Whereas Adam West’s Batman has had its knowingly silly tone preserved and revels in its campness (rather than being po-faced about shark repellent as some latter day audiences believe) time hasn’t been the kindest to Tim Burton’s Batman. Ground-breakingly dark for a blockbuster at the time of release, it now looks pretty zany.
Not a criticism by any stretch (Batman has some aged special effects, but retains its charm); it’s not really the film’s fault. It couldn’t have known twenty years later that a similarly ground-breakingly gritty adaptation of the character would come along and make anything (and not just its own predecessors) camp by comparison. Batman Begins, as well as it’s bigger, more grounded sequels, had a seismic effect on both the film industry as a whole, not to mention on how the public view Batman; ten years ago the casting of the Bruce Wayne wouldn’t have had such an explosive reaction.
Both series are incredibly distinct and work well independently, but this unending praise of Nolan has led to what came before being shunned. The Dark Knight effect was only amplified by the contrast of where Batman had been before; the day-glo neon-vomit of Joel Schumacher’s Batman And Robin. Being so different to the Val Kilmer/George Clooney iteration of the character, we seem to have ignored the Burton films, classing them as a fair first attempt. They may not be as grand as Nolan’s films, but they do have their own merits (particularly Returns, which fully commits to the gothic tone).
And, it turns out, some very strange similarities to The Dark Knight Trilogy. Some are plot related, others contextual, but they all get explored here today. Here are ten bizarre similarities between the two best runs of Batman (beyond having a cape and cowled vigilante, obviously).
This article was first posted on January 11, 2014