Expected to be one of the summer’s top money-makers, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” opens in theatres this weekend. “Spider-Man” is one of the most successful superhero movie franchises. This is the fifth film in the franchise. Another successful superhero film franchise is “Batman.” As of 2014, there are seven “Batman” films. The first was released twenty-five years ago and was directed by the always off-beat, but very interesting Tim Burton. Anyone interested in developing a new successful superhero movie could learn much by viewing the movies from the two franchises.
As a child, Bruce Wayne, watched his wealthy parents’ murder in front of him and vowed to combat criminals. Although Parker/Spiderman did not come from a wealthy family, he too, like virtually all superheroes faced childhood family trauma generated by criminal activity. Once Wayne/Batman is ready to fight crime, his fellow citizens are in Gotham City are unsure if he is a hero or a criminal. Bats, like spiders, are often considered ominous creatures so the fact that they are associated with law enforcement activity confuses some people. And every good superhero needs a nefarious villain. A scary new crime boss, the Joker (played by Jack Nicholson), emerges in the Gotham City. And a great love interest is also an important component. In “Batman,” Bruce dates Vicki Vale (played by Kim Basinger), an attractive photographer.
“Batman” has a great cast. Michael Keaton is excellent in the lead role. He is mysterious as Bruce Wayne and intimidating as Batman. Jack Nicholson is also effective as the Joker, who has a very creepy sense of humor and a maniacal laugh. Kim Basinger is strong as Vicki, a dedicated photographer.
When this film was released, it received high praise for its overall palette which was much darker and foreboding than many viewers expected from a comic book film. Also, the costumes, especially those worn by Batman and the Joker look very good. The Batmobile also looks impressive, as does the Bat plane, which appears near the end.
There are many good action scenes in the film. One is a chase where the Joker’s men chase Batman and Vicki as the speed away in the Batmobile. This is a fun scene as we see many of the gadgets on the Batmobile in use.
Of all of the “Batman” films released in the 1980s and 1990s, this movie is easily the best.