Batman (1989) holds a special place in the hearts of a whole generation of fans… Not for years had there been a decent superhero movie and there hasn’t been one since that left an impact on pop culture like this … Here are 5 Reasons why it’s still one of the best superhero movies ever. So let’s get nuts!
5. It’s actually inspired by the comics
Unlike comic book movies before it Batman is really the first comic book movie to be directly influenced by the comics. Its dark noir style and tone are adapted from batman stories like Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke. Elements of the Joker’s origin and style from both of these works certainly inspired elements of the Joker that we see on screen. Plus Bob Kane was a consultant on the movie so they wanted the movie to be taken serious.
4. The music
One of the most iconic and enduring elements of this movie is its music. That opening title music, the Batman theme, is so iconic its been used in plenty of Batman media since. Let’s not forget the soundtrack album by Prince, Its brilliant and it’s use in the film is pretty inspired. It was incredibly popular selling over 11 million copies.
Part of what makes Batman memorable to this day is the design. Both the sets and the costume. Anton Furst’s set design is still massively impactual to this day. His designs create a Gotham city full of imposing buildings and urban decay where vintage and contemporary meet. It even impressed Batman co creator Bob Kane. Costume design is also a real highlight of the film. Designed by Hollywood legend Bob Ringwood it defined the bat suit for a generation and every other character is perfectly dressed for this interpretation of the Dark Knight detective, plus the Batmobile, Batcave and Batwing are just awesome.
When the film was being made there was a lot of negative reaction from the fan base and there were a lot of changes during the preproduction. In spite of this it’s difficult to imagine any other actors in the roles in this movie. Jack Nicholson is still absolutely perfectly psychotic as the Joker And Michael Keaton IS the dark Knight . The rest of the cast is excellent as well with stand out performances from Kim Basinger, Michael Gough, Jack Palance and Billy Dee Williams.
The legacy of this film is huge. It set the direction of the Batman franchise for decades to come. It was hugely successful at the box office and led to every major production company having a superhero movie in some stage of pre production or production. Superheroes were taken seriously by filmmakers . It also made merchandising a major factor of summer blockbusters again. The merchandising was even more successful than the box office. The film itself lead to three sequels, green-lighted the iconic Batman The Animated Series (1992-1995). It lead to a live action spin off TV show Birds of Prey (2002) and it made a star out of Tim Burton. Its influence would be felt in most Batman media ever since… Batman’s DNA can definitely be witnessed in the excellent Gotham (2014-present). It basically spawned the modern superhero movie phenomenon. It’s that important.