Superhero Movies on Steroids Series: Movie #9

Batman (1989)

Plot: Gotham City is plagued with crime worse than ever.  Billionaire Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) becomes the mysterious Batman, a dark vigilante who vows to clean up crime.  When encountering top mob enforcer Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson) at a chemical plant, Jack falls into a vat of chemicals, turning him into the deranged Joker, a crazed criminal who kills people in eccentric ways.

Batman may be the movie that I’ve seen more than any other movie in existence.  I hadn’t watched it in quite some time, and I was very concerned I couldn’t look at it the same way after the Dark Knight.  But you know something; this is still a fantastic film.  It’s got so many great scenes and moments that are still iconic.  I think the two scenes that epitomize this movie perfectly are the first appearances by both main characters.  When you see Batman glide down in the background as two small time criminals chat about him is simply amazing.  And the Joker…when he steps out of the shadows to kill Carl Grissom (Jack Palance) and you see that smirk for the first time and hear the line, “Call me Joker…as you can see.  I’m a lot happier.”  And then he laughs and shoots like a mad man.  Tim Burton will never direct a better movie than this.  The look of the film and the city is fricking gorgeous.  There’s so much to talk about with Batman, but the last thing I’ll say is the music by Danny Elfman; OMG.

Rating: 9 out of 10 (OMG) 

Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout)

Best Performance: Jack Nicholson as Jack Napier/Joker
-Not a surprise.  He’s hilarious in a demented evil kind of way.  When he sees himself in the mirror in that dark and dingy surgery room and laughs for the first time, we know right there we are in for something special.

Worst Performance: Lee Wallace as the Mayor
-I had to dig deep here.  It’s not the performance, it’s just this character.  The Mayor is so insistent that Gotham will have its big 200th Anniversary Gala parade.  Dude…your city is overrun by crime and psychos.  The parade is not happening.  Give it up man.

Best Line: “I’m Batman.” –Batman
-One of the greatest deliveries of all time.

Worst Line: “He’s going to kill everybody!” –Vicki Vale realizing Joker is going to gas everyone at the parade
-Vicki Vale says this with such shock.  What the hell did you think he was going to do!

Best Fight:
-It’s the Joker and Batman going up against each other at the top of the Cathedral.  Yea, I know it’s not really a fight, but part of a fight is a great and intense exchange of dialogue.  This really harkens back to the big twist of the movie, which is Jack Napier being the one who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents.  I’m sure there are naysayers out there, but I think it’s an interesting take and really puts a lot of emotion behind this final showdown.  Also, Joker has that hysterical line: “You wouldn’t hit a guy with glasses, would you?”  And then Batman does, obviously.

WTF Moment:
-The Joker exits Vicki Vale’s apartment after shooting Bruce Wayne and leaves Vale a gift…and she opens it!  What the hell!  Why would you open something from the Joker!  What an idiot.

Best Scene:
-A really tough call here, but I’m going with the whole parade showdown.  All the shots of Joker dumping money onto the crowd is fantastic to look at.  He’s got those hysterical balloons.  Then of course there’s the Bat Plane, and to top it all off, Joker pulls a gigantic gun from his pants.  Awesome.

Worst Scene:
-It’s got to be in Vicki Vale’s apartment with Bruce Wayne, Vicki Vale, and Joker.  I don’t know, Bruce Wayne goes a little too nuts here, it just doesn’t work.  True, we get the “You ever dance with the devil in the pale moon light” line, but it doesn’t save it.  Also, Bruce puts like a dinner tray inside his jacket to stop the bullet.  I don’t know… would this really work?  Eh.

Funniest Moment:
-It’s obviously a Joker moment, and I choose this one.  “Bob…gun.”  Bob hands him the gun.  Joker shoots Bob.  Poor Bob.

Bad Ass Moment:
I’m just going to say the Bat Plane.  I love this thing.  The best shot of the entire movie is when the plane is approaching Gotham City.  It’s one of the best shots I’ve ever seen.  It probably can’t work in Nolan’s Batman world, but if there is anyway he can make the Bat Plane plausible for Dark Knight Rises, please try.


One comment

  1. Pingback: Superhero Movies on Steroids Series: THE FINAL RANKINGS « The Green Light

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