It's usually the case that sequals get worse the further down the line they are, but I think that the time out from the Batman franchise has been good as there was a decline in the quality of the films, with the latter films resting on the laurels of Tim Burton's 1989 film.
1. Batman (1989) ...Great film, very dark, gothic Gotham is a masterpiece
2. Batman Returns (1992) ...Tim Burton and Michael Keaton return. Visually very pleasing, but the quality of script has slipped.
3. Batman Forever (1995) ...Robin is a pansy...a camp affair allround
4. Batman & Robin (1997) ...They didn't learn, crap villains
5. Batman Begins (2005) ...Starts back at the beginning, great cast, script, and visuals
In going back to the beginning of the whole Batman/Bruce Wayne saga the director, Christopher Nolan, of Memento fame, has a chance to start afresh from the series of films that slipped into mediocraty and campness.
The choice of cast is exceptional. Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson are great actors and fulfil their roles here.....anyone notice that they're all British actors.
In fact is was actually a bit like a game of spot the Britain - Other notable Brits included - Tom Wilkinson, Cillian Murphy (ok Irish), Colin MacFarlane, Linus Roache, Larry Holden, and Gerard Murphy. These Brits actually take up 10 of the top 15 spaces on the bill. I suppose you get that when the director is british too!
The brits are showing the yanks how to do it. We do love a bit of drama, and always look on the dark side, so I guess Batman Begins is the perfect choice, as fear and darkness are underlying themes in the film.
I haven't gone too much into plot etc as I don't want to ruin the film for those of you who haven't watched it but I can assure you that you will be getting more than just a Summer Blockbuster.