I may be in the extreme minority here, judging by the critical response, but I absolutely and thoroughly enjoyed this film. I won’t spill anything, well, maybe one little thing, but from the writing, to the casting, to the production design, I felt this film was absolutely superb.
First, I had to admit to a strong liking for Christian Baile from his previous work. Given his performance in such films as American Psycho, Equilibirum and even Reign of Fire, I think he was very well suited to the role. As was pointed out to me, unlike past actors to play Batman, you weren’t haunted by odd or comic characters Baile has played in the past.
Then there is the writing. With the sole exception of the ninja thing, and that’s a pretty small complaint, I think the character and story development was extra-ordinarily well done. Admittedly, the first part of the film was more heavy on explanation, but it never resorted to dumb exposition. Character interaction and plain, fun to watch action were well used to communicate the subtleties of Wayne’s development and his relationships with his close associates.
The decision to use Ras al’Gul seemed questionable to me, at first. I wasn’t sure they could pull it off. But I think it worked very well, I was really pleased with how they played that out.
And the production design was the most visually plausible of all the Batman films to date. Very well done, distinct without being over-exaggerated.
Oh, and Gary Oldman as the young Gordon looked like he walked right off the page of the comic.