Laughter is the Best Medicine

Batman — Movie Review #JPMN

Released in 1989, this Tim Burton adaptation
of the famous DC comic book character impressively grossed over 400-million on just a meager
35-million dollar budget. Clocking in at 121 minutes, Michael Keaton stars as Bruce Wayne,
a billionaire who vows to avenge his parent’s murder by battling crime as the costumed vigilante
known as Batman. And although he was originally protested by loyal comic fans, and arguably
upstaged by Christian Bale’s portrayal two decades later… Keaton undeniable becomes
the caped crusader in this film: truly embodying all of the suave sophistication and arrogance
of Bruce Wayne, as well as the unflappable determination of Batman himself. As the evil,
deranged lunatic Joker, Jack Nicholson turns in an absolutely unforgettable performance
that people still quote to this day – his maniacal laughter bringing to life one of
the best villains in cinema history. Skipping right past Batman’s origin story, this movie
opens up in a pre-existing universe, carefully crafted in the classic Tim Burton style. His
treatment and scope of the Batman universe is serious, but campy, flashy, but gritty,
and surprisingly well-written to boot. Featuring mostly practical effects, Gotham city looks
and feels like its own character here, giving the viewer plenty of eye-candy as the super
sleek Batmobile whizzes down its streets. The trademark gadgets, batcave, and utility
belt all receive a proper big-screen treatment, much to the delight of long-time fans. While
this slower-paced superhero film never quite reaches levels of true intensity or actual
suspense, its simple and playful delivery definitely entertains. Outdone only by the
recent Christopher Nolan adaptations, this, the first in the long, successful line of
Batman films is easily a worthy entry into the beloved franchise. “Batman”, “Colorfully
entertaining, Nicholson is outstanding”. To show us our scores for “Batman”, here’s
the Rate-O-Matic… an EIGHT and an EIGHT. Your high praise of Nicholson’s Joker performance
was unanimous, but the films faults were harder to nail down… resulting in an average score
of “Great” from you. I completely agreed… this is a fun, and at times zany version of
the Batman universe, but there’s something decidedly missing that prevents me from scoring
this film much higher, but I thought it was pretty great.

16 thoughts on “Batman — Movie Review #JPMN

  1. When batman came out I was a bit young to see it in a theater with dad and when I saw it on VHS at my uncles house in DC I kinda liked it but it was slow moving and dark. Thank god Nolan made a good batman franchise.

  2. iI disagree. Although both of these directors are one of my favorites, i still like Burton more. Why? I am a big fan of his style, the atmosphere and the dark humor in his movies. His movies pay tribute to the old German expressionist classics like the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Although he has made some average movies like Alice in Wonderland, etc, every director in his life will make at least a average film Nolan only made 8 films, perhaps in the future, he might make one average film too.

  3. I must be the only one that thinks this movie was shite, nicholson is just playing himself in the movie, and when i first saw the LETS GET NUTS part, i was like why did that just happen???? 1/10

  4. +MovieNight How do you feel the Temple of Doom and Batman (1989) would have turned out if they had switched Kim Bassinger and the blonde from Temple of Doom, by replacing each other in both movies? I feel they are more or less the same character.

  5. Keaton is Batman for me. This movie lives up to my childhood love despite now seeing some of its flaws as an adult. 9/10

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