The 1989 Batman movie was a huge and fantastic revelation for me. After the Superman movies that I had watched as a kid, there hadn’t been that many superhero movies or shows that seized my attention like this movie did. Batman totally blew me away as technology and special effects had finally caught up with the movie industry that they could finally start bringing superheroes to life and actually make them look cool. What truly amazed me was the Batman Suit—he looked like a pure creature of the night and awfully damn menacing in it.
The sets were lavish and highly realistic in my opinion, it looked like I had imagined Gotham City to appear; dark, gloomy, grim, gritty, and on the verge of collapse.
As far as the plot goes, even though this film was actually titled Batman; in many ways it’s more of the origin and story of the Joker who has a far greater role and impact on Bruce Wayne/Batman’s history than suspected by turning him into the thug who shot Thomas and Martha Wayne in an alley when Bruce Wayne was just a kid turning him into the fearsome creature of the night known as the Batman. The plot was fairly good in my opinion with a simple, straight forward, and easy to understand story. It’s about revenge and good vs. evil.
As far as the actors themselves go, I have to say that Kim Bassinger (Vicki Vale) was primarily pure eye candy. Michael Keaton on the other hand wouldn’t have been my first choice for Bruce Wayne/Batman but surprisingly he pulled it off. There was an almost lost and boy-ish quality to his Bruce Wayne that made him seem very vulnerable at times. Yet, he proved to be surprisingly good in the action sequences and his dry and sometimes sarcastic comments as Batman were rather witty. However it was Jack Nicholson (Jack Napier/Joker) who truly left me amazed and disturbed by his portrayal of the whole insane and crazy character. Even when he was being cheerful and laughing, there was such an aura of menace and insanity to him that I found myself wondering if Nicholson was really that awesome an actor and if he really WASN’T nuts.
Overall, I had no complaints except for that weird "You ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?" quote. It sounds kinda stupid. Otherwise, there was enough action, fight scenes, cool gadgets, and witty repartee for my tastes. I think that this was what Bob Kane intended for Batman to be and forever set the standard of what each Batman movie and show would have to meet or exceed.
RATING: 4 STARS!!!!