First off, I'm joining the ranks of Jay for a minute to just rave and jump up and down. OMGWTFBBQ MOVIE SO GOOD AHHH! NINJAS! CHRISTIAN BALE IS CUT OUT OF ROCK! SCARY SCARECROW! NINJAS!!!
I enjoyed this movie immensely. The slow build-up gave weight to all of the actions and decisions: the ninja training, the military gadgetry, the psychology of fear all created a setting where you see Bruce don the batsuit and you think, Yeah, that makes sense.
Several other scattershot thoughts about Batman Begins (contains spoilers):
Alfred - At first, I wasn't convinced. Michael Caine seemed too street, too Cockney. Then I read this interview, saw his ideas for Alfred's ex-SAS background, and was sold on it. What with the Wayne family being flush with cash and easy targets, I'd bank on Alfred being hired less to pass around the fingerbowls than to act as a bodyguard in case of emergency. And the background for this is a movie I'd like to see: The Adventures of Young Alfred. I can easily picture him like Brother Cadfael, living the big raucous ass-booting life and then settling down to a (supposedly) calmer position in later years.
I'm only just catching up on the actual comics now and have found out that comics!Alfred had some kind of combat medical training. Hopefully I'll find out more as I read on.
Minutes until the Velvet Goldmine fanficcers start writing crossover stories: 3
Minutes until Lucius/Alfred stories start popping up on the web: -2
Would you like to see a crossover where instead of Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's butler is Reginald Jeeves: Yes, please
Intertwining stories - I agree with the guys who are tired of plots involving the villain's story intertwining with the hero's origin. It wasn't nearly as bad as the original Batman, but it was still vaguely there. The loop of Ra's Al Ghul having trained Batman and his organization having semi-directly caused his parents' death was just too full-circle for me. I prefer the cause being "crime in general," which gives Batman a huge open-ended challenge of fighting "crime".
Adorable Kiddiewinks Must Be Destroyed - The cute kid scenes irritated me, to absolutely no one's surprise. If I have to see ordinary citizens in danger/disbelief, I'd rather see Joe or Jane Average than L'il Timmy.
And then at the end of the film I realized OH DAMN! They're setting him up as Robin for the next film, mark my words! Small child highlighted for not much apparent reason? An orphan, now that they showed us that he couldn't find his parents during the fear gas rampage? Aw man! Better pick up some Wayne Enterprise-embroidered footie pajamas for the sequel, Bruce. That kid is so moving in.
If this really does turn out to be the case, I'm not looking forward to it. I've never been a fan of the concept of Robin. Why on earth would Batman bring a minor out jackbooting around on criminals? It's just way too goofy. I like Batman as an inveterate loner, distant and unattached, somehow reminding me of Harry Haller in Steppenwolf, completely devoted to the work, just like me. I'm just not seeing "adopting a tyke and bringing him along to whup crime" here. If they go for it, they'd better make it convincing. Then again, after seeing this movie, I think they could do it. They made a lot of ridiculous ideas look slick in this one.