Batman :Reaction

When the film was approved for production, there was considerable fan concern that it would emulate the farcical parodying tone of the 1960s Batman television series starring Adam West, concerns that seemed even more worrying after the casting of Michael Keaton (who was, at that time, known for his comedic acting) in the title role. To quell the concern, a rushed teaser trailer was released to prove the film would be more faithful to theoriginal comic books.

Despite the early worries, the film became the most successful of 1989 and received praise from many Batman readers, especially those who had read the Frank Miller stories that inspired it. Furthermore, Keaton changed many doubters' minds about his casting to become hailed as one of the best actors to play the title role. Still, some people were put off by the dark nature of the film, which did away with the campy Batman of the 1960s that many adults had grown up with and which some had expected even after the studio's attempts to show otherwise. Critical reaction was largely mixed, with some praising the film for its set design and production value, while others panned it as being too much of an intellectual exercise for Burton and too little of a Batman movie. In turn, much debate surrounded Jack Nicholson's portrayal of Jack Napier/The Joker. Many felt that his performance was too over the top and that his version of the character did away with much of the psychological depth he exhibits in the comics; some still argue that the Joker steals the focus of the movie, leaving precious little time for the title character.

It was also criticized for not being consistent with Batman canon in regards to Jack Napier/The Joker. It is accepted that the murderer of Thomas and Martha Wayne was a small-time thug named Joe Chill. Moreover, the Jack Napier character was invented just for this film and the surname is likely a tribute to the late British actor Alan Napier, who played loyal butler Alfred in the 1960's Batman television series.

Despite the criticisms, Batman has a large fan following and many feel that it was the best film in the original four part series, with Batman Returns being a close second.

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