This is a do-over of the previous Batman movie series that had gotten stale. Batman Begins is not bad. It's actually pretty good.
The first forty minutes of the movie is well-made. In fact, it's my favorite part. Essentially it provides the background story of how and why Bruce Wayne became The Batman. How he trained hard under a mysterious ninja organization that had Liam Neeson as one of its leaders. How his parents were murdered and how he dealt with it as a young heir. Great effort is made to make the reasons for his transformation believable to the viewer, as if it could actually happen. I liked the lines about fear, and how Wayne eventually learns to unleash it for his own purposes. A very entertaining extended opening sequence.
Such a fine intro, but the rest of the movie was kind of subdued. It felt a little bit uninspired, as if all the good ideas were used up in the opening scenes. Don't get me wrong, relatively this is still quite a movie. It was like the rest of the film was stuck in slow motion. The good parts were few and far in between. For instance, I liked the contrast between billionaire Bruce Wayne and The Batman, and the realization by Katie Holmes that he no longer is Wayne, he has become Batman. The Scarecrow is a fascinating villain as he enables victims to visualize their greatest fears.
I think this movie's main purpose is to set up the rest of the series. It introduces several key characters, sets up how Lieutenant Gordon develops into Commissioner one day, establishes Arkham Asylum as a future breeding ground for villains. And it reveals exactly which bad guy Batman will face in the sequel.
All in all, not bad. Just got boring and uninteresting in some parts. But hardcore fans will love this.
Rating: 3/5 * * *
Good intro. Promising setup for future sequels.