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.
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
While Kim Basinger has blonde hair, Vicki Vale was a redhead in the comics. According to Batman creator Bob Kane, Vale was supposed to be blonde in the comics, and her hair came out red due to a coloring error in her first appearance. Ironically, Kim Basinger would later sport red hair in Even Money (2006). See more »
(at around 1h 1 min) In the museum, the waiter and the first three guests pass out before they actually inhale any of the Joker's toxic purple gas. 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 »
If you were around in summer 1989 then you'll remember that Bat-fever was EV-ER-Y-WHERE! You couldn't look anywhere without seeing the Bat Logo in some incarnation. The film was a mega-hit. People were queueing up around the block for hours (the literal meaning of a blockbuster).
The marketing team at Warner had to saturate the minds of the public with the big-screen coming of the Dark Knight. Up until this point the Batman series from the 1960s is how people regarded the Batman character and universe. Tim Burton corrected all that by giving us a dark, sinister and Gothic world with rich production design and a great score by Danny Elfman (who has made a career out of recycling the same old generic cues in nearly every movie he has scored). The original material is respected (to a degree), and the characters are deep instead of just campy.
Michael Keaton is the best Bruce Wayne in my opinion. When he plays both Bruce Wayne and Batman you have to watch what he doesn't say and doesn't do. He's a rich, socio-phobic megalomaniac who has more money than sense. This is very different from Adam West's turtleneck playboy.
Jack Nicholson is a great Joker too, not quite as intimidating or as iconic as Heath Ledger's take on the character, but still a role that has defined his career in a way. Nicholson's Joker isn't much more than an attention-seeking lunatic. But it's still nothing like Caesar Romero's campy, hopping-skipping-and-jumping villain.
Anton Furst's Oscar-winning design of Gotham City is very original and unique, and is very much in the style of the Comic book. The smoke-blackened, cramped and claustrophobic 1920s buildings look and create a very oppressive atmosphere. This is definitely GOTHam City. Not LA like the TV series.
They didn't even make any attempt with that show did they? In fact the Batcave in the TV series was like the set of a mad scientists lab from a 1950s movie. But the REAL Batcave in this movie is a monstrous cavern filled with stalagmites and it actually HAS bats in it. And there's no fireman's pole leading into it.
With Christopher Nolan's reboot of the franchise currently the only Batman worth considering for most fans, it'd be a shame if you were to let this go ignored. It may not be as mature as Nolan's work but it has an edge that no other recent comic-book movie has.
It's NOT an origin story. There's no 60 precious minutes on a build-up, it just goes straight to the action. Why can't more comic-book movies do this?
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