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.