With Batman Begins director Christopher Nolan undoes a decade of damage done by Warner Bros.’ stooges by centering the story around the goddamn Batman. Like Tim Burton, Nolan applies all of his auteurist fetishes to the beloved character, but they’re a far better fit for the “realistic” approach he attempts. Issues of obsession, identity, memory, self-delusion and repetition – favorite themes of his found in more concentrated form in Memento and The Prestige – litter the screenplay, co-written by Nolan himself and Blade Trilogy mastermind David S. Goyer. By bringing the story back to the beginning of Bruce Wayne’s life, and the circumstances of his transformation, a live-action Batman movie, for the first time, has a clear and focused narrative. Everything is explained, but never to the point of exhaustion. The costume, the vehicle, each gadget, every single facet is painstakingly explored so you care more about Bruce Wayne and his plight, so that there is no disconnect between him and his alter-ego Batman. It’s an approach that has become shorthand in Hollywood in recent years for “better movie than we would’ve got in the 90s”, or, the franchise “reboot”. The guys in charge of Iron Man, James Bond, Star Trek and pretty much every other franchise/character out there definitely took note.