ByBJ Hall, writer at
I write Comedy, Do Stand-up, Travel Through Time, and enjoy the FUCK out of a good movie! Twitter: @InitiallyDirty FB: https://www.facebook.
BJ Hall

Yeah, I know what you are thinking: "But... But everyone says all the other BATMAN movies suck. As far as I am concerned, Nolan's BATMAN BEGINS is the only real start of the BATMAN! You sir, have bad taste!" Really? Well we will just see about that!! Riddle me this:


The Movie "Metropolis" on mushrooms
The Movie "Metropolis" on mushrooms

Man I really love this movie, and I guess that makes me a little bit biased when it comes to my decision to call it the greatest of ALL the BATMAN movies... but lets be clear: I am not talking about best in concern with how much it made, because if I was BATMAN FOREVER beats the shit out of BATMAN BEGINS in its opening week, and played in less theaters. So if I was talking only about that, Val Kilmer would have already taken a giant heaping money dump on Christian Bale.

Im talking about the colors, the energy, and the excitement. The fact that the city of Gotham looks like one of the most surreal places to live EVER. I mean c'mon, the criminals themselves dressed up like Warrior rejects, but they had personality. Well.... when I say that, I mean that they all had the same personality of a goon, but still they paint the picture of dispensable crazy guys out to cause more havoc than really to just get rich.

Speaking of crazy guys, what about the make-up on both Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones. Man, it was badass, I am not just saying the work that went into them being flawless nods to the TV show villains themselves, but the fact that their own private spaces were literal extensions of their own personality(s).

Take Two-Face for example:

I wonder if he likes half-n-half in his coffee?
I wonder if he likes half-n-half in his coffee?

This place is great, it's dark and light just like two-face. Not only that but when the scene opens up, where two-face is standing is perfectly symmetrical with the rest of the room. Like if I walked into this place without anyone there I would know immediately what the villain was about, and why I shouldn't be there anymore. Not to mention the fact that he has one lady for each personality... which yeah, could be considered over the top a bit, but come on, if you were reading the comic you would be weirded-out if he only had one. But I digress, my point is it's a movie based off of a comic book that literally looks and feels like a comic book in the sense that the scene itself tells a story just as deep as the dialogue (or deeper in this case, considering the dialogue wasn't very deep {but who in the world said it had to be??})

Now take the Riddler's tiny apartment:

I wanna live there!
I wanna live there!

It is amazing! Im telling you guys and gals, this is what blew my mind the most as a kid watching this movie and even now as an adult. See, at first you see Nigma being cocky as heck in front of Bruce Wayne; who he is obsessed with like most people are with movie stars. You can clearly see his anti-social tendencies, that he believes in his work absolutely, but that has never helped people like him at all. Immediately when Bruce sees the Bat signal and makes his way out, the disappointment in Bruce not instantly liking his idea - you can tell he is masking his massive disappointment and a bruised ego with insane anger. Then you sort of write it off as "Yep, he's crazy!"

Then later on, out of no where - and for little reason (I mean seriously, beyond their initial meeting and the death of Nigmas boss, what does it matter) the scene cuts to Nigma going home to his derelict little apartment covered in personalized equipment, random TV sets, and a old carnival automaton carrying his future costume who seems to be his only friend in the world. You see that he is ultimately a lonely guy with no friends or family to talk to and how his work really is his entire life. Even after the fact he finds out his invention works and he can be as smart as he wants to be, he still has to go home to this dreadfully beautiful apartment filled with objects to distract him from crippling loneliness. You then begin to feel empathy. Those of you not familiar with the term, it's probably because it was absent from everyone of the Nolan'verse Batman movies. All except for the audience feeling bad for Bruce/Batman... (awww poor little Brucey-woosey!! Screw that! Why do a whole bunch of people feel sorry for BATMAN?! He is a friggin' superhero... yeah, you can argue he doesn't have any powers... but that's not true. His one power is: He is super-duper-mega rich! .... but we will get to him in a minute, and how badass he is in this movie vs. Nolan's pouty Batman in the newest movies.)

The time they took on the design not just for the villains, but for the the gadget's BATMAN uses, the Batmobile itself, and the acid worthy sets. It was incredible, and it felt good to watch. When you see the new gritty BATMAN, it doesn't even come close to how badass this is or even a fraction of it. All because they wanted to be gritty and realistic. While that is all well and good, if you want realism.... WHY GO SEE A COMIC BOOK MOVIE?!

Oh and by the way....



its obvious which one to pick!
its obvious which one to pick!

You want gritty? How about killing a whole family in front of their only living son? No, I am not talking about Bruce Wayne's parents getting shot because they wouldn't give up their wallets. I am talking about Robin's family. Two-face just kills the heck out of them! I am talking full blown "HAHAHA you're dead" kills them - with bullets and gravity and all! Okay, that not enough for ya? How about the Riddler then? Killing his boss with a joke, then joking about it some more after he dies! "But BJ, Heath Ledger was so great he blew up buildings and...." Yeah, he blew up a hospital without anyone inside of it! Ohhh nooo, that's horrifying! "But BJ, you're not giving him enough credit. He dropped that girl from Bruce's apartment then killed the black guy from Spawn!" Look, I get that. He made video tapes and sent them into the media.... but that stuff was all hype compared to actually killing people like Two-Face did when he killed his own henchmen with a rocket launcher. Technically 16 people died in this movie, but even the ones that were just threatened to be killed were threatened with things like acid and a watery spiked grave.

I am just saying, what's more terrifying in a villain? One that looks threatening and talks tough and did the most damage to a pile of money than to the people of Gotham; or one that will just shoot you for being a pawn in the way, laughing about it, and then shooting someone else just because a coin landed on the wrong side?

  Oops, your parents are dead. HA! No one cares!
Oops, your parents are dead. HA! No one cares!



Look, I know what you are probably thinking, and totally understand. Val Kilmer was not a great BATMAN, and I admit that his acting was off, but as far as the character goes he was the BATTIEST of the BATMEN! He had the money, the gadgets, the attitude, and the dialogue. He wasn't the most threatening, but there is just something about a superhero that can be locked within a safe dangling from a helicopter as a guard hysterically grabs at his genitals while the whole thing fills with acid and then not only escaping to save the guard, but plan the escape so well that he uses gravity to put the safe right back into the same location it was ripped out of a second later. BATMAN!

Hold on?! Fuck Yo..wait, I forgot, you're BATMAN!
Hold on?! Fuck Yo..wait, I forgot, you're BATMAN!

Joel Schumacher may have went on to direct the next movie that was, let's face it, terrible...but in this one - in his first attempt - it was magic. I accredit most of that to the production of Tim Burton, because if anyone knows how to make a "Lonely Little Boy Grows Up to Rule All in an Extremely Psychedelic Environment" it's Burton. That's why in the last one Clooney sort of came off as a closeted gay guy, instead of what I am sure they were sort of going for which was a genius man driven by a sense of purpose, but instead we got Clooney telling Robin with hard nipples to repress his heterosexuality in order to fight Poison Ivy, when a Val Kilmer Batman would have just pulled out his gadget and went to work.... wait.... that sort of sounded dirty.

I was clearly talking about his tool. Aw damn it!
I was clearly talking about his tool. Aw damn it!

Honestly I don't know what happened to Batman in the next movie. What matters is that for at least one movie they were able to piece together one of the most Batman-iest BATMAN movies of all time. Batman was rich and powerful, he had a BATBOAT and the BATWING at his disposal even after the Riddler came in and blew the whole place up. Even the sick souped-up Batmobile was just some dirt off of BATMAN's leather-bound shoulder.

Honestly, the only time Batman ever really worried was when he thought he had been a coward, but the truth is Two-Face would have killed them anyway and once he realizes that it's back out into the night. Even when the Riddler has the two people he loves captured and dangling above some spiked graves and is forced to make a decision between the two. What does he do? Does he cry and lament the death of Robin (cuz in the Nolanverse Batman is more worried about himself {ie. his lady} than doing what is best)? No, he tells the Riddler (again, I don't agree with ALL the costuming - to me Jim Carry should have stayed in the original suit from the beginning of the movie) to go play in traffic and saves them both after destroying his machine with the flick of his wrist. He saves em both.... because he's.. Well he's THE BATMAN!

HAHA! Team crazy doesn't remember glass is breakable
HAHA! Team crazy doesn't remember glass is breakable


Listen, I could keep going on and on about this, but what I recommend is that you go get a copy. Download it, buy it, whatever you have to do and then give it another watch... then after that go ahead and throw me a comment and let me know what your "grown up" self thinks about it. Because I honestly am about tired of every single comic book movie being a drool attempt at sucking good feelings out of my brain so they can be replaced with a sad brooding dark superhero who's biggest problem is the death of his parents. Come on already, he's Batman! It would suck for sure, but he's like 30 in every film. How in the world does it still effect you in such a way that the whole of the story is shaded to show how dark the perception of the world is through the eyes of one of the richest people in the DC universe. That is... unless Alfred did something that got him interested in leather and fast cars.


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More articles by BJ Hall:
- Can't Believe it's Not Better: TRANSCENDENCE

- Movie Mind Melt: 4 Acid Trips on Film

- Re-Boot SWAMP THING with Alan Moore: 4 REASONS WHY

- ASH vs CABLE TV: 5 Reasons Why "ASH vs THE NECRONOMICON" Should be a TV Show


Is the Grittyness Getting to be too Much for Comic Book Movies?


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