Saturday, 7 July 2018

BATMAN

This is the 1989 Tim Burton version in all it’s gothic Gotham darkness in the good old days when comic-book heroes were not pitted against each other but rather the audience could get onside with the goodies outwitting the baddies. Wasn’t life simple before all this Superman v. Batman rubbish!

As you’d expect, Tim Burton turns the darkness knob to maximum and the atmosphere created in this crime caper fantasy romp is totally engaging. Danny Elfman has his usual fun with an outrageous score in keeping with the feel and theme of the film. The sets are similarly outrageous and extravagant, set somewhere between 1940’s and 2140’s, depending on which dress-code you look at, which telephone is used, which camera is being used for the press and what tech Batman has available to use!

Michael Keaton as Batman/Bruce Wayne (oops, gave it away!) I’m not convinced about. He plays the part without much personality and I just thought that others might have brought more style and character. Similarly, Michael Gough as Alfred. In fact the whole Wayne household seemed to be full of characterless characters!

Thankfully this is where the rot stops and we can turn our attention to Jack Nicholson, who completely steals the show in every scene he’s in. He has been cast beautifully as The Joker and always seems to play the fruit-loop with gusto, comedy, lunacy, ease and aplomb! (Arguably only usurped by one in this respect and genre, Danny DeVito as The Penguin in Batman Returns, but I'll leave that for another day.) Kim Basinger grabs the attention as Lois Lane, er, Vicky Vale, plays it very well and is a delight to watch in action.

I guess everyone on the planet knows the plot and the film really, so no need to plough over that. Just to say that it’s a great action, drama, comedy, love story, suspenseful couple of hours of complete nonsense which grabs the attention and doesn’t let go. Great entertainment, escapism, and fantasy for a fun-filled viewing. Yes, OK, you can nitpick with the details of the adaptation if you like, and muse over how it’s not true to the original story, but it’s a story! And can be told in whatever way anyone fancies. It didn’t happen and it ain’t true! Haha. Recommended. Enjoy.

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