Before we begin, did you see the GORGEOUS new banner art on the home page? I commissioned a friend of mine and it turned out so much better than I ever dreamed. Her Instagram is listed at the bottom of the home page, and I recommend checking her other work out. So the blog now has a better site identity! Huzzah! And now, on with the review.
Let’s get old school! Granted this isn’t the first Batman movie (there’s Mr. Adam West’s Batman in 1966 as well as some serials in the 1940’s), but this movie’s influence can still be felt in superhero movies today. Too bad we live in a post Batman Vee Superman Colon Dawn of Justice world that reshapes how we perceive everything! Oopsie!
Our stars this movie are Michael Keaton as the titular Batman and Jack Nicholson as the Joker, both delivering amazing performances. The story’s pretty simple: after Batman knocks a thug into a vat of toxic ooze, the Joker is “born” and decides to terrorize Gotham in his own unique way. It’s a tale as old as time. Also along for the ride is photographer Vicki Vale, who starts a trend of the love interest discovering Batman’s identity and then never appearing in any of the sequels. One twist from the usual comic book canon is that the Joker–before becoming a super villain–was the one who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents! In the end the day is saved, the Joker is dead, and Batman is a hero to the people.
So, um… the Joker dies because Batman kills him. And not in that “he died because Batman didn’t try to save him” like a lot of villains end up (I’ll get to you soon enough, Tommy Lee Jones), but Batman actively sought to kill the Joker. He used a grappling hook to tie a gargoyle statue to the Joker’s leg and watched as the Joker fell to his death. And there’s a part earlier where Batman blows up a building–like, totally destroys the whole thing–and we know for a fact that it had a bunch of henchmen in it. So I guess this Batman kills people? Except in the next movie, Batman Returns, Bruce has a major problem with Selina Kyle wanting to kill Christopher Walken. So… he just wants to kill the guy who killed his parents? He doesn’t want the working class to kill people in his financial bracket? Either way I feel like we let this overt murder slide, probably because I don’t think many people have actually wanted this in the last 20 years. A shame on multiple levels.
Next: Batman Returns
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