The Only Ranking Of The Batman Films You’ll Ever Need

Who doesn’t dig The Bat? In my book, which is the only book that matters, he’s a stern number 3 in the top 5 best Superheroes. Losing out only to Spider-Man [2], and of course, The Punisher.

Batman has always had a great history with the cinema. Sweeping reviews, and record-breaking box office receipts.  Of course, for every action there’s a positive reaction. So, on the flip side of Two Face’s coin, there’s the controversy that started with the Schumacher films, and the argument of what the Batman films should be. Because you’re all dying to know what your boy thinks, I’m going to let you know. So, now you know what order to like the Batman films. Let’s get it going, shall we?

5. Batman Begins [2005]

I use to work at Costco, and this movie came out during my tenure there. Everyone went to see it at 12:01am Thursday night, but I had plans so I had to miss out. The next day, everyone was acting like they’d won the lotto or some damn thing. Batman Begins was all anyone could talk about. A lot of people touting, and these are non-comic book nerds, that this was the best movie they’d ever seen. To say I was excited was an understatement.

Then I saw the movie.

First off, it’s an alright movie. I’ve had to watch it about 5 times before I actually found myself enjoying most of it. However, there’s still far too much wrong with it for me to every say it beats any of the other Batmans. First off, why does the League of Shadows, a group of highly skilled, extremely intellignet ninjas, have a fire-cracker/explosive room just sitting there? How on Earth is it possible to ignite by throwing a branding iron up there? I understand that they need a room for that shit, but why is it out in the open, sprawled out like bean-bag chairs for Christ’s sake?
Second. I can dig that Alfred is a great guy and all, but why is he just so accepting of all this? Hey, you’ve been missing/dead for 7 years, you just gave me a call and said you want to fight crime now. Awesome. Let’s get some chips.
What was with the action scenes? Most of them were shot so close you could barely make out what was going on, it was really obnoxious.
Why the really stupid voice? I know everyone addresses that, but it bares repeating.
What’s with all the one-liners? Did Vin Diesel write this movie? I’m a guy who loves one-liners, but wasn’t the ‘hokey’ and ‘light-feeling’ of the other Batman’s something they were trying to get away from? Plus, most of the one-liners were so fucking bad.
What’s with The Scarecrow? And incredibly awesome bad guy, whom they spend the entire movie building up as this wicked dude who needs to get his ass kicked, he finally gets his time to shine and BAM. Game over. Oh, and then all of a sudden they throw in Qui-Gon Ginn out of nowhere, and we’re expected to care about Batman’s battle with him, when we’ve already spend about 2 hours investing character development, and other going-ons with Scarecrow. What a waste.
What’s with “I’ve called a few friends” and then a giant swarm of bats appear? That was so inane, I don’t even know where to begin. That, you cannot argue.
A roof-top chase scene? I don’t even need to elaborate on why that’s stupid.
In the end, the other Batman films all knew what they were. This one, tries to be SO fucking serious, that it almost comes off as comical. I mean, think about it. A grown man. Dressing like a bat. To go out in the streets and fight crime. The movie takes itself so serious, that Bruce Wayne and the whole idea of a superhero comes off as really stupid. I mean, a grown man, dressing like a bat.

But, like I said above, I do like the film. Batman looks great, the support characters/actors are all great. Except Raz, I just thought he was annoying and preachy. The settings and such were great. I also enjoyed watching Batman get all his gear together for the first time.

2 out of 5 Joker Hand Buzzers

4. Batman Forever [1995]

I saw this bad-boy in theaters the day after I graduated 5th grade. I loved it back then. Today, I still enjoy it, but I most definitely see it’s flaws.

For one, it’s obviously The Jim Carrey Show. He doesn’t even play The Riddler, so to speak. He just acts like Jim in a tight green suit. Not to say that’s a bad thing, but it gets a bit tiring after awhile. Two-Face, one of the greatest villians in all of comic book history, who has one of the richest soils for character development, is reduced to a cackling moron. Two-Face isn’t bad, he isn’t good. He’s whatever the coin and the situation dictate. However, in this, he’s just a bad guy. If the coin tells him to behave, he just keeps flipping until he gets what he wants. Plus, he’s just a side-kick to Riddler, when I feel it should be the other way around, really.

Robin, although a necessary entity by this point, kinda sucked. I felt he was a bit of a wuss, and that Chris O’Donnell just wasn’t the right choice. Plus, we’ve seen the whole ‘I don’t need anyone’ shtick from superheroes before, and Batman should have just been on board.

I wasn’t in love with all the bright colors, but the point of a sequel, is to do something different, so in that respect I can dig it. A lot of the visuals were beautiful I thought, a bit over board, but at least they were worth the look. Great fight scenes, well played out action. I’ve never found Nicole Kidman to be sexy, ever. I don’t dig the pale, skeleton with chair type look that so many thing is grand. But in this one, she wasn’t too bad. Plus, she was very outspoken about having a major Bat-Boner for Batman, so that was cool.
Val Kilmer was a fine Batman, and Bruce. He had the perfect voice for Batman, and as Bruce he was cool, calm, and collected.

A perfectly fine comic book movie kids, don’t listen to the haters.

3.5 out of 5 Joker Hand Buzzers

3. The Dark Knight [2007]

I’ll go right on record and say that Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker is the greatest acting I’ve ever seen. It’s fucking brilliant, and I believe will never be matched by any actor playing any character, ever. Now that that’s out of the way.

The Dark Knight is a great movie. As great as everyone says it is? No.

While I love most of it, my biggest gripe comes from the fact it’s too long. Once Two-Face comes into the picture, maaaan does this movie drag on. Joker makes people try and kill that guy or he’ll blow up the hospital, then he blows up the hospital, then he says the bridges and such are rigged…then they aren’t, then the ferries are, then Batman has to do that huge, stupid fight scene in the building using sonar, and we have to watch all that boring crap that’s going on between the ferries, then we have to watch Two-Face attack Gordon’s family. If they would have cut out about 45 minutes of it, nix Two-Face [save him for the 3rd], then have Batman and Joker duke it out after Harvey and Rachel get all blasted up, it would have stomped miles, and miles of colon. Plus, I found it kind of pointless to have EVERYTHING Joker says being the opposite. Half way through the movie, I knew what was going on by just thinking of  the opposite of everything he said.

But those are my only real gripes. This is a fantastic fucking movie. The action is tighter, and so much more well shot than Batman Begins. It was pretty much void of any stupid one-liners, thus keeping with it’s more based-in-reality tone that they were going for. The Joker was spot on. I dug we got to see the Batbike, even if him riding through stores was a bit ridiculous. Also, why was he just blowing the fuck out of public property like the cars and such? I thought it was cool that Batman was bending his only rule, IE dropping Eric Roberts off the fire escape. Because that’s the best way to really strike fear into people, pain. Everything that’s been great has been said, so I don’t really need to praddle on.

4 Out of 5 Joker Hand Buzzers

2. Batman Returns [1992]

Man, what a great fucking movie.

Burton had full reigns on the script, and feel of the movie, and it really shows. We have over-the-top scenes and bad guys, and fat penguin-like guys flying away on umbrellas.

Michelle Pfeiffer is the show stealer here, I think. In the beginning she plays a perfectly meek and submissive secretary, who looks like she’s about to faint out of fear from just about everything, at any moment. Once she becomes Catwomen, she becomes dark, sadistic, and lightly insane. It’s a complete 180, and she pulls it off without skipping a beat, son. I can dig why Bruce is all about it.

Gotham City during winter is gorgeous, I’m glad they went with this season, as we’d never seen it up until that point, and haven’t seen it again. Keaton is of course the fucking man. DeVito deserved an Oscar for his role as the Penguin. He was fucking disgusting, as well as just a messed up kid who never got his chance. Burton did a great job in bringing that to the lime-light.

Walken, as par for the course, is great as Max Shreck [which of course is the name of the guy who played Count Orlock in Nosferatu]. He was a bad-ass con man who was out to fuck everybody but himself. Hell, I’m sure he would have screwed himself over just to spite himself. I bet he’s the type to head-butt waiters just because they don’t expect it. Man, head-butting people rocks.

Batman was a bit more bad-ass in this one, because he didn’t have a qualm with killing people, or penguins launching a ton of missles all over the Gotham Zoo.

The Batmobile did it’s most bad-assed thing ever when it split off into a bullet so it could squeeze through the ever-so-conveniently placed narrow alley. I wanted to do that to my bike as a kid. Good thing I was too lazy to get to it before I could realize that my bike was already what I was looking for. So, basically, I won either way. Man, I rule.

My only real problem with this one, is that we aaaallllll know Batman paints black around his eyes, thus to make his mask and such more complete. Well, when he rips it off in the end, there’s no paint. What the hell? Sure, he’d look like a billionaire dressed as a bat with raccoon eyes, but that would be even more kick ass than just looking like Batman.

There’s also a nice batch of dark humor in here, and it fits perfectly. Penguin is hilarious, and thankfully doesn’t sit around chuckling the whole time. Oh, we also get the Bat-Boat, which he crashes just for the fuck of it.

The last scene, where Catwoman rears her head to the Bat signal was added after the film was done. Burton just felt that it was needed, and it cost them an extra $50,000 to make.

4.5 Out Of 5 Joker Hand Buzzers

1. Batman [1989]

Is there anything I really need to say? This movie is fucking perfect. Absolutely perfect.

The opening is one of the most important parts of my childhood;

“Daaa Baaaat? Aw, man! Gimmie a break!”
“Don’t kill me man, don’t kill me!”
“I’m Batman”

I use to watch it as I was going to sleep and would fall asleep right after Batman jumps off. Then I’d wake up, watch it all over again till school started, then come over and finish it.

I don’t see how anyone could consider The Dark Knight, or Batman Begins to be better than this. Perfect script, characters, atmosphere, actions, you fucking name it, son.

Jack Nicholson’s Joker was shithouse perfect. He was so insane, yet almost hero like in his madness. From all his bad-ass gadgets, to his one-liners, and his ability to just kill on a whim. He really thinks he’s just the cat’s meow, and is more than willing to kill anyone who doesn’t agree. Hell, even if you do agree he’ll kill you. Why not?

Vicky: What do you want?
Joker: *thinks for a second* My face, on the one dollar bill!

What an awesome response. He answered the question as if it were legit, and not just pertaining to the moment.You also know a guy is the type of bad-ass to not just head-butt old woman who take too long in line at the store, but also have a .357 magnum that’s the freaking length of their leg. Hell. Yeah. Oh, not to mention Batman can’t even hit him with bullets or rockets when he has clearly locked on. Now that’s tough. That’s Joker tough.

When it was announced that Keaton was going to be playing Batman, Warner Bros. received over 50,000 signatures on a petition to keep it from happening. Thankfully, the nerds effort was in vain, and Keaton booted everyone in the testicles and ovaries with his bad ass performance. He’s easily the greatest Batman ever.

Elfman’s score is easily the best one this side of John Williams. It paints the movie beautifully, and I can’t imagine it with any other type of score. Unless of course it was Aerosmith’s Dude Looks Like a Lady. That’d rule.

This movie doesn’t treat us like what most American’s are, brain-dead morons who need to be spoon fed a plot in order to get it. We get the reason why Batman becomes Batman in one quick flash-back. It’s quick, it’s to the point, and it rocks. Batman Begins could have learned a lot from this bad-boy.

This movie is a BJ on celluoid. Nuff said.

5 Out Of 5 Joker Hand Buzzers

There you have it, kids. Now you know what to say if anyone asks what order you dig the Batman films in. Or, if you just want a personal moment to reflect. You’re welcome.


~ by Caliber Winfield on December 21, 2009.

11 Responses to “The Only Ranking Of The Batman Films You’ll Ever Need”

  1. I pretty much agree with your rankings except for this Batman Forever bullshit. I saw that with this chick and didn’t get any play whatsoever, plus the film makes no fucking sense whatsoever.

    The transparent thing about the Dark Knight was that TwoFace should have lived on into a third movie; having been created, he could have been left to come back again. It almost looked like they expected Joker to come back; I dunno what they’ll do now.

  2. Yeah, people say that Nolan films over 100 hours of film for each of his movies, so he’ll have enough Joker to make a sequel of some sorts. I don’t believe all that.

    Yeah, and Two-Face dying was bullshit. He needs his own movie. I have a feeling they will bring him back, and he didn’t actually die.

    Haha, Batman Forever isn’t a great film, this I’ll admit. But it’s better than Batman Begins.

    Sucks about the female not working with you. Think the problem might have been you took her to a Batman film?

  3. I guess, but the film had a fucking chick in it, and every girl in 95 was hot for Chris O Donnell, what more does she fucking want?

    It’s not like I took her to a cinema in the ghetto to see some ninja film (maybe Hero? I forget)like I did with my current woman. She showed real spirit, pretended to enjoy the film even though she kept fucking flinching, and later gave it up. That’s what I’m talking about. I’m still with her.

  4. Dude, I wouldn’t go around telling that story like that.

    Someone is bound to steal it and make it the next big romantic novel.

    I was 11 in 95, so I don’t know what chicks wanted then. All I knew was Mortal Kombat the movie was coming out soon, and I needed to collect all the Batman Forever mugs that were out.

    Yeah, girls always act like we’re some great goddamn mystery. It’s like, hey, woman, make me some nachos, don’t complain a whole lot, be cool with watching a Seagal film now and again, and don’t front like you don’t want sex just as much as I do. Bam. There’s our big secrets. Sheesh.

    • Straight up, that is literally all I want from a relationship. That and laundry, and not spending all my money.

  5. Hell yeah, man.

    Isn’t it awesome when your girl does your laundry?

    The thing I favor the most in a female, other than a 40 inch plus backside, is her being a home-body. I hate going out. I hate clubs. I hate bars. I wanna sit inside and watch The History Channel and chill with my pug. So, any girl who prefers to dust my Star Wars toy collection and have a Rambo marathon to going out and hanging with strangers, is a girl I may just marry.

  6. Again, you’re absolutely correct. That is precisely the girl you need to settle down with. Someone who doesn’t feel the need to go out and socialise with idiots (basically everyone).

  7. I’m 26 years old, and I haven’t met that girl yet.

    I figure I’ll have to wait until I’m older. Girls at this age want nothing more than to waste their time being morons. It always seems I’ll meet someone, we get to talking, things seem cool, then she says something about liking Keeping Up With The Kardashians, or something else pile driver worthy.

    Perhaps if I just hang out at library or something.

    Where’d you meet your lady?

  8. Ha ha! Church. Damn straight. Some of those morals are looser than they first appear.

  9. Ooh, church. Niiice.

    Yeah, it’s either they’re there to repent for a lifetime of, well, unsavory acts. Or, they haven’t experienced anything cool, and once they trust you, tadow, son.

    When I was in middle school, ALL the girls, I mean, ALL the girls who were hardcore bible thumpers all ended up as beer whores in high school and college.

    The best, was when I was in 8th grade, I came to school with my Austin 3:16 shirt & hat, and we had this one bible thumper chick who was like the Superman of bitchy Christian chicks. She got SO pissed at me. I mean, livid.

    She didn’t watch wrestling, or know anything about it, and my real name is Austen. So, she thought I was just being the worst of the worst blasphemers. It was so rad. I even think she went to the principle, but he wasn’t about to touch something like that with a ten foot pole.

    You and the lady friend married, or just digging it?

    My last girlfriend I was with lasted 3 years. I really thought we would probably end up together forever, then one day we just decided to end it. Weird how shit like that ends up….

  10. […] ***1/4 out of 5, because it failed for a lot of reasons. If you want my full review, you can go here to see how I rank all the […]

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