Millionaire Bruce Wayne by day, avenging Batman by night, the caped crusader encounters a grinning face from his past when a madman known as the Joker threatens Gotham city.
Even glazed-over Clooney fans have to admit that Michael Keaton made the best and deepest Batman, and there's little to beat the first of the franchise, in which Tim Burton's Gothic vision had yet to be re-hijacked by Schumacher camp.Anton Furst's looming set design remains astonishing, as does Michael Keaton's slightly dotty Bruce Wayne.
Jack Nicholson provides the colour in this gloomy expressionist world, which has since become a Burton trademark. About as unrestrained a performance as he's ever been allowed to get away with, Jack cuts a showboating swathe that pretty much dominates the movie. "Where did he get those wonderful toys?"
The movie that gave birth to the summer blockbuster remains impressive.