A dangerous gangster reinvents himself as the Joker and tries
to take over Gotham City, and only Batman can stop him.
Directed by Tim Burton
Written by Sam Hamm and Warren Skaaren
Starring Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger,
Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, Robert Wuhl, Billy Dee Williams
Based on characters from DC Comics
Oscar Wins - Best Art Direction
After Adam West had taken the mantle, and before Christopher Nolan made his mark on the franchise, there was the 1989 Batman. Starring Michael Keaton as the title character and featuring director Tim Burton's signature gothic design, the film would go on to be a major success. Now considered one of the best adaptations of the popular DC comics character, 89's Batman is still a fun time at the movies.
The movie smartly depicts the beginning of Gotham City's recognition of the famous superhero. The characters make constant reference to a giant bat terrorizing the criminals of Gotham, giving the character of Batman an intimidating presence. Something that future films never seem keen to explore. Michael Keaton did a great as Bruce Wayne/Batman, embodying the character like no one else did before. Hence why he's considered one of the best to take on the mantle. Jack Nicholson is endlessly entertaining as iconic villain, The Joker. He hams it up to a delightful degree and really seems to be enjoying himself. The only thing that brings the movie down a bit is one of the cornier scenes involving Joker dancing to Prince songs. While it may have looked cool when it originally released, not so much the case now.
Batman '89 is still a wildly entertaining film. Apart from a few corny scenes, it still holds up as being one of the best Batman films to come out. It helped paved the way for the current superhero boom that has dominated the box office, proving to studios that audiences will flock to theaters to see a guy in tights beat bad people up. Just as long as it's done right.