1989 superhero movie

Rating: 13/20

Plot: All of Gotham's criminals are talking about a mysterious crime fighter who dresses as a bat and can't be killed. Batman! One night, Batman throws one particular criminal in a giant pot of soup. He emerges disfigured and annoyed and decides to take out his frustrations on the people of Gotham.

I'm not sure I actually ever saw this movie all the way through. I was 16-ish, watching this in a theater with Krissy. There was fondling involved, lots of it as a matter of fact, and Krissy was a lot prettier than anything in the movie. And I'm including that scene where Jack Nicholson's over-the-top Joker is dancing purple-suited in an art musuem with his henchmen, one who has a boom box on his shoulder. There's not a movie critic alive (or in the case of Gene Siskel, dead) who doesn't realize giving a henchman a boom box is like pumping an action scene full of steroids, automatically increasing the level of bitchin' by 27%. Other than that, one of three scenes that date this movie with weird, out-of-place Prince (was he Prince in 1989 or was he a symbol?) funk tunes, there's not much going on in this overlong movie. For an action movie, it sure is boring. The action sequences are dull and often hard to see through this murkiness or, in several scenes, wryneck-inducing lightning strike editing makes it hard to figure out what's even going on. As with the most recent Batman movie, the performance of the guy playing the bad guy gives the film almost all of its energy. Nicholson's Jokering is off-kilter and deranged, although the script calls for far too much demented laughter and lame puns. Regardless of a thrilling score and piles of explosions, there's just something stiff about this whole thing. Of course, there was always something stiff when Krissy was around. Wacka-wacka-wacka!


Barry said...

I give this movie a 10. Its one of the more disappointing moments of the 1980's for me. I was in Boston and actually saw this movie in the same theater as Pro Bowl New England Patriot linebacker Andre Tippet. (Thats a little aside that makes tales like this more interesting to the reading audience.)

Here are the issues I had with this movie.

1-Michael Keaton is too short, too bald and too comical looking to make a decent Batman or Bruce Wayne.

2-Robert Wuhl makes every movie he is in a little worse. In this film, which was already teetering on the edge of being horrible, his addition made it slip right down that slope of mediocrity.

3-The dialog is so bad in this movie. I defy anyone to understand what the hell the scriptwriter was hoping to convey with the scenes between Keaton and Kim Bassinger. Those scenes are among the worst written I have ever seen in a major motion picture.

4-Nicholson is too old to be the Joker. There, I said it. Plus the IDIOTIC back story of The Joker being the one that killed Waynes parents? Too freaking much.

I will say this...the look of this movie was impressive, and has had an impact on the Batman mythos since then. I wish the writing and the casting could have come close to matching the appearance of the movie.

Shane said...

Yeah, but did you give it a bonus point like I did for the appearance of a boom box?

I agree re: Keaton...I don't like him as Batman. Not sure his height was the main problem I had. I think it has more to do with his creepy eyes. He's got Cal Ripkin eyes.

Did Andre Tippet try to fondle you, by the way? That would have really made the tale more interesting!

That whole "dancing. . .pale moonlight" line is really stupid. I didn't think much about the dialogue while watching this, but I'm sure you're right.

I don't think I mentioned this in the post, but I thought Danny Elfman's score was about perfect for this sort of thing. That guy's good.

Shane said...

Oh, and I did grab a copy of 'Batman and Robin' (a Barry recommendation) to watch soon. I'm hoping for comedy gold.

cory said...

That is a horrible movie (B&R), and may be in my bottom 10 all-time. Watch how characters leap and the laws of physics are completely ignored. It is a cruel Barry recommendation.

This Batman gets about a 13 from me.

Barry said...

Regarding Batman and Robin....remember me fondly ANYTIME Alicia Silverstone appears on screen. It is, quite likely, the worst acting job ever done in a motion picture of any quality.

"Suit me up, Uncle Alfred" will know what that means when you have seen the film.