Posted on March 8, 2012
Retro Reaction #6 I’m Batman
This Reaction is a story of Batman’s
We look at how our favourite superhero through the light-hearted camp comedy of the 1960s to the dark early 1990s back to camp comedy in the mid nighties.
Welcome to Retro Reaction
In the 1960s Batmania swept through the world. The TV series introduced (and is still introducing via repeats) a generation to Batman and to superheroes as a genre.
Typically Batman and the boy wonder would face an “impossible” death trap in the first episode for it to be solved in the second (Usually involving the utility belt – why did no bad guy pick up on that). It was comic, light hearted and a lot of fun
In case you haven’t already guessed I have a soft spot for this series. In fact I own a book signed by Adam West. I was unfortunate enough to have a father who checked age ratings. Therefore I didn’t see later incarnations of Batman until I really was fifteen. The scripts here especially in season one are funny and great. It loses momentum in season two a little.
Despite what you may remember I thought this film had aged badly. Keaton is the most popular Batman in general public opinion but there are bits that don’t add up here. Joker kills Bruce’s parents. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t read comics so I had no idea this was not in the original mythology but nevertheless it felt out of place. More so with the Joker’s death at the end of the film. It feels like that it should conclude things in one film. Perhaps that was the idea. It’s a very entertaining stand alone film.
Batman Returns 1991
As above, This is an enjoyable film that has aged slightly better than the first. It was hard to stomach the villains back-story’s. They are interesting enough but so far off what I remembered from the 1960s. This film is also quite violent in places. A preview of things to come later in the Nolan films. As a take on Batman this film is unique and perhaps one of the best. It just feels that the interpretation is stretched a little too far. Again my opinion only here!
Batman Forever 1995
A game changer as far as direction goes. Lighter in tone and reintroducing Robin. Batman is now Kilmer and in my estimation he did a decent job. It’s a film that can’t make up it’s mind between dark brooding or comedy. Not the best fit for the two face character, but Riddler fits this type of film perfectly. The Robin origin is done well and for the first time in this film series the Villains were not killed off at the end.
Batman and Robin 1997
Oh dear. The film that killed this franchise,that sent Batman into exile. Not Clooney’s fault here. He had very little to work with story wise.
Controversially I’d like to point out a couple of positives.
The late Michael Gough’s Alfred and Thurman’s Poison Ivy are not bad in this film. It was good seeing Gough’s Alfred getting screen time compared with his brief appearances in the earlier films.
I have no issue with a Batman film doing comedy if done right. The 60s series was meant to be funny and often succeeded. This fails and ends up looking like a toy commercial.
it would have been nice to see this franchise go to one more film. Perhaps the proposed Batman Triumphant introducing the scarecrow.
So there we have a look back on Batman and indeed the last Retro Reaction of this set. Reaction will return soon with more looking back, more nostalgia and more of my unbiased Retro Opinion’s. I hope you have enjoyed reading these as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Until next time
Have a great Dayyyyy.