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Batman (1989)

Updated on November 30, 2009

Batman finally gets a non campy treatment

The dark knight of D.C. Comics makes his big screen debut as a non campy character. After years of being portrayed as campy character through various saturday morning cartoons and the sixties live action show, Tim Burton finally does the dark knight some justice in portraying him in the way the character was meant to be played. The film is based off the flagship character from D.C. Comics in which a young man seeks vengeance against the criminal underworld after witnessing the death of his parents. The film features such actors as Michael Keaton (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Jack Nicholson (Joker/Jack Napier), and Kim Basinger (Vicki Vale). In the film, Batman is already established for quite sometime, and Burton uses flashbacks to explain his origin. Along the way, Bruce meets a young reporter named Vicki Vale whom he starts a affair with but is conflicted when she finds Bruce is not all he appears to be. Meanwhile, Jack Napier is a mafia hitman desiring more power in the criminal underworld and is given his chance when Batman accidentally drops him into a batch of chemicals thus making Jack's skin permanantly white, and creating Joker. This film may come off as a bit too dark for the kids to enjoy, but it stays true to the character. The special effects for this film were superb as well. Burton brings a goth like feel to the movie that creates a drastic tone to the character. Almost giving Batman, a powerful presence as Reeves had in the Superman films. Overall, this film may be a bit dark for kiddies, but it's definitely worth watching.

When I first heard Michael Keaton was playing Batman, I had my doubts mainly because I've always saw him as a comedian. Of course, with films like "Mr. Mom", who could blame me? However, from seeing Keaton's take on the character, it not only seemed like he understood the role but has nailed it almost to perfection. The only problem for Keaton for this film would be that the film doesn't go over the Bruce Wayne persona as much, so the audience is unable to grasp much about that side of the character. However, from what the audience is able to see of the character, the audience is able to sympasize and understand the character. In one scene, where Vicki tries to investigate Bruce's past and finds out about his parents' death, it allows the audience to feel sorry for Bruce Wayne.

However, what would a great hero be in a film if he/she didn't have a great villain. Jack Nicholson was just awesome as the Joker. Everything from his insane laugh to his sinister acts while killing people in this film made Nicholson the perfect Joker. In one scene, it shows Joker killing some mafia boss with a hand buzzer which really lets audiences know that this isn't the campy whoopee cushion character from the sixties Batman show.

The special effects were top notch in this film. I especially loved the design for the Batmobile. It was sleek, original, and mostly it was cool. Even though it's not as realistic as the "Batman Begins"' Batmobile, but hey it still looks pretty damn awesome.

However, this film never would've been a sucess without Burton. His gothlike direction for the film helped bring out a dark comic book feel to the movie.

Batman finally makes a non campy debut to the big screen. Featuring great acting performances and excellent special effects. Overall, a bit too dark for the kids to watch, but hey it's still a good movie.


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    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago

      lol. yeah, i agree. to be honest, i never liked adam west's version of batman. that's why i was glad when this movie came out to do the character justice. anyway, thanks for the compliment.

    • wyanjen profile image

      Jen King 

      11 years ago from Wyandotte Michigan

      "Non campy" is the key. I was expecting a goofy movie when I walked into the theater.

      The exaggerated colors and scenery in this film do give it a comic-book feel. I love it.

      It's top five on my list: dark, funny, smart.

      My favorite quote (I fill in the blank as needed):

      "I have given a name to my pain... and it is [Batman]"

      thanks for the review!



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