Of course, a Batmanmovie is nothing without a Bruce Wayne, and, by a mile, Bale is the best of a lot that has ranged from the square-jawed slapstick of Adam West to the more dedbonair stylings of Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney. No stranger to reinvention himself, Bale (who reduced his 6'2" frame to skeletal proportions for his previous role in The Machinist) handily trumps his predecessors because he doesn't try to play the part in any one particular way. Instead, he embraces the fragmented identity of a man who wears so many masks he feels his real self slipping away in the scramble. This Wayne is by turns brooding adolescent, foppish playboy, concerned social advocate, and then, with a quick change of costume (and voice), a terrifying force of the id—a Batman who, even demystified, still manages to cast a long, dark, mythic shadow.
BATMAN BEGINS WAS DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHER NOLAN; WRITTEN BY NOLAN AND DAVID S. GOYER, BASED UPON CHARACTERS APPEARING IN COMIC BOOKS PUBLISHED BY DC COMICS; PRODUCED BY CHARLES ROVEN, EMMA THOMAS AND LARRY FRANCO. NOW PLAYING COUNTYWIDE.