15. The Suit
The Batsuit is probably one of the most important things you need to get right when making a Batman movie. As well as concealing Bruce Wayne's identity, the suit has to intimidate the criminal scum in Gotham and look really cool at the same time. Michael Keaton's suit in the 1989 film was designed by Bob Ringwood who based it on the Neal Adams design from the comics but instead of the established grey and blue, he made it all black. It set the mold for all future Batman movies and the design has never been topped. Everything about it is archetypal Batman, it's sleek, not covered with distracting bits of armor, the cape is integrated into the suit and the black is broken up nicely by the yellow utility belt and emblem. Also the ears on the cowl are a good length and the cut off point where the jaw becomes visible is far enough back to give Batman a nice jawline. I know Michael Keaton had mobility problems while wearing the it and was unable to turn his head but on screen, his suit looked stunning and made an immediate impact. Fast forward to Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy and the obsession with realism ruined what should have been one of the iconic images to come out of the movies and that is Batman. The suit in Batman Begins was never going to be a classic, it looked rubbery, the cape was odd and the neck on the cowl was too fat. But they did give it a redesign for The Dark Knight but managed the impossible by actually making it look even worse. You can forgive the camouflaged logo, the annoying armor plating and the fact that the ears are too small but the biggest problem is the mouth area. The cowl's design was based on a motorcycle helmet and that was a very bad mistake. Christian Bale never had the best lips to carry off the Batman look and the design of the cowl made it look like his face was squished. It also robbed Batman of a decent jawline. Once you add on his ridiculous voice, the whole look becomes a joke. It's becoming a trait in Hollywood now that in order to look edgy and appeal to the kids, you need to make everything look super busy. Look at the design of the Transformers in the recent Michael Bay feature films where every Transformer had to be made up of a million parts. Nolan's Batsuit has the same problem, with all the ridges and lines all over it, it looks too busy. Batman is smooth and elegant when he moves and the suit should reflect that. Even though the suit in Tim Burton's film had the fake muscles, it didn't go over board and cover every area with lines and shapes so that it looks ultra modern and like body armor. Less is more and Nolan's suit had too much going on and just didn't look cool. It's a remarkable achievement when even George Clooney's suit is more ascetically pleasing.