Unknown to most people, Plans for a Batman movie date as far back as 1983
when Jon Peters and Peter Guber obtained the rights to make one. The
reason for the delay revolved around Peters and Guber going to WB with the
rights and finding the right director. After Tim Burton came aboard in 1986,
filming went underway and the film was finished just in time for a summer
release in a year which marked Batman's 50'th birthday.
The movie begins with Batman saving a
family from being mugged. At the same time, reporter Alexander
Knox is doing a report on sightings of a 6 ft Bat in Gotham city.
He is joined by Vicky Vale, a freelance photographer who is in
Gotham to do a profile on Bruce Wayne. The Underworld is also
shaken as Carl Grissom is killed by the Joker formerly Jack Napier.
Jack had been seeing Carl's woman Alicia which the crime boss did
not like. He tries to set Jack into a trap but the plan takes a
twist when Batman arrives. during the melee, Jack falls into a
toxic vat and is disfigured by the chemicals which cause him to
go insane. The Joker begins to spread his terror by tainting
cosmetics which kill anyone who wears them, gassing a museum and
having his men open fire on Gotham's citizens. While investigating
the Joker, Bruce discovers that the Joker killed his parents long
ago. He destroys the Jokers hideout but the Joker escapes and
takes part in Gotham's bicentennial. The Joker wins the crowd
over by tossing money at them. The money is fake but when the
crowd discovers this, the Joker unleashes his gas from balloons.
Batman arrives in the Batwing and removes the balloons only to be
shot down by the Joker who then captures Vicki and takes
her up a cathedral with Batman following close behind. After
getting his clocked cleaned by Batman, the Joker tries to escape
by helicopter but falls to his death when his legs are
strapped to a gargoyle by Batman; the weight of the which pulls him to his
death. The Movie ends with the Mayor, D.A and Jim
Gordon showing the citizens a Bat symbol to call Batman if Gotham
was in danger.
Out of the four live action Batman movies, BATMAN is still the
best. The film is surrounded by exceptional performances by Nicholson, Keaton
and Basinger. Couple that in with the gothic sets, the gloomy background and the
amazing Batmobile making this a very pleasing movie to look at. Jack Nicholson
does a wonderful job of portraying the Joker and reflects his insanity quite well
at times and tends to overdo it at others. Keaton also did a great job playing
both Bruce and Batman albeit the fact that he was (and still is ) miscast. The
5'10, balding Keaton looked nothing like the Bruce Wayne that fans have known.
Another reason to give Keaton credit is that he did wonderful with what little
he had. A lot of people often overlook the fact that Keaton's role as
Bruce/Batman was seriously underwritten to make way for the Joker. In fact,
Batman/Bruce's screen time is a quarter than the Joker's which is quite a shame
considering the name of the movie is BATMAN and not JOKER. Despite this giant
flaw, the film does have a higher quality than its successors.