The Most Unforgettable Batman Begins Quotes
Batman Begins brought us Batman in a way DC Comics fans had never seen before. The movie introduced a darkness and power to the Dark Knight that was unexpected, unsettling, and powerful. With Christian Bale as Batman and Christopher Nolan directing, let alone the rest of the star-studded cast — Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes, Liam Neeson as Ra’s al Ghul, Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox — the characters truly came to life.
“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.” – Batman
At the film’s beginning, Bruce has been gone for a long time. He left Gotham without a trace, and no one but Alfred really knew where his adventures took him. When he finally returned, there wasn’t a single celebration — there were many! Bruce Wayne partied like it was going out of style, all in an attempt to make people ignore his long absence. He spent money recklessly, as if it grew on trees.
The first time that Rachel saw Bruce in Gotham again, he tried to explain his behavior. “Inside I am more.” And yet Rachel didn’t care. It wasn’t the intent that matters to her. It’s the action. So when he saved Rachel later in the film, he returned the line back to her; it was a subtle way to reveal his identity. A way to say that he trusted her. And a way to show he really had changed.
“I won’t kill you but I don’t have to save you.” – Batman
During a climactic battle with Ra’s al Ghul, Batman leaped through the window of a train speeding across the rails of Gotham City, seemingly doomed for destruction. Ra’s al Ghul, the very same man that trained Batman in the first place, was exhausted having to deal with his former student. After all, in Ra’s al Ghul’s mind, Bruce was a failure. He refused to do what it takes to truly save a city, or save the world. Their battle raged on, and Ra’s even appeared bored with their fight!
With the help of Commissioner Gordon, the train track was destroyed so the train wouldn’t reach its disastrous destination. It came down to the very last moment, but Batman was able to gain the upper hand. He was able to distract Ra’s the whole time so Batman could plan his escape, tearing a train car in half just so he could fly out and leave Ra’s behind. He refused to become the killer that Ra’s wanted him to be, but he also refused to save an evil man.
“Why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” – Thomas Wayne
In a flashback, a young Bruce Wayne falls to the bottom of a well in search of a small artifact for his friend Rachel. It’s just a little arrowhead, but it was worth the risk. And it was, in fact, a risk, because he fell down and was swarmed by hordes of pitch black creatures. He broke bones and gave himself a phobia like no other. And instead of getting in trouble, or being pampered like we’d expect, his father offered him this beautiful line.
And it’s no different when many years down the road, Batman took another risk. Wayne Manor went up in flames, as he and Alfred dropped to the deepest hidden cave in the mansion. The elevator creaked to a halt, and Batman was questioning everything. But Alfred looked him in the eye and offered him the very same advice his father had all those years ago. Alfred hadn’t given up on Batman, so Batman wasn’t going to give up either.
“You look like a man who takes himself too seriously. Do you want my opinion? You need to lighten up.” – Scarecrow
Dr. Jonathan Crane had been performing awful experiments on the prisoners in Gotham City. Using his new concoction, he was able to synthesize a devious drug that was often referred to as the “fear toxin.” He was being prompted to create the drug directly by Ra’s al Ghul, but he was also being threatened by the crime families of Gotham. With all that pressure, he had to destroy every trace of evidence. He hired some thugs to set the apartment on fire.
Batman, of course, was there to stop Crane. But Scarecrow was clever. Before Batman could even throw a single punch, he was sprayed with the toxin. Batman felt like bats were swarming all around him. Nowhere was safe. He was just trying to escape his oldest fear. In Batman’s confusion, Scarecrow doused him in lighter fluid and set him aflame, with a perfect quote to match.
“Training is nothing, will is everything.” – Ra’s al Ghul
When Bruce left Gotham, he went on a journey to understand humanity and understand himself better. He found himself learning from every manner of monks, gurus, and masters across the globe. He felt personally at fault for his parents’ death, and he didn’t want anyone else to suffer the way that he had. Ra’s wanted to train him and force him to confront the truth about his guilt: It was not his fault.
Ra’s pushed him to be stronger, physically and emotionally. Ra’s wanted Bruce to leave behind his anger and think only of the cost of justice. Anger is poison, and it strangles grief. It grants power, but it can destroy you. So when Batman insisted that he’d trained enough, Ra’s still expected more of Bruce. He demanded it.
“Does it come in black?” – Bruce Wayne
Lucius Fox was always there to help Bruce Wayne, whether it was with Wayne Enterprises or even his own personal activities. In one of the scenes where Bruce and Lucius were talking, Bruce saw a strange vehicle out of the corner of his eye. Lucius was happy to give Bruce a test drive and explain its original function.
The Tumbler was originally a prototype meant to create bridges in high speed situations. The Tumbler had the ability to leap chasms all on its own, no ramp necessary. So Tumblers would work in tandem, one leaping across a chasm with a second staying behind to lay the foundation of the bridge. And while they never could get the bridge making function to work, it certainly made a powerful vehicle. Bruce only had one modification he wanted to make.
“Bats frighten me, and it’s time my enemies share my dread.” – Batman
In the middle of his frantic designing, Bruce got distracted. He heard the chirping of a bat that had inexplicably made its way into the mansion. Bruce wasn’t even certain how the bat got there, but Alfred informed him that there were grand caves near the manor. In fact, the caves were connected to the very same well he fell in as a child. It was time for Bruce to conquer his fear.
He repelled down the cavern, just as his father did. And there, swarmed by bats, he realized something had changed. Even though he was still afraid of bats, he was drawn to them, his worst fear. And so, when he designed his suit, his technology, and even his weapons, they were all shaped like bats.
“The Wayne legacy is more than bricks and mortar, sir.” – Alfred
Ra’s al Ghul set flame to Wayne Manor and, once again, Batman didn’t know how to mind his surroundings. It was one of the greatest lessons he struggled with while training for the League of Shadows. Ra’s, in his twisted logic, tried to enforce justice. Bruce had burned down the base of the League of Shadows and left Ra’s al Ghul for dead, so Ra’s returned to do the same to Bruce.
Bruce was left for dead underneath a burning beam. If it weren’t for Alfred pulling him from the rubble, Bruce would have died in the fire. They were able to escape just in time, as fire consumed the whole of the building. As they plummeted in the elevator, Bruce felt like he had failed his family and failed his city. He felt that he destroyed everything his parents built. But that simply wasn’t true, as Alfred reminded him.
“Then I found out about your mask.” – Rachel Dawes
Amid the wreckage and rubble of Wayne Manor, we saw Bruce working to rebuild his home. He was alone with just his tools, just like he felt alone in life. So when Rachel came to comfort him, it was a surprise. He loved Rachel deeply and wanted nothing more than to be happy with her. And she wanted the same, but she wanted to be with the man who doesn’t wear the mask.
Bruce told Rachel that Batman was just a symbol, but Rachel knew better. Rachel responded by saying, “No, no, this … is your mask. Your real face is the one that criminals now fear. The man I loved — the man who vanished — he never came back at all. But maybe he’s still out there, somewhere. Maybe some day, when Gotham no longer needs Batman, I’ll see him again.”
“When a forest grows too wild, a purging fire is inevitable and natural.” – Ra’s al Ghul
Ra’s al Ghul had a dangerous yet effective plan. He wanted to change the world, and he would sacrifice anything to make it happen. In fact, he’d done it many times before with the League of Shadows. At one point, he revealed, “Over the ages our weapons have grown more sophisticated. With Gotham we tried a new one: economics. But we underestimated certain of Gotham’s citizens … such as your parents. Gunned down by one of the very people they were trying to help.
“Create enough hunger and everyone becomes a criminal. Their deaths galvanized the city into saving itself and Gotham has limped on ever since. We are back to finish the job. And this time no misguided idealists will get in the way. Like your father, you lack the courage to do all that is necessary. If someone stands in the way of true justice, you simply walk up behind them … and stab them in the heart.” His plan was deviously simple yet it seemed unstoppable.
“Swear to me!” – Batman
Batman waited outside the home of James Gordon to exchange information about the drugs that Falcone and his men were shipping and trading. With so much crime in Gotham, Batman needed someone on the inside. He needed someone on his team. He was desperately trying to gain Gordon’s trust, and his plan for that was to interrogate a thug who just might have a bit of information.
This thug, who was happy to steal from a harmless street vendor, wasn’t so happy when he was dragged up by his feet more than three stories high. Batman pushed him for information, and the thug refused to give up anything. But Batman was ruthless. He dropped him from the top of the building, only to save him at the last moment. The thug told him everything after that, but Batman wanted more. The thug screamed, “That’s everything I know, I swear to God!” Batman replied with an unforgettable line.
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