who Played the Best Batman: Part II
I guess we’re lucky the internet was not around in the late 80s. You think people were up in arms over Ben Affleck being cast as Batman? That was nothing compared to the outrage over Michael Keaton being cast in the role! Many of you younglings who were not born then have no idea how bad it was. It was bad even without the internet! Oh how people complained! Even I questioned the casting! I just could not see Michael Keaton as Batman! He was known for his comedies and physically he seemed like an average guy on the street. Personally I liked the up and coming Steven Seagal as Batman. He was talk and handsome and had a very menacing screen presence and was a martial arts master. Perfect for the role! Alas, it never happened.
Today, many people rank Keaton’s performance as Batman right behind that of Christian Bale as their favorite. Some even count Keaton’s performance as their favorite. And what a performance it is! I remember seeing the movie in 1989 and realizing that Keaton really nailed the part. Honestly, I think the suit had a lot to do with it. His Batman suit is probably my all time favorite. Maybe it proves what “Batman” said in the Dark Knight Trilogy…”anyone can be Batman.” Keaton’s Batman is dark and returns Batman to a neo-forties film noir. The 1989 Batman truly is a graphic novel come to life and Keaton’s performance as the Dark Knight is what made the movie successful.
I remember critics saying that Nicholson’s Joker out shined Batman in the movie and I can agree to that although it did not detract from my enjoyment of the movie. Batman is a man hidden in the shadows and that is what Keaton brought to the role…a dark brooding crime fighter lurking in the shadows to strike fear in the hearts of Gotham’s criminals. I think Keaton did a wonderful job portraying that aspect of the character. In Batman Returns I enjoyed the tension between Batman and Catwoman. I think Keaton was excellent as Batman in this movie also even though the movie is a bit too dark for my tastes.