It is 30 minutes into Batman Begins when the pace finally slows down, temporarily. Blistering through flashbacks and flashbacks-within-flashbacks, every shot and sequence of Bruce Wayne’s origins is cut to the absolute minimum – an editing choice which delivers an exciting rhythm and, less fortunately, a sense of the superficial. It is for other Nolan films to linger and dwell and meditate, though this one has its fair share of ideological issues.
Much has been said about the director’s reinvention of the Caped Crusader and his city, his “gritty realist” take and its influence on superhero films since. What’s rarer said is how fun it is, this string of technologies and circumstances which on their own are just about feasible – you will believe a man can buy. Underneath the layer of psychology and ethics lies a fairly straightforward blockbuster, and a great one at that. Set pieces are interesting and varied, drama well-handled and the plot surprisingly neat. With the exception of Katie Holmes, the film benefits from bringing in an all-star cast (- the elder thesps forgiven for seemingly dipping into the Lazarus Pit over 20 years). Bat nipples are nowhere to be seen, but this is a silly film and all the better for it.