Back in 1989, the world was introduced to the darker side of Batman. Directed by Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland) and starring Michael Keaton (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Birdman), Jack Nicholson (The Shining), and Kim Bassinger (The Nice Guys), Batman 89 is a classic movie that has always stuck around for me in my childhood… even though I wasn’t born in the 1980s.
The story is about billionaire Bruce Wayne, who leads a double life as the vigilante known as the Batman. He then recognises a figure from his past, while also dealing with a new enemy called “The Joker.” Honestly, this is my best explanation of the film for people who hasn’t seen it.
The main cast, particularly Michael Keaton, all give great performances as their respective characters. Michael Keaton (who was a controversial casting choice when announced back in 1988) really gives into his dark personality as Batman perfectly while bringing the charm as Bruce Wayne as well. Jack Nicholson definitely was my favourite Joker (before Ledger) and Kim Basinger did well as Vicki Vale.
The supporting cast also brings good performances as well, with the late Michael Gough being one of my Top 3 Alfred Pennyworth actors.
The story, however, I have a mixed feeling towards. The story was simple, being a Batman vs Joker story, but having a real name for The Joker before he became Joker really didn’t settle with me at all. Vicki Vale’s storyline was good as well, but, as seen with the other Batman movies in the 90s, the love interests doesn’t really stay around for long.
The music was also good, being composed by Danny Elfman, who is underrated in the superhero film genre and the set design looked pretty and gothic.
Overall, Batman 89 is that memorable classic that everyone will still know as the Batman movie that (kind of) understood what Batman should be. Dark and mysterious. The cast did bring good performances, the music was nice to listen to, the sets were pretty, and the story, to me, was simple to follow, but was a mixed bag. 9/10.
Review by Zac (@speedingahead on Twitter).