More scattered and general thoughts on ILE but here’s a quick take:

The advantage of knowing the general story of Batman without knowing the details is handily refreshing. It meant that I could and did enjoy everything from That TV Series to the weird white-eyed version in the 70s Superfriends cartoons to the Miller interpretations to the Burton films as they came, all spinning in their own universes. (The Schumacher films I did not enjoy. But that would take too long to talk about.)

So Batman Begins is something that I approached not cold but not well steeped either, a good balance for something that is meant to be an adaptation but not definitive, not the ‘true’ source. Some random flack article the other day reminded me that Batman screen versions have been attempted in various forms since the forties, so there’s an advantage in seeing this as a new, wholly separate attempt to deal with what’s still a handy story, in fact a striking one. If Superman was the messiah from the sky who had to learn how to deal with ‘being human,’ the all-too-human Batman was, as this great evisceration of Batman and Robin put it, “one of the few costumed crimefighters who chooses to be a superhero.” However this particular film was cooked up, that turned out to be the goal of this film, to outline one potential route and to make, hopefully, something entertaining and moneymaking out of it.

No worries there for Warner Bros., as this turned out to be something close to a slam-dunk, not perfect but really, really good. My feeling when I saw a trailer for the first time was that this could be a good film, not just a good comic book adaptation. It doesn’t quite get there but it gets very close, and in fact improves in the mind upon reflection, though probably that’s due to its strengths coming more to the fore as it’s thought about. Others observed earlier it was less an action movie than a suspense one and I think that’s spot on — the action scenes are directed/edited with more intent to actually *be* action scenes than Burton’s equivalents, say, but when Christopher Nolan and crew call up the idea of Batman as terrifying alien avenger and put that to play, the film is expressly on, full stop.

Well worth it and if you see it like I did on an IMAX screen, really well worth it. Just avoid having to crick your neck, though.