Who is Batman?
Running Time: 126 minutes
UK Certificate: 15
Country: United States
Ive never really been too sure about Batmans credentials as a bona fide superhero. Sure, hes got a secret identity, he fights crime, and he wears a ridiculous tight-fitting costume. But he doesnt really have any super powers per se. In fact, hes really just a rich guy who can afford lots of gadgets. In fact, hes not really doing anything that Bill Gates, for example, couldnt do if he REALLY wanted to.
While were at it, its fair to say that Batman isnt a movie Ive ever been too sure about either. Equally as silly as it is dark and gothic, its often difficult to know just how seriously director Tim Burton is expecting us to take it. Just as significantly, Burton pays painstaking attention to getting the look and style of the production just right, but in the process of doing so neglects the other components necessary to make a truly great film.
The script is weak and the plot, save for a genuinely exciting climax, is generally unengaging. It pits Michael Keatons restrained and brooding Batman against Jack Nicholsons OTT Joker, a perma-grinning albino intent on wiping out the people of Gotham City via a contaminated range of cosmetics. Given the state of the blokes kisser, youd think that the towns make-up would be the LAST thing hed want to render unusable, but there you go. Kim Basinger is amongst the supporting cast as our heros love interest, and Jack Palance is also in there as a crime uber-lord.
Its a daring effort, some of which works and some of which doesnt, but whats perhaps most impressive about it today is that it hasnt dated at all despite now being 14 years old. Thats possibly got something to do with the bizarre alternative reality created by Burton, where 1930s-style mobsters mix freely with futuristic gadgets and cutting-edge technology. That alone gives it a uniqueness thats certainly worth a look.
It's Got: Im Batman!
It Needs: For Princes specially-penned cacophonies to stop interrupting Danny Elfmans terrific score.
DVD Extras Production notes and cast details. DVD Extras Rating: 2/10
Much darker than your average superhero flick, Batman goes for style over substance but just about makes a success of it.