Batman ★★★★

My journey to “The Batman” Part 1.

“I’m Batman!”

Tim Burton’s stylish, gothic, dark, comic book movie along with “Superman: The Movie” proved that superhero movies could draw and be the big epic blockbusters that they are today. Although maybe little dated, make no mistake about it this is a great comic book movie and pre “Batman Begins”, the best live action Batman.

Michael Keaton brings such an everyman feel to Bruce Wayne but if you look into his eyes you can see every bit of the darkness and pain within. He’s plays Batman as this slight demon that criminals fear. In one of his first lines of dialogue Vicky Vale asks him if he knows who Bruce Wayne is, to which he replies “I’m not sure” almost showing that he no longer knows where Bruce Wayne starts and Batman begins.

However as great as Keaton is, this is the Jack Nicholson show. Stealing every scene he is as The Joker, terrorising Gotham and it’s citizens. He’s unhinged, funny and down right mad. Until Heath Ledger came along, it was hard to imagine anyone else playing this role.

The rest of the cast play their roles well but it’s Anton Furst’s unbelievable set design of Gotham City that steals the spot light from everyone bar our 2 leads. Burton and Furst bring Gotham to life, given that dark and gritty feel. Just like it was lifted from the comics.

The other positives of the movie is the plot is simple and easy to follow, it doesn’t have to go crazy and aim for the grandest of spectacle. The costume work is excellent and the action is good throughout. I also enjoy the retelling of Batman’s origin, tying both Batman and Joker together. It’s makes the movie have that personal feel and gives us that great line “I made you and you made me.”

The only real negative I have is the way in which Bruce Wayne is written. Now this is no shot on Keaton’s performance but I do find it hard to believe that people do not know who Wayne is and what happened to his parents. They are the most famous family in Gotham, built Gotham up so even in 1989 I’m sure a newspaper editor would know exactly what happened to the Wayne’s. As Ra’s al Ghul said in Batman Begins “The world is too small for someone like Bruce Wayne to disappear”

Even with that small negative, I still love this movie. It was my favourite movies growing up, it’s the reason why Batman is my favourite character of all time and gave birth to my love of movies. This film also inspired “Batman: The Animated Series” plus made Batman into one of Hollywood’s greatest ever movie characters. One of the main reasons why Batman still gets rebooted time and time again is because of the success of this movie.

Look out for my next review on my journey to “The Batman”

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