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
A later draft written by Sam Hamm has a large part of the film concentrating on Bruce traveling abroad and training with Henri Ducard, whom Bruce would later discover to be a criminal. This would later become Batman Begins (2005). See more »
When Bruce is examining the plate in Vicki's apartment, an indentation is visible before the Joker shoots it. See more »
I'm sorry, this is my cab.
Listen, I was here first!
[as the cab drives away]
Oh, God! Oh, taxi? Taxi!
See more »
The opening credits run with a 3-D Batman symbol being explored by a flying camera in extreme close-up. See more »
Dark, foreboding and vastly entertaining, BATMAN changed superhero movies forever. Gone are the days of happy-go-lucky heroes arriving just in time to save the day. Director Tim Burton's Caped Crusader is a vengeful creature of the night preying on criminals who would turn his city into their personal playground.
BATMAN is one stylish, thrilling and one helluva ride. While he's not generally associated with action, Burton proves it to be his forte as the Dark Knight Detective swoops out of the shadows, crashes through windows and employs a host of what his nemesis calls "wonderful toys," such as grappling hook guns and the amazingly versatile Batmobile. And man on man, this Batman kicks some ass, at one point daring an armed henchman with a "come here" finger gesture.
BATMAN wouldn't have worked nearly as well as it does without the right casting ingredients. The hiring of Michael Keaton in the lead role drew plenty of snickers, but the underrated actor showed up his detractors with a suitably mysterious performance. We know his heart is in the right place, but we're never quite sure what we should make of him. Jack Nicholson's famous performance as the villainous Joker is every bit as good as they say. Nicholson is equal parts amusing and sadistic beneath the white face paint and green hair. Sexy Kim Basinger, as reporter Vicki Vale, also makes the most out of her screen time.
BATMAN is one of those films whose obvious flaws are so easily overlooked. The worst sin a movie can commit is to be dull, and that's something BATMAN never does.
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