Tim Burton's 1989 classic is approaching its 30 year anniversary, and still continues to influence modern media. So, without further ado, let's talk about why Batman still holds up well to this day.
NOTE: THE ASPECTS BELOW ARE NOT INTENDED TO BE CONTRADICTED WITH THE LIKES OF NOLAN'S BATMAN TRILOGY. THIS IS SIMPLY A STATE OF APPRECIATING BURTON'S BATMAN IN ITS OWN RIGHTS.
1. BATMAN IS ALREADY ESTABLISHED
Instead of developing Bruce Wayne's transformation into Batman from the ground up, this universe already has the Caped Crusader fully developed by depicting him fighting crime in the streets, catching robbers in allies, and saving writers from The Joker's goons with a grappling hook (we're looking at you, Vicky Vale!). It also adds a sense of mystery to the character: has he been Batman for two months, two years, or longer? It's up to you to decide.
2. IT SET THE BENCHMARK FOR COMIC BOOK MOVIES
Before Burton's Batman, comic book movies were generally light in tone and thematic elements. Take Richard Donner's Superman: The Movie, for example: the film was fantastic because it embraced the lightness of the '70s character. Thus, comic accurate. Every superhero movie up until 1989 followed the same tone until Batman was released. We were introduced to a darker, more realistic tale (greatly inspired from The Dark Knight Returns), and were treated to characters with black comedy. I always laugh hysterically when The Joker says: "I'm glad you're dead!"
3. PIONEERED GROUNDBREAKING PRACTICAL AND SPECIAL EFFECTS
Due to budget constraints, Burton and his team simply could not shoot grand scenes in live action. They, instead, opted to use practical effects to stage many action set pieces during the movie. Even in 2015, where CGI is the modern form of practical effects, it's still amazing what they accomplished. There's always been something awe-inspiring in the utilization of the Batwing, whether that be the famous Moon shot, or it crashing into a building.
4. ADVERTISING STRENGTHENED THE MOVIE'S SUCCESS
Warner Bros.' decisive move to go overboard with the advertising was highly influential to the film's success. In 1989, Batman was everywhere: posters, toys, adverts, even cereal. The film went on to make $400 million worldwide, and over $100 million on home video.
5. AN UNFORGETTABLE SOUNDTRACK
Similar to the theme of Superman: The Movie, the score composed by Danny Elfman is an iconic classic. Even if you're not a fan of Batman (then why are you here?), you'll still know the majestic theme. Many fans say it is the most memorable Batman music. Is it your favorite?
6. JACK NICHOLSON'S BRILLIANT JOKER
Without going into comparisons, Jack Nicholson was an excellent Joker for his time: he was mad, deranged, darkly comic, and really captured the psychopathic/psychotic demeanor of the character. And plus, he has some of the best one-liners in the movie! Good on you, Jack.
7. THE INTRODUCTION OF BATMAN
"I'm not going to kill you, I want you to do me a favor, I want you to tell all your friends about me!"
"What are you?"
It was simply the best way to introduce the character through his iconic saying. Michael Keaton delivered the line with incredible panache, capturing the essence of the Dark Knight within those two words. And to cap it all off, he just disappears into the night, leaving the mugger helpless. Awesome!