Christopher Nolan film sketching out (sometimes rather too sketchily) Batman's coming-into-being. Christian Bale plays Bruce Wayne, who, like in the Tim Burton movie (and, I presume, the DC comics), witnesses his parents' murder in a mugging. Since early childhood he has been afraid of bats when he fell down a well in the grounds of his stately home and was smothered by them. As a young man he is still angry and guilty about his parents' death and tries to avenge the now repentant criminal.
Gotham is nowhere near as gothic as Burton's and seems oddly unpopulated. Therefore, when the baddies try to infect it with a rather implausible fear poison the tension is evaporated because we don't care about any of the people in danger. There is a token wee boy who runs about scared with the fiesty DA's assistant (Katie Holmes). It's all a bit clunky and underwhelming, particularly in the second half.
The supporting cast is quite strong on paper, with Liam Neeson as Wayne's martial arts mentor, Morgan Freeman as the Q-equivalent weapons and technology expert, and Michael Caine as the loyal family butler, Alfred.
Nugget: There was no real need for this to be made and the cardboard acting betrays a lack of faith in the project. It's neither a full-on comicbook, nor a realistic movie; falls down the gaping chasm of mediocrity in between.