Judy and I went to see Batman Begins yesterday, and I liked it a lot. Judy thought it was too long and that the ending was dragged out too much. I have to agree with the last part, but it's true of every action movie we've seen lately, I guess.
And in that vein, I have my usual complaint. In most of the action scenes, I had no idea what was going on. I couldn't tell who was hitting whom or with what. Why can't we have nice clean action scenes like the ones in the old movies like The Adventures of Robin Hood? I can follow what's going on in those. There were a couple of scenes in Batman Begins where I couldn't even be sure Batman was involved in the action.
And while I'm complaining, let me mention that I had trouble hearing some of the dialogue, particularly in the early going. (And don't tell me it's because I'm an Old Guy in need of a hearing aid, even if it's true.) In fact, when Liam Neeson was talking to Christian Bale in the prison scene, I thought he said that Ras Al Ghul could offer him "a bath." It took me a while to catch on that he'd said "a path." Hey, the guy did need a bath.
I thought the acting was generally very good. Gary Oldman, as the future Commissioner Gordon, gives a restrained performance (I only mention this because I never thought I'd be able to write "Gary Oldman" and "restrained performance" in the same sentence), while Cillian Murphy, as the keeper of Arkham Asylum and as the Scarecrow, gives the usual Gary Oldman performance. Michael Caine is very good, as almost always (thought it pains me that he's old enough to play Alfred the Butler). Liam Neeson is a good villain (and can it really have been 15 years since he played Darkman?). Christian Bale is an excellent Batman, with just the right amount of edginess. Rutger Hauer is appropriately slimy, and Morgan Freeman is Morgan Freeman. Finally, Katie Holmes proves that she's far too good for Tom Cruise. I hope she's ready to give up wearing heels.
The plot was a little loopy and involves vaporizing the Gotham water supply, but this is a movie based on a comic book, right? What would you expect?
And if the ending is indeed a set-up for the next movie and an encounter with The Joker, I'm ready.