The Ultimate Batman
In Batman, 1989, Batman faces his biggest challenge when The Joker creates mayhem in Gotham City. He meets beautiful journalist Vicki Vale who helps him, but unfortunately also becomes a victim of the Joker’s evilness.
Three years later... Batman Returns.
Super villain The Penguin mesh together with a powerful businessman for a plan to take over Gotham City. At the same time, a new villain is on the rise in Gotham with her own agenda and revenge as motivation.
I have watched these films so many times..
I recently discussed with a friend who the ultimate actor playing Batman is, and we both agreed, Michael Keaton. I believe many who have been fans of Batman for a long time will agree. That doesn’t necessarily mean he is a better actor than any of the other, it is more because he was the first actor embracing Bruce Wayne and his secret second personality Batman in a way which was true to the comic book. He was arrogant, hard as rock and cool as ice.
The two Batman films directed by Tim Burton have been criticised, and after Nolan’s masterpieces, treated almost as a joke, maybe for its humor or over the top action. For me it is quite the opposite. I absolutely adore the two first installments of the four Batman films of the 80s and 90s. I love the choices of villains and the actors playing them, Jack Nicholson as the Joker is...well perfect, there are not many actors who can measure up to Nicholson’s ability to play completely crazy. In Batman Returns the list of talent is even longer. Danny Devito as The Penguin is absolutely genius, and same goes for Michelle Pfeiffer’s portrayal of sexy Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. And who can forget creepy Christopher Walken as Max Shreck. But the star in both films is Michael Keaton. Ok, my favourite role he’s ever portrayed is Beetlejuice, man oh man, what a great film. But my second favourite is him as Bruce Wayne. He has that arrogant smile and winking eyes you would expect from Playboy Wayne and an ice cold attitude Batman should have.
Tim Burton’s glory days were most definitely the 90s and Batman Returns has all that Burton use to represent, beautiful and haunting darkness. With great help, as always, from master composer Danny Elfman, who always nudge films up several steps with an eerie mood setting score.
I was eight years old when Batman Returns came out, and it was so easy being sucked into the dark world of Batman. I remember I was so impressed by Catwoman’s cartwheels and whipping skills and I was after that a DC girl. Forever.
I, of course love Christian Bale as Batman as well. And Nolan’s The Dark Knight is miles beyond every superhero movie ever made, but that doesn’t mean Burton’s Batman is not good, it’s just different. And as said, I actually prefer Keaton as the actual Batman over Bale. Maybe I am biased because I grew up with those films or maybe Keaton is just more awesome than Bale, Luckily, one can love more than one adaptation of the same character. Phew.