It might prove to be difficult to write an objective analysis of the first installment of a trilogy after seeing the subsequent films, but I was in only college when Batman Begins first came out, and did not have much interest in films past their entertainment value back then. Since then, however, I have come convinced that movies function as a medium for the worldviews of their creators, whether intentional or not. In light of the popularity and influence Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of Batman has had on our culture, I thought it would be profitable to take a look at the whole trilogy in light of a Christian perspective starting with the first film.
For a good review of Batman Begins when it first come out, I would recommend Roger Ebert’s page.
When Batman Begins first came out I was severely skeptical, not having washed the bad taste out of my mouth yet from the previous Batman movies that had gotten out of hand. To my, and seemingly everyone else, pleasant surprise it turned out to be the Batman movie we all knew at some level could be and should be.
At the time Batman Begins came out, Christopher Nolan was not an obvious pick for taking on the role of director given some of his previous films. However, it proved to be a perfect fit, as Nolan is most apt at creating films that stir the imagination, as well as the emotion. Avoiding the more campy style of the Burton/Schumacher films, Nolan created a gritty, more “realistic” Gotham world, where Bruce Wayne is given more depth as a character. As the story of how Wayne turns into Batman unfolds, we find ourselves to truly come to care about this character and what happens to him.
Growing up with comic books I have been rather excited with all the movie adaptations. But to be honest it has been surprising to some extent their popularity. But maybe it shouldn’t be. Maybe our culture, whether it realizes or not, understands that man is need of being saved, and he cannot do it himself. There needs to be a savior, one who is powerful enough to save, yet at some level one of us to empathize, to love. Really, all superheroes are just a faint shadow of Christ, the Savior of the world.
We will explore this concept of what it means to be a hero more fully and at various angles not only in this trilogy but in the comic movies that have been and the many more to come. It is, however, something to look out for, and even quite honesty something to be excited about, that characters like Batman can function (even if unintentionally and/or incompletely) as pointers to Jesus, the Better Superhero.
Here is a list of articles written concerning various topics of Batman Begins from a Christian perspective: