Tim Burton directs this big screen outing for the caped crusader. The streets of Gotham City are no longer safe for criminals, who are being picked off by a masked vigilante in a rubber suit - dubbed 'Batman' by the press. Reporter Alexander Knox (Robert Wuhl) teams with photographer Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) in an attempt to discover Batman's true identity - an investigation which leads them to the door of mysterious millionaire Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton). Meanwhile, crime boss Carl Grissom's (Jack Palance) attempt to rid himself of untrustworthy henchman Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson) does not go according to plan, and after emerging physically - and mentally - disfigured from a vat of chemicals, Napier reinvents himself as the psychotic Joker...
Thanks to the ambitious vision of director Tim Burton, the blockbuster hit of 1989 delivers the goods despite an occasionally spotty script, giving the caped crusader a thorough overhaul in keeping with the crime fighter's evolution in DC Comics. Michael Keaton strikes just the right mood as the brooding "Dark Knight" of Gotham City; Kim Basingerplays Gotham's intrepid reporter Vicki Vale; and Jack Nicholson goes wild as the maniacal and scene-stealing Joker, who plots a take over of the city with his lethal Smilex gas. Triumphant Oscar-winning production design by the late Anton Furst turns Batman
into a visual feast, and Burton brilliantly establishes a darkly mythic approach to Batman's legacy. Danny Elfman's now-classic score propels the action with bold, muscular verve. --Jeff Shannon
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