Christian Bale and Liam Neeson in Batman Begins

My Favorite Scene: Batman Begins (2005) “The Will to Act”

Last week we started off in the middle of the Dark Knight trilogy, so I thought we’d bookend it the next two weeks.  This scene, most often called The Will to Act, showcases Chris Nolan‘s ability as a director to impart motivation and information in massive doses without it ever feeling like it’s shoved down the audience’s throat.  In four minutes you go from Bruce Wayne flashing back to how he felt after his parents’ funeral, to a nearly completely trained Batman.  The hows, wheres and whys of many of Batman’s tactics are imparted with a matter-of-fact logic, and the framing device is a sword fight.  The sword fight on the ice.

Two behind the scenes notes on this.  The scene was shot in Iceland on a real lake that was thawing as the crew shot it.  The day after filming, all that ice was gone.  Also, in the campfire that ends the scene (which in retrospect offers a whole lot of information relevant to Dark Knight Rises) Ras tells a shivering, arm rubbing Bruce to “warm his core and his body would take care of the rest”.  Christopher Nolan has said he feels awful about that because he completely made it up and he’s lain awake many a night wondering how many Boy Scouts or campers he’s condemned to hypothermia just because he thought a line sounded cool.

Christian Bale in Batman Begins

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