I’m rewatching the first two movies right now and they are great. Very entertaining. But I find that I still don’t like Christian Bales acting as Batman. He looks great and pulls off the physical aspects but every time he opens his mouth he sounds all corny and throaty and says a lot of cliche things. Actually he’s not much better as Bruce Wayne either to be honest.
Does anyone else think he’s just not a great fit for this role and that the movies succeeded in spite of rather than because of him?
I think so, it’s not that I find Bale bad or unsuited for the role. It’s just that I find him fairly unremarkable. He’s a fairly meh lead in otherwise good to excellent movies, and really when the lead actor is the weakest part of you film it generally means that something isn’t right.
Bale is my least favorite Batman, and the movies he’s in are my least favorite Batman movies. It’s more Nolan’s directing than Bale I dislike, though: it’s like Batman as depicited as suffering major depression.
It was high time for a Batman with some gravel in his craw. Plus, and equally importantly, he plays the best Bruce Wayne since Kevin Conroy. Those other guys played Wayne and The Bat as one, it was time for an audience to see that there is a stark contrast between the two – both physically and psychologically – and Bale’s hyper-gruffness underscores that.
Can’t really blame him for the throaty thing either - can’t imagine Nolan going along with that if he disliked it. Surely some of it’s effects, anyway? It’s certainly not just Bale growling through a mask.
I like Bale’s Wayne, but dislike his Batman. Part of it is the growl - just too much - but the worst part, I think, is the dialogue he’s given. Watching him and Heath Ledger together, it’s like they had a ten-year-old write Batman’s dialogue. All cliches. Batman was as boring as the Joker was interesting. Ledger might as well have been talking to a wall.
yeah, this. i don’t dislike him in the role so much as i’m just “eh” about him. just about every other character is more interesting. in the dark knight, he’s surrounded by more talented actors (gary oldman, michael caine, morgan freeman, heath ledger to name a few) and as a result he’s the least engaging character.
speaking only about michael keaton’s portrayal, i could not possibly disagree more. i see no discernible difference between bale as bruce wayne and bale as batman. he’s just wearing the suit and doing a different voice. there’s absolutely no subtlety there- bale’s bruce wayne is an obvious candidate for batman. you might say that’s a positive thing, but i don’t agree. with michael keaton, you would never, ever guess that this quiet, reserved guy has a double life as a vigilante crimefighter, and that’s the brilliance of it. sometimes mysteries have answers in the most unexpected of places.
i’m not saying bale is terrible in the role. he does a passable job, but, yeah, the thread title says it all. he doesn’t make the movie by any stretch, IMO. and what you say about the stark contrast between bruce wayne and batman is exactly what i saw when keaton did the role. it really seemed like two different characters.
The gravel voice bothered me a bit at first in The Dark Knight, but I got used to it. I think it’s a reasonable interpretation out the comic font, in retrospect. He’s a public figure disguising his voice.
Apart from that, he’s note perfect- certainly better than any one else who’s tried it on.
It didn’t hurt that he had the best direction either.
Although I love the Nolan movies, I find them uneven.
-The performances. I like what Bale does, and of course I needn’t say anything about Ledger; everyone turns in a good performance.
-The aesthetic. Batman should be gritty and grim; the character doesn’t make sense otherwise.
-The action sequences. A few shots of Batman panicking the crap out of people, done through rapid-cuts, are okay; but I’d find it much more suspenseful if there were long takes from a medium distance. The Batman computer game Arkham Asylum manages better action sequences by far, IMO.
-The MacGuffins. They’re so silly that they take me out of the movie. In a less grim 'n gritty movie they might work, but to spend so much time making things look plausible, and then do something like the Evil Plot in the first movie, or the Cell Phone Magic of the second, seems ill-advised.
In The Dark Knight returns, they mention how he uses that animal sounding voice or something along those lines.
In Knightfall, when Robin hands Jean Paul Valley the suit, he reminds him to use that growling voice that Bruce used.
The Nolan movies are the most accurate modern Batman interpretation so far. Many of the scenes are pulled directly from various comic books. I recommend reading DKR, Year One, The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Knightfall, and The Killing Joke.
I assume that most people who don’t like the current Batman are only familiar with the previous Batman interpretations from TV or the movies. The animated series and Mask of the Phantasm were the best interpretation before the current movie series.