'Batman Begins': 5 Ways the Movie Changed Hollywood

10 years after the groundbreaking film, a look back at its influence.

ByMichael Rothman
June 16, 2015, 12:48 PM
PHOTO: Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne in "Batman Begins."
Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne in "Batman Begins."
James David/Warner Bros./Newscom

— -- "Batman Begins" was released 10 years ago on Monday and the movie still holds up today.

With the likes of Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson and Katie Holmes all starring in the 2005 movie, it's one that showed a different take on Batman and his origin story.

Basically, before director Christopher Nolan, no one had brought Bruce Wayne's gritty upbringing in Gotham City to the big screen like "Begins."

Here are 5 ways "Batman Begins" changed Hollywood in the past decade:

1 - Christian Bale Became an A-List Star

Sure, there was "American Psycho" in 2000 and "The Machinist" in 2004, but as Batman, Bale became a huge movie star. "The Prestige," "The Dark Knight," "Terminator Salvation" and "The Fighter," for which Bale won an Oscar, all came after his first stint as the Caped Crusader.

If you want it in modern terms you'll understand, "Batman Begins" was to Bale what "Guardians of the Galaxy" was to Chris Pratt.

PHOTO: Christian Bale as Batman
Christian Bale films on location for "The Dark Knight Rises" on Oct. 28, 2011 in New York City.
Bobby Bank/Getty Images

2 - The Comic 'Franchise' Reborn

Before 2005, we had lackluster movies like "Hulk" in 2003 as well as franchises coming to a close like "Batman & Robin" before that in 1997 and an aging Toby Maguire, who was ending his run as Spider-Man in the mid-2000's. There were also other one-offs like "The Punisher" in 2004.

Then came "Batman Begins." More importantly, that last scene with Gary Oldman showing Batman the Joker's calling card, setting up that epic 2008 sequel and changing the way we looked at comic franchises.

Marvel released "Iron Man" in 2008 and the post-credit scene was born. That scene, which debuted Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, created a real universe. But it was that Joker scene at the end of "Begins" that was the first cliffhanger in a modern comic movie. That scene spawned the potential for more and more and more to come. We have D.C. and Marvel movies planned through to 2020.

3 - A New Blockbuster Director in Town

Can you believe that "Batman Begins" was only Nolan's fifth movie that he directed. Nolan had indie hits before like "Memento," but after "Begins," he blew up. "The Prestige," "The Dark Knight," "Inception" and "Interstellar" all came later. Now, it's a big deal that he's even just an executive producer, on "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," set to hit theaters in 2016. Like James Cameron, Nolan can direct a huge movie once every few years and be just fine.

4 - A Perfect Origin Story

As mentioned above, "Begins" focuses on Wayne's origin story training with the League of Shadows. No other Batman film had really done that before. From that point on, we wanted to know about Tony Stark and his unfortunate past in a Middle East cave, held hostage, we wanted to know more about Thor's relationship with his father and brother and how he came to be a noble hero, and we'll get to know a ton more about the "Black Panther," the "Inhumans" and so on and so on.

This first Batman film brought a rich back story to the Dark Knight's crime fighting present. And it worked masterfully. Plus, it didn't hurt to have Liam Neeson as Ra's Al Ghul. Neeson in anything never hurts.

PHOTO: Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne in "Batman Begins."
Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne in "Batman Begins."
James David/Warner Bros./Newscom

5 - Subtle Humor is Welcome in a Superhero Movie

There's always the case and a well-warranted argument that 2004's "Spider-Man 2" is one of the greatest comic movies of all-time. But with that said and even though that movie showed how crappy being a superhero could be, it was absolutely an action movie, with a romantic twist.

"Batman Begins" was funny as much as it was serious. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman are acclaimed, acclaimed actors, whose one-liners showed us that a superhero movie doesn't have to be all serious, because life is not that way. You can have subtle humor from great actors.

"You expecting to run into much gunfire in these caves?" and "Let me get this straight. You think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world, is secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands; and your plan, is to blackmail this person? Good luck" are perfect examples that brought a little gigle in the middle of an intense film.

Even 10 years later, "Avengers: Age of Ultron" was welcomed this year and a lot of reviews cited the humor the movie weaved into the story.

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