Hathaway is one of the film's prime assets. She's not obvious casting, but, as Selina, she matches or beats Michelle Pfeiffer (in Tim Burton's “Batman Returns”) and easily trounces Lee Meriwether (on the '60s TV show) and Halle Berry (in the legendarily bad 2004 “Catwoman”). She, Caine and Morgan Freeman (as un-mad scientist Lucius Fox) provide most of the film's humor and, more importantly, its humanity. Nolan's Batman films have their clever moments and lines — e.g., the old “Death or Chee Chee” joke shows up here in new form — but they're still centered around a character who is tormented, mysterious and mostly impossible to identify with.
This apparent flaw — taking the “comic” out of “comic book” — is, however, a necessary aspect of Nolan's great achievement in the development of the superhero genre. Regardless of whatever hints of interesting complexity can be found in the earliest DC comics, they had become, by the '50s and '60s, shallow, simplistic and silly. Only when the company's dominance was challenged by the once moribund Marvel chain's hipper, more relatable creations (most notably Spider-Man) did DC slowly make its superhero tales darker and more realistic in characterization.