Batman 1989 stars Michael Keaton as the vigilante protector of Gotham City. With Jack Nicholson as the Joker, who’s unhinged and out to take his anger out on … Everyone.
Frankly, Batman is both a good superhero movie and a good movie. Unlike many other attempts, it showcases the man beneath the cowl. They don’t portray him as a psychotic, taking his rage and loss out on the world. Instead, Batman sees himself as a protector of the city’s residents. His motivation is to prevent anyone else from losing their parents, or loved ones.
Likewise, the Joker is fleshed out. He’s a cold-blooded killer …. Before his fall into an acid bath disfigures him permanently. He was intelligent and murderous before. Now, he’s unhinged and psychotic as well.
The movie is very well done. The acting is spot-on, creating people that the audience cares about, and are invested in. The costuming, sets, cinematography are all excellent. I recommend Batman very highly.
Cast of characters in Batman
- Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice) … Batman / Bruce Wayne. Likely my favorite live action rendition of the character to date. He comes across as kind, protective, serious. Someone who cares deeply.
- Jack Nicholson (The Shining, The Raven) … Joker / Jack Napier. A joy to watch — from a safe distance. He’s delightfully unhinged and psychotic. Watch me make a pencil disappear! Cold, self-centered, hedonistic.
- Kim Basinger (L. A. Confidential) … Vicki Vale. Reporter, who’s looking into the mystery of the Batman. Frankly, a disappointment. She’s eye candy, for Bruce Wayne to bed and the Joker to kidnap. When I first saw the movie in the theater, my brother & I joked that “Vicki Vale is easy” is graffitied on the Batcave walls. Not the actress’ fault, but the writers.
- Robert Wuhl … Alexander Knox. Intrepid reporter. He’s running down the story of the “mythical” Batman. Despite being stonewalled by Commissioner Gordon & DA Dent.
- Pat Hingle … Commissioner Gordon.
- Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back) … Harvey Dent. Very well acted. It’s a shame that he didn’t return in future installments as Two Face.
- Michael Gough (Konga, They Came from Beyond Space) … Alfred. Very well done. He portrays the elderly Alfred as a paternal figure for Bruce Wayne. A very likable character. “Alfred. Alfred is my family.”
- Jack Palance (Sudden Fear) … Grissom. The gangster boss. He sets up Jack Napier. But Jack survives, and comes back for revenge.
- Jerry Hall … Alicia. Jack’s girlfriend. Whom he disfigures, to be a “match” for him. Despite that, she’s still loyal. Clearly, not too intelligent.
- Tracey Walter (Repo Man) … Bob the Goon. The Joker’s faithful right-hand man. He follows every order, with complete obedience. Of course, he’s obedient to a psychotic killer. “Bob! Gun.”
Editorial review of Batman courtesy of Amazon.com
Tim Burton directs this big screen outing for the caped crusader. The streets of Gotham City are no longer safe for criminals, who are being picked off by a masked vigilante in a rubber suit – dubbed ‘Batman’ by the press. Reporter Alexander Knox (Robert Wuhl) teams with photographer Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) in an attempt to discover Batman’s true identity – an investigation which leads them to the door of mysterious millionaire Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton). Meanwhile, crime boss Carl Grissom’s (Jack Palance) attempt to rid himself of untrustworthy henchman Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson) does not go according to plan, and after emerging physically – and mentally – disfigured from a vat of chemicals, Napier reinvents himself as the psychotic Joker…