Last Watch Date - June 22, 2023
Total Times Watched - Who even knows. At least 5
Batman is the only super hero I've ever really liked. I mean, outside of when I was a kid and thought Wolverine was SO COOL. And then Gambit. I always liked Rogue too but for different reasons. Anywho... Batman is THE dude. It's not specifically Batman, his getup, the bat theme, or his cool gadgets. It's not that he's a regular dude with a ton of money to fund his weird vigilante streak. It's not specifically the gothic imagery, either (though MAN that helps - I love gothic imagery). It's all of that combined. The entire aesthetic of Batman is awesome, no matter which "era" you pick. But for my money, the 89 Batman + the 92 animated series are the pinnacle of Batman-ness.
Even if you haven't seen this movie yet, you 100% know the actors in it. They're iconic. Jack Nicholson as the Joker is great. He blends the zaniness and over-the-top cheese of Romero's Joker with a darker, more sinister tone. It really works well. Keaton is a great Bruce Wayne. You probably know him as Betelgeuse too. He's amazing overall, but he plays Bruce Wayne and Batman the best out of anyone. As Bruce, he has charm and a strong charisma that works. He's not a jerk, but he's not a whiner at all. As Batman, he is more of the strong, silent type and it works. Kim Basinger is a good Vicki Vale. She does go for Bruce a little too strong too quickly, but that's not a fault of her so much as the script.
The fact that this movie is NOT a Batman origin story gives it huge points in my book. We all know about Batman and we don't need an origin story. Let's just get to the villains and craziness. The Nolan Batman movies make the mistake of going too far back and trying to sprinkle "realism" to the Batman story. It's unnecessary. We do get a peek at young Bruce in a flashback and it gives him some motivation for pushing harder on the Joker. That's enough backstory! The story is Batman vs the Joker and that's really all you need to know.
Considering this is a Tim Burton movie, it's important to note that this movie is incredibly stylish. In fact, I'd say it is unmistakably Burton. When the score comes in, you know it's Danny Elfman. The sets, the gadgets, the costumes are all so Burton. I mean this in a positive way. I know Burton has some folks who really don't like him, but this is probably his best movie.
If I have any negatives, it's really the songs by Prince. They sound like Prince, which is fine, but in a weird sped up kind of way. It's strange, as if they wanted you to know it's Prince but also try to trick you into thinking it was some sort of soundalike. Why would you do that? I don't know if it was a Prince decision or a Burton decision, but I don't like it. I'm also not a fan of the love story between Bruce and Vicki; it happens too fast. Let that breathe a bit, they just met and are talking about how they love each other. Relax.
If you were alive during the time this movie came out, you can't forget the MASSIVE marketing that surrounded it. I still remember amusement park shows with the Batman theme. Cups, toys, happy meals, etc. It was a huge movie and lives up to the hype. Oh, and the NES game to go along with it is great. The music for it is still in my top 5 all-time of video game music.
Oh hell yeah. It's still good. It's got a great balance of style, darkness, humor, and cheese. WATCH IT.