It is easy to remember The Dark Knight with rose-colored glasses because it is a solid picture for what it is. It is undeniable that people flocked to Heath Ledger’s transformative performance. More than a decade later, however, Christopher Nolan’s sequel and its unrelentingly bleak nature continues to have a stranglehold on the DCEU and it has become rather tiresome.
Nolan’s Batman origin story film starring Christian Bale was something of a surprise hit. Only three years removed from Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man film, this mostly practical and grounded film feels like something of a response to Raimi’s own more outlandish comic book entries.
Schumacher’s first attempt to step into Tim Burton’s shoes has gotten a resurgence of late. Rightfully so, it is an undeniable romp with Val Kilmer stepping into the role of Batman and Jim Carrey giving one of the most pitch-perfect performances of his career as the Riddler.
Sure, Burton’s Batman Returns doesn’t quite live up to its predecessor, but it is well worth watching nonetheless. Michael Keaton is pure fun as the Dark Knight while Michelle Pfeiffer kills as Catwoman and Danny Devito is perfectly cast in his role as The Penguin.
The first live-action Batman movie of the contemporary era continues to be the pinnacle. Burton’s take on the Caped Crusader at the height of his skill is a joy to watch, with a classic performance from Jack Nicholson and original songs from Prince.