Friday, June 26, 2009

Batman (1989) Review

Batman '89 Review

Batman '89 is the second entry in the Batman film series. It is directed by Tim Burton, and features Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader, and Jack Nicholson as the Clown Prince of Crime.

Story: When Bruce Wayne was just a young man, his parents were killed right in front of him. When he grew up, he vowed revenge on the criminals of Gotham City. He planned to rid the city of all crime and evil. To do this, he must become something that they will fear: Batman.

Batman '89 shows us how Jack Napier became the Joker. He was fooled into believing he was doing something important for his boss, but instead finds himself in a trap. Batman eventually arrives to save the day, but he creates a monster in the process. Batman dropped Jack into a vat of chemicals, transforming Jack's hair and skin.

In the end, Joker's goal is to turn everyone into, "works of art." But as usual, Batman foils his plan. Overall, the story is very well done. Even though it's not completely true to the comics, it makes sense, and isn't too hard to understand. The dialogue is excellent for many reasons, one being that it really lets us relate to the characters and their emotions. Bruce Wayne is a lonely man crying out for mommy and daddy, Joker is a psychotic freak with no sympathy for human life, and everyone else fits in just as well.

Cast: The casting for this film is terrific. Michael Keaton is considered the best live-action Batman by many. However, some people strongly disagree with this. Sure he may not be in top physical shape, but that doesn't stop him from delivering one of the greatest performance of his career.

Jack Nicholson was a good Joker, for the time. But I felt he acted more like Jack Nicholson on sugar as apposed to the Joker. For every ten minutes of breath-taking Joker, there was thirty minutes of boring Nicholson. The permanent smile didn't help much, either. Even though that wasn't his fault, I feel it took away from some of the serious moments in the movie. It just looked silly.

The supporting cast is great for the most part, with Michael Gough playing Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce's trustworthy butler. Kim Basinger as Vicky Vale, Bruce's love interest. And Pat Hingle as Commissioner Gordon. My only problem with the supporting cast was Pat. He didn't look or act like James Gordon.

Style: B89's style is absolutely stunning. From the Batsuit, to the city's skyscrapers. Everything was built to perfection. Burton really created the Gotham City fans desired in a live action film. I only wish there was more outdoor action, but Batman Returns shows us some of that.

Gadgets: Something a Batman move has to perfect are the gadgets. Sure, Batman is a master in every martial arts and he's as smart as Einstein's billionaire-playboy-brother (if he had one), but there's no denying that his gadgets help him get out of most situations.

Batman '89 featured most of Batman's well know gadgets, such as: Batarangs, Grapnel Gun, Smoke Pellets, etc. He even had a neat two-way grapnel gun used to help Vicky escape from the Joker and his thugs. Not to mention the cool Batmobile (if you count that as a gadget).

Overall: Batman was a very enjoyable film, I would even say it's one of the best there is. Everything felt authentic, and there wasn't any Batnipples on the costumes. It did have a few minor issues, but nothing that made the film unwatchable.

The metric score for this film is 9.3/10

- EliteF50

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