Nolan shows the story out of sequence, in flashbacks, but never out of order, bringing Wayne back to Gotham City, where he was raised. A monorail created by his father (Linus Roache) glides through the modern metropolis and a tower emblazoned with the Wayne name stands in the city's center. But Gotham, marred by crime and poverty, is slowly dying in the grip of a mob boss (Tom Wilkinson) and his henchman (Cillian Murphy).
No matter the problems, Bruce remains steadfast in his belief that Gotham will stand tall again. Taking on the persona of a billionaire playboy in public, Bruce begins working at Wayne Enterprises. At the same time, a crime syndicate is planning an attack on Gotham that could have catastrophic repercussions. Nolan allows the tension in the film to build slowly, bringing out the batsuit, batmobile, and other cool gadgets we've come to expect along the way. Nolan again makes a good choice by describing the origins of each gadget along the way.
Christian Bale heads a wonderful cast as the caped crusader. The Welsh actor seems to have a real feel for the dark moods of Bruce Wayne and the unwavering commitment of Batman. He is joined by Michael Caine, who, as Alfred the Butler, really acts as a surrogate father to Bruce/Batman. Morgan Freeman plays Lucius Fox, an old friend of Bruce's father whom Bruce comes to trust. Both Caine and Freeman are consummate actors who can deliver excellent performances in whatever roles they play, without detracting from the lead character. Gary Oldman is perfectly cast as Sgt. James Gordon. The weakest performance here is turned in by Katie Holmes as Bruce's friend Rachel Dawes, who also happens to be the Assistant District Attorney of Gotham. With her cheerleader delivery, Ms. Holmes seems too young to be the Assistant District Attorney of a major city.
With Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan resurrected a film franchise many feared was dead. The film is energetic, engaging, and fun. If the Blu-ray version of Batman Begins in this limited edition set doesn't excite home theater buffs, I'm not sure what will. Packed with special features, this one is a must-have for any Batman fan.
The first major item on the disc itself is the "In-Movie Experience", which basically replaces a regular audio commentary. The filmmakers take you behind the scenes as you're watching the film, providing small image inserts, comics, special effects, and the like, all on screen along the way. (You must use a Blue-ray player with BonusView or BD-Live capability in order to access this extra.)