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Batman (1989)

Batman (1989)


Jack Nicholson
Michael Keaton
Kim Bassinger

Directed by Tim Burton

In 1989, Tim Burton was tasked with creating a Batman movie that will be set apart from everything before it. It was his ground work and delivery that led to the Christopher Nolan’s Batman movie series and Zack Snyder’s versions.
If you look at the production work that went into this movie, you will come to appreciate it.
Burton took themes from Batman comics like The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns. He also had to work with Michael Keaton who at that time had been typecast as a comedic actor and Jack Nicholson who commanded a high salary, a percentage of the profits and dictated the shooting schedules.
That aside, this film’s primary story is from the Red Hood comic tale of how Batman dropped Joker into some chemicals. Burton went further to add some of his style to this adaptation, making Joker a gangster and adding many gothic themes into the mix.

The movie plot focuses on Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson). Jack is a member of a group of gangsters, but he was dipping into the crime boss’s lady. This upset him, and he set Jack up by sending him on a job to a chemical plant and sending the cops after him.
The whole shooting led Batman to show up on the scene and try to end the mess, but unintentionally dropped Joker into the chemical which changed his facial look and made him lose his mind.

This Jack Nicholson Joker adaption is very different from the lifetime performance of Heath Ledger’s Joker in the Nolan’s adaptation of the character. Jack Nicholson’s joker is very like the comic book joker, his movement, laugh and silliness is like that of the comic and the cartoon adaptations that followed.
Joker’s plan in this movie was to take over the crime ring, which he did by taking revenge on his boss and killing anyone who stood against him being the head.

He then turned his eyes on Gotham, poisoning their healthcare products and pulling out a plot to kill as much people as he can.
The Batman is also a new feature in Gotham, and this movie serves as a brief introduction to his character.

Although the movie is named Batman, it is more focused on the Joker.
This movie was extremely successful at the box office and had an average positive response from critics who complained of the movie being too dark. It was its success that led to the creation of the Batman: The Animated Series and paved the way for the DC Animated Universe.
Burton’s addition to the film was not well received by fans, like Alfred letting Vicki Vale into the Batcave, exposing Bruce Wayne as Batman or changing the killer of Bruce Wayne’s parent from Joe Chill to the Joker.

Other than that, I believe the movie was well done and a good foundation was set for the Batman movie franchise from this Tim Burton adaptation.


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