Silent J’s review:
After rewatching both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, I thought I might as well watch the original film just for the hell of it and you know what, I think this holds up just as well as those previous films and considering it's age, this might hold up a lot better.
I think I might be in the minority who prefer this film over The Dark Knight. Nothing against it; I love that film. I prefer this film for a few reasons but one being that I grew up on this film during my childhood. I'm actually surprised I did'nt destroy my VHS after seeing it so many time. This film always felt like THIS was the real Batman. Nothing wrong with other adaptations, but it feels like this is how the comics would have been in live action form, like they literally leap off from the page and onto the big screen. Another reason is that Tim Burton's dark visual style looks stunning. The atmospheric and at times poetic story along with tightly paced, exciting action scenes make this an interesting film and there's never a dull moment.
Probably the biggest reason I love this over The Dark Knight is because of Michael Keaton who in my opinion is the best Batman and the best Bruce Wayne so far. It's amazing to see how easily he can switch back and forth between characters and let you buy into it. As Wayne, he achieves the right level of smug and charm while also bringing depth and subtleness to the character. As Batman, he shows the right levels of intimidation and fear and is just perfect as both characters.
Jack Nicholson as The Joker is just brilliant. He's not my favorite Joker (that would be Mark Hamill) and I'm not gonna compare the two because two completely interpretations are given for two completely different universes. What I like about this Joker is that like the film itself, it feels like this character was lifted right off the comics. He displays the right levels of charisma and insanity while also making you laugh a few times. You can tell Nicholson is having fun with the role and it's fun just to watch him.
Those are the reasons why I love this film so much and why I've always preferred this over Nolan's film. While Nolan took us to the next level of the superhero film genre, Tim Burton got us to that level with this fascinating and absolutely fantastic comic book adaptation. My words don't do it justice. It's just that damn good.