Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Comic book extravaganza #3: Batman

Staring: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, Michael Gough, Jack Palance
Director: Tim Burton

For the most part, this film holds up over the years as a pretty solid comic book film. For the most part it shows a good understanding of the entire Batman universe, at least for the time. Batman Begins has greatly diminished the “universe” that is the first two Batman films in recent years. In recent years this film has gotten the short end of the stick, mainly because in a sense, the film has been ret-coned out of the fan’s minds due to both a superior film – Batman Begins – and extremely poor sequels done by Joel Schumacher. When viewing the film it does respect most of the source material – honestly few films are capable of it, especially nowadays.

The design of the film was top-notch, bringing the right “otherworldliness” to it that few other people honestly could have done at the time. Personally I can just imagine Batman being made by someone else and ending up like a really horrible late 80s action film, or one of the mediocre early comic book films that followed in this films wake (The Shadow, The Phantom). After coming off of two wonder films, “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” and “Bettlejuice”, it’s honestly hard to imagine he made such a serious film (okay, a serious film filled with a lot of camp).

Michael Keaton gets a lot of flack, but honestly Bob Kane thought the casting was adequate – if not good. That tells you something right there. There sure could have been better actors, but one in particular didn’t get the role until 16 year after the fact. When compared to other people who were considered for the role - Alec Baldwin and Charlie Sheen – they made the right choice.

Oh no! Batman isn’t supposed to kill anyone!!!!! Quiet fools.

The highlight of the film is the final chase scene with Nicholson. And speaking of Nicholson, his role in this film I believe is the highest paid salary ever in the history of cinema. They were short on cash when they hired him so they offered him a piece of the gross. Great deal from Nicholson, the film made huge bucks.

The downside to the film is that there is practically more Joker in the film than Batman, a trend that doesn’t end until the series was reborn just a few years ago.

Verdict: ****/*****

No comments: