Batman ★★★★★

After the Superman franchise tripped on its own cape and fell against a black felt backdrop, Tim Burton offers us his version of a comic book icon.

The Gotham City shown in the Tim Burton Batman movies (and arguably the Schumacher films too) boasts far more character than the Nolan locations. Matte paintings, scale models and beautiful art direction give a very distinct and gothic feel to Batman's stalking grounds.

Keaton's Bruce Wayne is a wonderful thing to behold. A quiet, stoic and fairly unassuming man who is boiling lava beneath the surface. Dangerous and downright murderous, Tim Burton's vision is far removed from the violent-but-non-lethal Batman we're used to seeing, although it is great to see "the world's greatest detective" doing some actual detecting.

Jack Nicholson's Joker is a darkly threatening, short fuse of a criminal. Unlike Ledger's take, this is a man brought to madness, not someone who has never known sanity. His cunning and cruelty are matched by his penchant for silly schemes and a hatred of televisions.

As is often the case in early Burton movies, the glue that binds is Danny Elfman's outstanding score. Anthemic, boombastic and a rally cry in the playground throughout my childhood.

As with Dalton's Bond, there'll always be a special place in my heart for my childhood Batman. Especially considering his two movies were birthed by such a visionary director.

Daryl liked this review