Monday, June 20, 2005

Must. See. Movie.

Who is Tim Burton?Now THAT'S a Batman movie. I won't bore readers with a plot recap and spoliers. What I will do is explain what this movie did right by comparing it to the terrible Tim Burton movies of the 90's.

First: The movie has a distinct and single tone. It's dark and serious. Burton's Batman was schizophrenic. Was it dark? (Bruce Wayne hanging by gravity boots like a bat) Was it camp? (Joker pulling a 3 foot long pistol out of his pants to shoot down the Batplane) Was it pop? (Joker and his thugs destroying art just for the sake of destroying art)

Second: The plot made sense. Sure, you has the typical "destroy civilization as we know it" plot line. But Burton's, "We'll have a parade, throw money at people, and gas them" was... something. I have no idea what. At least in Christopher Nolan's world, the bad guys plan fits with their motivation. I still have no idea why Jack Nicholson's Joker would have been able to attract henchmen.

Third: It was fresh. While Nolan acknowledged the comics, he didn't seem to rely on them. This pissed off the fan boy who sat next to me in the theater. I stood up praising it to no end. He was upset it wasn't more like the comics. "Spider-man got that right," he said. "That's why this was so good," I replied. The standard formula has been done so many times. Here was a fresh take.

The few flaws were the fighting scenes (shot too close and too frenetic) and the Katie Holmes character. Her ADA was cliche and, like in the Burton days, as the love interest, gets a peek under the cowl. Oh, and let me ask you this: If humans are 70% water, wouldn't a machine that vaporizes water turn the residents of Gotham into steam?

Blow off Star Wars and go see this.

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