Batman may have been resurrected from the goofball graveyard in which Joel Schumacher buried him in 1997, but he doesn't quite live again. This new iteration, directed by Memento's Christopher Nolan, is often a drag. The filmmakers ditch the camp but go too far in the other direction, investing Batman Begins with such reverence that it borders on tedious self-seriousness. It feels as though there's more dialogue in Batman Begins than in its four predecessors combined, and if the first half is overbaked, the second is undercooked -- a bunch of comic-book whizbang dealing with a plot by the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) to poison Gotham City's water supply. Even if there were a great movie here, it would have been undone by two lead actors who are barely even there, asked to deliver lines they can't handle: Christian Bale, playing the Batman with clipped wings, and Katie Holmes as an assistant district attorney who doesn't have the gravitas to pass as an intern. Come back, Alicia Silverstone; all is forgiven.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: David Goyer
Producer: Michael Uslan, Benjamin Melniker, Emma Thomas, Charles Roven and Larry Franco
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Ken Watanabe, Mark Boone Junior, Linus Roache, Morgan Freeman, Gus Lewis and Sara Stewart