Scene of the Week: Batman Begins - Ending
Another week, another scene to add to our Scene of the Week segment. This Sunday, I have chosen a moment in cinema which captures one of the greatest fictional characters of all time, in his simplest form, the ending of Batman Begins. Batman Begins suffered, somewhat, from the Batman films prior, due to George Clooney officially ruining the Dark Knight, but as time went on this film matured like a fine wine; more and more people saw it, and more and more people loved it, as it is a true masterpiece.
Starting from the very beginning, as the title refers to, Batman Begins takes us on the journey of Bruce Wayne, and how certain circumstances and choices in his life led him to becoming Batman, Gotham City’s talisman and saviour. Trained by a deadly assassin organization named The League Of Shadows, Bruce gains phenomenal abilities which he has to then use to stop this organisation from destroying his home city. With many speed bumps, Bruce manages to defeat The League Of Shadows, and introduces the world to Gotham’s protector The Batman, leading me to the scene I have chosen this week.
With the big bad threat vanquished by Batman, the film comes to a close with Batman discussing the future of Gotham with Captain Jim Gordon, and how Batman will have not only inspired good, but also inspired bad. “What about escalation?” asks Jim, “We start carrying semi-automatics, they buy automatics. We start wearing Kevlar, they buy armor piercing rounds. And, you're wearing a mask. Jumping off rooftops. Now, take this guy.” Jim proceeds to hand Batman a Joker playing card which has been left behind by Gotham’s latest criminal, to confirm his theory. This is a brilliant little nod to Batman’s greatest nemesis, The Joker. But not only is it a brilliant nod to a iconic character, it works really well at building this realistic universe this incarnation of Batman lives in, giving people, like The Joker, a perfectly realistic reason to exist, not just because it is in a comic book themed film.
As the conversation between Gordon and Batman closes, our hero walks to the edge of the rooftop they are on, and is about to jump and glide off, until Gordon delays him - “I never said thank you”, referring to Batman’s prior work on saving Gotham from The League Of Shadows. Batman turns to Gordon, and says five words that captures the Caped Crusader perfectly; “And you’ll never have to”. Whenever I watch this scene, Batman’s reply gives me goosebumps. It epitomizes our hero, that he is not doing what he does to be a hero, to get a pat on the back. He is doing it because there is no one else out there able to do what he can, it is his responsibility to help Gotham.
The Dark Knight trilogy would not have been as good as it is without Hans Zimmer’s iconic score, with this scene highlighting the genius’ work. The Batman Begins score is dark, it’s gritty, it’s emotional but it is a revolution in modern film scoring. The track played during this incredible scene is called “Corynorhinus”. The way this piece of music hits it's climax as Batman jumps off the roof and glides past the camera, bringing the film to a close, is indescribable.
Batman Begins was truly the start of something extraordinary, which has changed the face of cinema forever. The director, Christopher Nolan, has made his mark on Hollywood with his Batman films, and I believe this scene is the perfect embodiment of that achievement.