Top 5 Reasons Why Tim Burton’s Batman is better than Nolan’s Batman

Well… I’m a bad person. I saw that theotherdude92 was doing a top 5 reasons why Nolan’s Batman is better than Tim Burton’s Batman and decided to take my stance before him, in a really dickish move, and post mine before him, kind of calling him into the battle.

Now, before anything, here is where I stand: I saw, so far, Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, Batman and Robin, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I may watch DKR this weekend, but since I don’t really like Nolan’s Batman movies, I would say it’s probably something I will not do. Second: this is opinion only. Most of my reasons are completely phony and completely opinionated, even though I think they are justifiable, even though I’m kind of doing this on the fly. Other issue: I’m not a Batman comic book fan; I haven’t read any of the comics that might allude to these particular movies. I’m doing this as a movie viewer. So, these are my top 5 reasons why Tim Burton’s Batman is better than Nolan’s Batman. Not in order or anything.

#5 – Batman tells a better origin story than the entirety of Batman Begins

I really dislike Batman Begins for this reason: Burton’s Batman had to set the plot of the titular character, purpose and origin, making you care for the protagonist motive, while presenting an interesting villain. Batman Begins did nothing of the sort. Presenting a bottom barrel villain, with no real intentions, and giving the lead character a mighty jab on his independency: from what I’ve got from the few comics I’ve read, Bruce Wayne self-taught himself everything, that’s why he’s the best detective of the world, while in Batman Begins, he gets tutoring. Batman Begins for me was a way to set a bad precedent: Batman needs incentive, teaching and a mentor that transplants his ideology to go fighting crime, instead of just being bad ass on his own.

#4 – Michael Keaton convinces me he’s not Batman, Christian Bale not so much

This was always something that bothered me. As Batman, it’s a tough call of who’s the best one. Of course, the freaking Bale’s voice is annoying as fuck, but still, he’s not only that. However, Christian Bale, as Bruce Wayne, just looks and reeks as “Hi, I’m Batman”. The way he acts, the way he talks, the way he interacts with everyone… even the script helps this out, with the fact that “Wayne’s missing, no batman, Wayne’s back, batman!”, but as a character, Michael Keaton is much more convincing as Bruce Wayne that Christian Bale. The way he acts, the way he talks… he sounds inoffensive. He’s a fun guy, with a fun attitude, light hearted, and when he says “I’m Batman”, it’s really surprising.

#3 – The Portrayal of the Villains

Heath Ledger’s joker is the best cinema Joker. There’s no doubt about that. However… it’s just him. Let’s pit them side by side. Let’s rate them, shall we?

On Nolan’s side, we have:

Rhaz-Al-Ghul, a character that is annoying, purposeless, pompous and only serves to show how pushed around Batman can be. He’s the master of the dark ninja clan or whatever, but would you call Liam Neeson a ninja? For me, he’s a clear 3/10.

Scarecrow, a guy that scares mental patients. I still don’t know why Batman Begins exists, maybe it’s important in the comics, but this guy, just makes me angry. Boring, without a clear motive, completely crazy, obviously a guy that wouldn’t pass any exam to treat any mental case at all. 1/10

Joker, I don’t think there’s too much to say that everyone already hasn’t said. He’s awesome. My only complaint is that he didn’t use any of the stuff that the Joker uses: acid flowers squirts, hand shake shockers… still, a 9/10.

On Burton’s side:

Joker: Jack Nicholson is freaking awesome, comfortable in his role, menacing as all hell… however, I don’t like the origin they give and I although I feel a bit threatened by him, I think he did such an amazing job of being a buffoon that I can’t treat him that seriously. 8/10.

CatWoman: Michelle Pfeiffer is sexy as hell. I haven’t seen the Anne Hathaway catwoman, but I doubt that she will do what Michelle Pfeiffer did. She’s just perfect as cat woman: threatening, sexy, clever… she’s an antagonist, but you see yourself rooting for her much more often than to Batman. 7/10

Penguin: Denny DeVito fucking rules as Penguin. So much that I think no one could do what he did to the role. Yes, he’s being manipulated, yes, he’s much more mythical that in any prior reincarnation. But at the end of the movie, you feel sorry for him, at the same time that you want him dead. It’s one of the few villains that I think are highly underrated by fans. 8/10

See? In the end, we have three great villains against one perfect villains and two so bland its forgettable villains.

#2 – More interesting Gotham related shots and scenery

Nolan’s Batman main character is the city. The way it is shot, the way it is lit, that city is amazing. But when I think of Gotham, I don’t think of the Gotham in the Nolan movies. I think of huge skyscrapers, with everything being gothic and obscure: Black and gray instead of dark orange and black. Nolan’s Batman was realistic, yes, but who wants realism with their batman? Burton’s Batman felt like a black and white graphic novel. And that’s not even counting the ice related shots from Batman Returns. Just those scenes alones, with the city semi-frozen because of the Christmas are almost worth the movie alone. Every fall from the top of the building in Burton’s Batman was a skyscraper: that’s the Gotham I want.

#1 – The Music

I love Danny Elfman’s body of work. Although I can see that he’s screwing up nowadays, Batman was from a time when he was still at his best game. Every time I see Batman in any movie showing up for the first time, I think “bãm bãm bãm bãm bãm bãm”. I don’t remember a single tune of Nolan’s Batman. And that’s kind of a trend with super hero movies nowadays, with Avengers having no particular huge theme. I miss that, as that’s basically the one huge reason I really do not like Nolan’s work: you get out without a tune in your head. And when you had fucking Danny Elfman to compete against, you had to try something, anything really. But no, it’s almost a silent movie. Looking back, I can see the great visuals that Nolan’s Batman has, but on the sound department, that movie was a disaster.

These are my reasons. If you feel like disagreeing and want to disagree with any particular point, post below. This is JotaKa, signing off.

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3 Responses to Top 5 Reasons Why Tim Burton’s Batman is better than Nolan’s Batman

  1. I didn’t know that this was a theory until recently, but apparently a lot of people think that Bruce Wayne actually stays in The Bat during the nuclear explosion and dies. The theory is that Alfred is at the café and is once again fantasizing about seeing the man he’s cared about his whole life out of Gotham. This theory seems a little too farfetched for me. The only thing I can really give to back it up is that there are many cuts to Batman still in The Bat moments before the explosion. But I would say that is just a clever way to make the viewer saddened by the supposed death of the hero before they are shown him alive again shortly after. And besides, why would Alfred fantasize seeing Bruce with Selina Kyle, a thief that Alfred had only encountered once in his life?

  2. JTD says:

    What can I say?

    I’ve never been nuts over Burton but he delivered the goods with the first Batman movie in the 80s. The style, pacing, music, and overall Look was Batman. Nicholson also Was The Joker: he was given a background and a plausible storyline showing how he devolved into a psychopath.

    Now we have Christopher Nolan. Seems that if Tim Burton is overrated as a director, then Christopher Nolan is mega-hyper-overrated to the point of near-godhood. I’m disgusted with his works. “Inception” was overrated, long, drawn out, mostly boring–and despite a movie dealing with dreams, it’s obvious that Nolan has no Conception of Dreams–he could learn a thing or two (or several dozen) by watching, say, any of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies of old…
    But I’m digressing again… Nolan took away all the visual style and colorful Fun of Burton’s Batman. Let’s face it, Batman’s given a more ordinary “batmobile” by Nolan, Gotham city become your ordinary everyday NYC…all these pointless changes. Nolan’s explanation (and his fanbase) scream “It’s more Realistic!” – But it’s not, IMHO, BATMAN! Batman fans don’t want this…

    Now let’s delve into The Dark Knight… A new Joker. One who’s basically, let’s face it, a Goth white-faced jerk with no real motivation for his actions. The real kicker here is Heath Ledger’s death. Wow, never before in my life have I seen so much heaping praise for a nobody B-actor. The momentum which spun out of control still blows my mind. I mean this guy received DOZENS of Posthumous AWARDS for, for what, for Dying at a young age by a drug overdose. And nobody DARE criticize his acting. No sir! You say he DIdn’t do a good job as The Joker, you’re speaking ill of the dead! Praise heaped upon praise. Nicholson’s Joker was A+ with wonderful lines, dialogue, antics. Ledger’s was just some nut with NO Background Story. But he died, so he’s Great. And with that Nolan became not just another director but a Master Director and a Visionary!

    Now along comes TDK Rises. Wow, what a mess. Terrible pacing. A story that’s all over with too many characters, most having no character development. Plot holes galore (like 3,000 of Gotham’s police trapped in the sewers, Batman healing a broken back through pushups and being able to hope from halfway across the world back to Gotham without money and just the torn shirt on his back…). Absolute mess. But, you know, NOLAN DIRECTED IT SO IT’S A MASTERPIECE, and The greatest Batman movie Ever! I’ve had it with all these zombie/paid critics. Now that movies are in the Billions rather than Millions, PR is Really getting intense.
    People can’t think for themselves either, they have to be Told to Like a movie and spread that joy around, even if it’s a dog.

  3. Pingback: Nolan’s Batman Trilogy | Cian Beirdd

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