Okay, guys, I’m about to say something controversial. Are you ready? Here it goes…
Tim Burton made the best Batman films.
I know, I know. That’s a huge statement to make. But, hear me out first, and then give me your rebuttal.
Burton’s Batman films ride the line between comic book and real life darkness perfectly, in a way that Schumacher and Nolan’s films do not.
Let’s start with Schumacher, who obviously made the worst two Batman films, with Batman Forever and the unspeakable Batman & Robin. His is all comic book. It plays up on the colors of the comics and every set looks like it came straight from the comic book pages. It doesn’t translate well to film. It all looks very campy. And, I’m all for camp, but when the acting is done in a serious manner, well, camp goes out the window. That mainly applies to Schumacher’s first Batman film, Batman Forever, where Val Kilmer takes himself way too seriously. The only redeeming factor from Batman Forever, I would say, is Jim Carrey playing The Riddler. That was some genius casting. I just wish it had been for a different Batman film, ya know?
I’m not even going to touch on the abomination that is Batman & Robin. I think we all know how I feel about that film from that sentence alone.
Okay, so Schumacher is on one end of the spectrum. Let’s switch over to Christopher Nolan. Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the Dark Knight series. I mean, I own the entire thing. HOWEVER, I find the films to be far too dark and brooding (and to have far too many plot holes, but that’s a whole other post in and of itself). The most frustrating part about the Dark Knight franchise (besides the gazillion plot holes, that is) is that Warner Brothers and DC’s film division used that as a jumping off point for what the rest of their films should look like, which was a bad move, in my opinion. I mean, did any of you see the edit of Superman where all those filters were lifted off and the film is bright, like Superman is supposed to be? It was a million times better. So, Nolan’s franchise went the opposite way from Schumacher’s films, where it was all real life darkness and no comic book….stuff.
That brings me to Tim Burton’s two Batman films. Like I said before, both Batman and Batman Returns perfectly dance the line between comic book campiness and real life darkness. Visually, it weaves both of those aspects together, the first one in particular. The colors for the Joker (played by Jack Nicholson aka my favorite joker there now you all know) are bright, but not too bright, if that makes sense. They stand out against the dark background of the film, but not like in Schumacher’s where the colors are so bright, they just don’t seem to fit in or that they’re being forced. And the acting in the films matches that feeling. Nobody is too serious, but nobody is too campy, either. It’s perfect.
Okay. Now that I’ve said it, what do you think? Do you adore Nolan’s Dark Knight series? Or are you a Schumacher fan? If anybody is the latter, I would very much like to know why and I would like you to explain to me the purpose of bat nipples on the bat suit, as well as why Batman needs his own specific credit card, when Bruce Wayne obviously has a billion of them? I mean, is Batman really shopping while he’s dressed as Batman? Anyway, let me know.