decard, who introduces him to the League of Shadows. Bruce is released from prison the next day, then decides to take up Decard’s offer and finds him up in the mountains where he begins training in the art of the Ninja, which he will use later as the Batman. Shadows’ lord Ra’s Al Ghul seeing that Bruce is gaining new skills very well and decides to integrate him within the Leagues of Shadows. But their true purpose is destroying Gotham; Bruce ends up destroying their base.
Bruce returns to Gotham a new man, allying himself with James Gordon. Together they take on Falcone, a leading gangster, who they take down on Batman’s first night back. Batman educates himself in Gotham’s criminal network, leading him to Scarecrow. Scarecrow, using his powder which makes their victims see their greatest weakness, awakens Bruce’s greatest fear – bats – but he wakes up a couple of days later, throws on his Batsuit, and follows friend Rachael Dawes to the Narrows Way where he defeats Scarecrow, who tells him that he is working for Ra’s Al Ghul.
In returning to his mansion, Bruce finds out that Decard is really Ra’s Al Ghul who knows that Bruce is Batman; Al Ghul tells Bruce he intends to destroy Gotham. Bruce is defeated by Ra’s Al Ghul initially, but soon has help from his butler Alfred, who coaches him in becoming the true hero that Gotham; Bruce suits up as Batman, determined to finally defeat his old mentor once and for all.
The positives of each film are showing you Batman at the beginning of his crime fighting career. Batman Begins follows the narrative more from Bruce’s point of view and shows exactly how he is going to defeat the range of different villains. Batman Begins shows the target audience Bruce’s origins in becoming Batman and there are flashbacks to the different stages of Bruce’s life. Most of the negatives are within Tim Burton’s film because you don’t really see Bruce or Batman developing as a character. Overall, if you ask which Batman film to see. I’d say Batman Begins; it delivers depth of character so you take something more away after watching the film.