One of the more enjoyable aspects of art is re-interpretation.
Batman entered our cultural consciousness in 1939. In 1966, he finally was transferred from the pages of the comic books to the small screen. Lasting two years, the show starred the late Adam West as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Burt Ward as Dick Grayson/Robin.
I think the best way to view this adaptation of Batman is through the lenses of the 1960’s. While the more recent Batman films have recreated the world of the Dark Knight as dark and uneasy, there is a lightness and an a campiness to the television series that reflects the era that it was created in.
Do I recommend it? Maybe.
There is something immortal about the superhero. No matter what era s/he was created in or the world that they inhabit, these characters continue to live on.
Hollywood has had it’s fill of superhero movies over the years. One of the most popular is Batman, who has returned to big screen again and again.
In 1995, Val Kilmer stepped into the suit in Batman Forever. In this movie, Batman must face not just one villain, but two. Harvey Dent/Two Face (Tommy Lee Jones) is of the belief that Batman was responsible for the accident that changed his face, his revenge is to create chaos and fear in Gotham City. The other villain, Riddler/Edward Nygma (Jim Carrey) works for Bruce Wayne, the man under the mask. When his inventions are rejected, the Riddler will get his revenge by draining the brains of Gotham citizens and learn the secrets of his former boss. Adding to the mix of chaos is Robin/Dick Grayson (Chris O’Donnell), a young man from a circus family whose family has been killed by two face and wants revenge. And there of course, the love interest, Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman).
I happen to think Batman Forever is the best Batman movie. While it is dark enough (as any Batman movie should be), there are pops of color and elements that remain true to it’s comic book origins.
Ten years later, Batman returned to the big screen in a much darker vision in Batman Begins. This time Christian Bale suites up as Gotham City’s protector. After loosing his parents when he was still a young boy, Bruce Wayne travels to Asia to learn from Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) and Ra’s Al Ghul (Ken Watanabe). His goal is to return to Gotham City and fight off the forces of darkness that threaten to consume his city.
This movie and the following sequels are much darker than any of the previous Batman movies. But it is a refreshing take on the story, especially considering that Batman returns to the big screen every 5-10 years to begin with.
I recommend both.