Batman Begins (2005)
“Bats frighten me. It’s time my enemies shared my dread.”
— Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) decides on a style motif.
With challenging films such as Memento and The Prestige under his belt, Christopher Nolan was an unusual choice to reinvent the Batman franchise, but he was a smart one. And certainly brains were necessary, given the brainless direction Schumacher had taken the hero. Nolan’s tack was to approach the Batman myth as if it was a realistic premise, giving Christian Bale’s tortured hero a tech genius confederate in Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox and a Nietzschean vigilante role model in Liam Neeson’s Henri Ducard. The lesser-known villain The Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) was an appropriate choice given the movie’s motif of pervasive fear.