Batman

Batman ★½

This film has three things going for it: Danny Elfman's kickass main theme, the outrageously creative production design (I could look at Anton Furst's Gotham all day), and Billy Dee Williams, who is the only actor who gives a good performance and isn't horribly miscast. Everything else pretty much sucks. The rest of the score is awful, and the incongruous Prince songs make no sense. The action is stilted and boring, and the effects are cheap. The hammy overacting from all the supporting cast supports an overwhelmingly cheesy, stupid script. Burton appears to have no grasp of the characters or anything other than the visuals of the setting. Jack Nicholson occasionally hits the mark as the Joker (and that first reveal scene in Jack Palance's office looks great), but generally he's just playing as generically, broadly insane and manic as possible, which doesn't work. And Michael Keaton doesn't give a bad performance as a generic superhero . . . it's just not really Batman. He's not to blame for the incredibly awkward Batsuit, which restricts him to stiffly lurching around, executing full-body swivels, and striking that ridiculous Dracula pose before doing anything. What performance he's actually able to get across there is good, with solid wisecracks and amusing yet menacing delivery. The problem is that he's Bruce Wayne far more than he's Batman, and he's not really Bruce Wayne. His awkward, nerdy, charmingly bland alter ego is more Clark Kent than Bruce Wayne. Really, I found myself feeling like Mark Ruffalo ripped it off for his Bruce Banner, where it actually suits the character and works. Overall, it just doesn't work. It's the pure cheese of Adam West Batman dressed up in Tim Burton's gothic aesthetic.

Visually striking, but other than that I hated damn near everything about it.