(out of 5)

Movie screens saw the arrival of the first blockbuster in years when this film was released, and what resulted was a terrific combination of audience-pleasing action film and a dark and mysterious work of art. Tim Burton’s take on the winged superhero has a moody, depressed Bruce Wayne () take to the streets of Gotham City late at night as Batman in order to make up for the loss of his parents when he was a little boy. When a madman () whose face has been disfigured in a toxic waste accident starts to cause trouble in the city and calls himself the Joker, Batman must put his pedal to the metal and stop him any way he can. Possible casualties include the city itself, its museum artwork and a very beautiful photojournalist named Vicky Vale (, who has a terrific time screaming like a damsel in distress for two hours). The film is a healthy combination of character study and gadget orgy, and factoring in Anton Grot’s stunning production design you’ve got one of the most original and enjoyable films to be made in the now popular superhero genre. I still think that Burton’s sequel is the best of all the Batman movies, but this one is not that far behind. Nicholson’s salary on the profits of the film made about as many headlines as ticket sales did after this film was released.

Warner Bros., The Guber-Peters Company, Polygram Filmed Entertainment

USA/United Kingdom, 1989

Directed by

Story by ,Screenplay by Sam Hamm, , based on characters created by

Cinematography by

Produced by ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1989

Golden Globe Awards 1989

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