Michael Keaton is a strange Bruce Wayne. He looks confused and he mumbles. His mind is someplace else. That place else: childhood trauma physically manifested in a doppelgänger called...The Batman. All implied without Chris Nolan having Christian Bale shout it! This is Tim Burton's BATMAN. It is the most iconic reinvention by any director, ever. It's cinéma fantastique: mysterious, beautiful, weird. Also, very funny.
I'm not the biggest Tim Burton fan but his Batman films were on point. With the feeling of a comic book brought to life mixed with dark humor and the exceptional performance from Jack Nicholson as The Joker, this is a solid Batman film.
Burton's series is better than Nolan's. He knew he was making trashy films and played them over-the-top, unserious, and fun. Nolan goes for a straight-face, but what's the point of being serious when you don't tell a proper story? Moreover, Burton had much more heart in his films, they ran at a quicker clip, and didn't try to trick you by distorting the weak drama. Each action scene isn't as bloated in length, too.
It's interesting to see this film after the Christopher Nolan reboot, because it's as good, but with a different approach. I just love Gotham City with this gothic weird graphic style, visually more interesting than the post-modern design on Begins and Dark Knight.
Perhaps the most visually stunning of all superhero films, although Tim Burton's complete ineptitude at shooting action scenes is on full display. Keaton is the best Batman. Elfman's score is legendary.The scene where the Batmobile drives through the concrete wall is as good as movies get.
Childhood touchstone...Tim Burton at the top of his game, with a blackly campy Joker (in an inspired turn by Nicholson), the perverse/inspired choice of Prince as soundtrack jockey, and just the right balance between funny and creepy...this (and it's sequel) were the high points for the Batworld before Nolan's "realist" reboot of the franchise...
Tim Burton looked at Batman in a really different way than most. He thought of him as a freak, a monster, a typical Tim Burton protagonist. And the studio told him to pull back on that a little bit, and they made a really good Batman film.