The series Gotham made me want to check out the older Batman movies to see if they still hold up today and how they compare to the Christopher Nolan franchise. The first one I felt compelled to see was Batman Returns. And while I like some elements I did not like it as much as the first few times I had seen it. It still is a visually very appealing movie with one incredible sexy Catwoman and Tim Burton having free reign. But more about that in my review of Batman Returns. Somehow Batman Returns was less about Batman and he was not as awesome as I remember him. Now I felt like I had to see the first again to see if Tim Burton's Batman was a better Batman movie.
And to my surprise I have to say it is. Batman captures the essence a whole lot better than Batman Returns. Right from when Batman first appears on the screen he impresses. You know what he is about and you want to see more of him. And we get to see enough Batman magic to give people a taste of why he is so loved. The batmobile, the batwing and all his other gadgets is something that belongs in a movie about Batman. It makes him stealthy and able to instill fear into his enemies. Michael Keaton is a good Batman. When he is in the suit he does look very menacing and guess what he does not have to use a silly voice to scare people. I have read that some people found him a poor Bruce Wayne. But I disagree on that. We don't get to see enough of Bruce Wayne explored but with the little that is present he pulls it of very nicely. And actually I think it is very wise to keep Bruce Wayne a little mysterious. Which brings us to Jack Nicholson as The Joker. I did not appreciate his take on it at first. But this was before I actually knew much about this character. Now I know better and am fully confident that Jack Nicholson is one hell of a Joker. It's obvious now he is closer to the comic book and cartoon character. He was more comical but at the same time pure evil personified. Vicky Vale is a character used to get the plot going. I did not find her particularly interesting.
Overall Batman still is a good comic book movie although at times it does seem a little dated. I love Prince's music but it simply does not hold up any more soundtrack wise. But compared to the other movies in the whole Batman franchise this one definitely belongs in the top.