Chris’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is going to be a very biased review so take my rating with a huge grain of salt. That being said, I adore Tim Burton’s Batman. It is one of my favorite films of all time, not just comic book films. It was a transformative film when it came out in June of 1989. You couldn’t escape the mammoth impact it had not only in Popculture but on a young comic obsessed eight year old.
Are their flaws? Yes of course. Jack Napier being swapped in for Joe Chill as the murderer of the Wayne’s is dumb. Alfred letting Vicki Vale in the batcave. Dumb. Killing off the Joker…. Dumb. All that said it’s a phenomenal achievement in comic book films, production design, the legendary score by Danny Elfman, and action set pieces that all helped shape the character of Batman for decades to come.
Micheal Keaton fits Batman/Bruce Wayne like a second skin. His swagger, his aloofness, his slightly “is he crazy” acting style pay off in spades. Kim Basinger gets saddled with loads of exposition and frankly obnoxious screaming as the love interest/damsel in distress but she pulls it off especially in the back and forth banter with Batman. Jack Nicholson, what more can be said. He created one of the most iconic portrayals of the Joker ever committed to film. Decades later his performance is still being discussed whenever superhero films have an over the top villain.
Burton’s Batman helped launch modern superhero films, pushed the character to the forefront of Pop-culture, he was an odd choice to direct the first big budget adaptation of the character in decades but he pulled off a remarkable achievement.