Gotham City. Crime boss Carl Grissom (Jack Palance) effectively runs the town but there's a new crime fighter in town - Batman (Michael Keaton). Grissom's right-hand man is Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson), a brutal man who is not entirely sane... After falling out between the two Grissom has Napier set up with the Police and Napier falls to his apparent death in a vat of chemicals. However, he soon reappears as The Joker and starts a reign of terror in Gotham City. Meanwhile, reporter Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) is in the city to do an article on Batman. She soon starts a relationship with Batman's everyday persona, billionaire Bruce Wayne. Written by
Michael Keaton, who called himself a "logic freak", was concerned that Batman's secret identity would in reality be fairly easy to uncover, and discussed ideas with Tim Burton to better disguise the character, including the use of contact lenses. Ultimately, Keaton decided to perform Batman's voice at a lower register than when he was portraying Bruce Wayne. See more »
When stealing the Joker's balloons, Batman hits a number of switches to close the claw, as he does so, three LEDs go off, one of them (the red one) clearly marked "volume". See more »
I'm sorry, this is my cab.
Listen, I was here first!
[as the cab drives away]
Oh, God! Oh, taxi? Taxi!
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The opening credits run with a 3-D Batman symbol being explored by a flying camera in extreme close-up. See more »
I don't even need to say that this is the best Batman of the series. It's obvious enough.
What is all this yap about Michael Keaton as Batman? Yes, he was Batman, and he was a GREAT Batman. He pulled off every aspect of the role perfectly he was better than Val Kilmer, better than George Clooney, better than everyone. He portrayed the mysterious charm of the winged crusader just as well as he captured the cool and collected character of Bruce Wayne. Michael Keaton is a huge part of the reason that this film was such a huge success, the other main portion having come from the tremendous contribution from Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Gotham City is created in incredibly detailed comic-book style, which adds to the overall quality of the movie.
Director Tim Burton does an amazing job bringing this unreal world to reality, and Kim Basinger is excellent as Vicky Vale, the film's main female presence. The script is particularly brilliant. The role of the Joker seems to have been written specifically for Jack Nicholson, which would not be surprising because of how well he pulled off the role with lines like `Why didn't anyone tell me he had one of those things?!' and `Remember me? When you dropped me into that vat of chemicals? That wasn't easy to get over, and don't think that I didn't try.' And, of course, my favorite, ` we'll be like Beauty and the Beast. Of course, if anyone else ever calls you beast, I'll rip their lungs out.'
Everything, from the setting in Gotham City to the characters costumes to the actual dialogue, gives the unreal feeling of a comic book, but the characters are developed enough so that we understand their problems and we care about what happens. The movie is a thrill ride from the beginning to the end, and is enjoyable for all ages. If anyone is going to complain about who was chosen to play Batman, there is much more room for complaint among the film's several sequels. Keaton did a spectacular job that no one has ever even come close to.
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