Batman Before And After: How The Batsuit Can Change Or Ruin Careers

By Nick Venable 2013-08-23 13:48:33discussion comments
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Christian Bale Ė Christopher Nolanís Dark Knight Trilogy
Before Batman: Empire of the Sun, Newsies and Swing Kids. Take your pick for your favorite ďyoung BaleĒ role. Bale is up there with Kilmer for the best actual actor to take on the role of the Bat, even if the movies he chooses to star in arenít always on par. My favorite performance Bale has ever given (and I donít see this changing with any future roles) was his take on Patrick Bateman in Mary Harronís adaptation of Bret Easton Ellisí American Psycho. His smug, debonair douchebaggery for that film is always in the back of my mind when I watch him in other movies. Would Bruce Wayne try and shove a cat into an ATM? Perhaps.

Perhaps the most striking role heís played was Trevor Reznik in Brad Andersonís thriller The Machinist, for which Bale dropped over 60 pounds to play the emaciated sleep-deprived lead character . The fact that Nolan hired Bale for Batman Begins at this point in his career was kind of amazing, considering he had to put all that weight back on to take the part.

As Batman: Considering Christopher Nolanís direction and co-written script were the biggest stars of the Dark Knight trilogy, itís a wonder that Bale was able to keep up. He shined as Bruce Wayne, providing just the right amount of pompousness needed to keep Gothamís citizens at bay. He was less impressive as Batman himself, more often than not because his warbled grumbling sounded more like dry heaving than the assertive voice a superhero needs. That said, Nolanís movies still present Bale as the quintessential caped crusader, and it will be hard for anyone to top him.

After Batman: Itís only been a year since The Dark Knight Rises hit theaters, and Baleís post-Batman work in Scott Cooperís Out of the Furnace and David O. Russellís American Hustle have yet to be seen. However, his work in between the Batman films yielded some of his strongest work yet, leading to a supporting actor Oscar win for Russellís The Fighter. He was also pretty great in Nolanís The Prestige, James Mangoldís 3:10 to Yuma and Werner Herzogís Rescue Dawn. And no one can forget his Terminator Salvation expletive-filled rant, which was almost better than the film itself.
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