Batman must battle former district attorney Harvey Dent, who is now Two-Face and Edward Nygma, The Riddler with help from an amorous psychologist and a young circus acrobat who becomes his sidekick, Robin.
Superman returns to Earth after spending five years in space examining his homeworld Krypton. But he finds things have changed while he was gone, and he must once again prove himself important to the world.
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
The only live action Batman film to feature only one supervillain from the comics. See more »
(at around 26 mins) During the Axis raid, when the thug gets caught up in Batman's rope, he yells to be let down repeatedly, but his mouth doesn't move. 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 appear as the camera goes through/around a giant Batman symbol. See more »
In order to put the 126m. movie in 120m. video cassette, South Korean video distributor cut two scenes when the movie was first released on VHS. The first one is a whole sequence where The Joker kills a mob with a quill pen in front of the city hall. The second is the arrival of Batman on the rooftop of the cathedral and a few fight scenes with the goons. After the police sweeps the cathedral with searchlights, the scene abruptly cut to the scene where a goon with rope(the third goon that attacks Batman) desperately seeks Batman. Also, the initial South Korean DVD release has only widescreen version of the movie, so it featured a strange cut where Vicki pretends to tempt The Joker. This scene has been fixed on the special edition DVD. See more »
Good attempt to translate the comics to the big screen
In a Gotham City overrun by crime a new menace exists. In the shadows and rooftops a giant bat is terrorising the criminals who live in the night. Elsewhere crime boss Grissom's right hand man Jack Napier is trapped in a chemical factory by police. With Batman's intervention Napier is accidentally dropped into a vat of chemical. Considered dead he later turns up, scarred and twisted with a new sense of humour. Calling himself the Joker he takes over the city's gangs and begins to terrorise the city. Millionaire Bruce Wayne begins relationship with reporter Vicky Vale and finds himself personally drawn into conflict with the Joker as both himself and his alter-ego.
This was very much a huge blockbuster and had a great deal riding on it in terms of merchandising and a possible franchise. As such Burton always seemed like a risk - although his dark toned work and complex characters probably made him a great choice. The film starts promisingly, many questions are asked - is Wayne totally balanced? What drives him to become the bat? etc - and the tone of the movie is darker than a friendly blockbuster. This is continued by the investigation by reporters Vale and Knox, but starts to wane (pardon the pun) with the development of Vale as a love interest and the hamming of The Joker. At some point the film loses the character complexities and decides to become a straight up good v's evil with plenty of effects and gadgets. That said it's still very dark and the set pieces are well handled. In fact it's the best of the Batman franchise so far.
The problem is that it lacks a bite for Batman fans. I've always felt that Batman was always a few steps away from the criminals he's chasing, surely he can't be totally balanced and right in the head? Here these questions are half touched but never developed.
Keaton is an unlikely Batman, but is the best so far. He deals well with Wayne's past when it is brought up, but is an unlikely action hero. Nicholson is pure ham, but is good for it. He hogs all the best lines and is clearly enjoying himself - the only downside being that he regularly eclipses Keaton's Batman. Basinger's Vale is built up far too much and should have been cut out of the story rather than become a key part of it. The rest of the cast are good and I always like to see Tracey Walters in a big screen film!
Overall this is a good stab at the Batman legend. It's dark tone gives it the feel of the comics without the characterisation, but at the end of the day it comes down to good guy v's bad guy.
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