Tim Burton's Batman: Critical Analysis

1490 words - 6 pages

Tim Burton’s Batman received a wide variety of reviews from critics and fans, alike. The majority of viewers enjoyed Burton’s take on the classic tale, while others did not appreciate the slight modifications on the original plot. A major difference Burton incorporated in the film was the overall dark tone, contrasting previous superhero movies. Unfortunately, this decision also brought Burton a lot of criticism; while many fans welcomed his new ideas, some did not like seeing Batman, a comic book hero, as the obscure man in a costume. Nevertheless, the film attracted millions of viewers because everyone was eager to see their childhood superhero in a movie that would surely become a blockbuster. After over 20 years since the last Batman movie, many fans had reached the target age of Burton’s film after growing up reading the Batman comics. Though some would be disappointed by certain music choices or the weak plot, popular opinion deemed Batman a success; Jack Nicholson’s performance along with the film’s production design blew viewers away, creating one of Burton’s many unforgettable movies.
The plot seemed to be an issue for Burton. When later asked about the final production, Burton remarked, “the whole movie is mainly boring to [him],” as it “was more of a cultural phenomenon” than a great piece of art (“Batman (1989 film)”). Burton has proven to be one “who cares very little about script and very much about visual expressionism” because he is able to convey his own vision more through art and design than through dialogue (Rickey). Also, unlike most movies, Burton already had a storyboard to create his movie due to the existing plot of Batman from the comic books. His own recognition of the hackneyed, slow-paced plot demonstrates the lack of artistic flexibility he had in making the film. If he had made the decision to drastically change Batman’s history, there would have been an enormous amount of negative criticism about his negligence of the classic tale. In a sense, Burton was bound to face harsh judgment with any choice he made regarding the plot. With such information holding true, some critics only found small accounts of error within the plot. For instance, the story does move along smoothly with a constant energy, but “there are botched sequences and patches where the action is unintelligible or inelegant” due to possible holes in the plot (Hinson). Some of Burton’s choices as far as cutting and changing the original plot, too, irritated several comic book fans. Though many cuts were necessary and fitting, a few, unforgivable instances completely went against the entire Batman Empire. For example, Burton changes Jack Napier’s (The Joker’s) history by making him the murderer of Bruce’s parents. Also, Alfred (Bruce’s Butler) allows Vicki Vale to enter the Batcave, something unimaginable for true Batman fans. Though the majority of viewers did not notice such trivial material, Burton was a bit too lenient in certain decisions,...

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