Does anybody else feel that Warner Bros. has finally figured out the whole Batman movie formula? Batman Begins may have been just the tip of the iceberg as movie trailers for the latest installment, The Dark Knight, have been popping up around the internet as of late. I know he's only completed his rookie campaign as Bruce Wayne but Christian Bale is hands down the best Batman thus far. Let me make my case.
Michael Keaton: The founding father of the franchise so you have to give him props. Handled the character well but was also playing off of Jack Nicholson in 1989's Batman. Possibly best director of the franchise in Tim Burton. Never really had that whole "could-drop-kick bad-guys-in-the-blink-of-an-eye" factor going on. Hey, it was still the 80's. Batman Returns was unfortunately forgettable as two of the best Batman villains, Catwoman and The Penguin, made their debuts but nobody seems to remember. Michael also loses points for Multiplicity. Rank: 2
Val Kilmer: One of the two that only got to make one. Thank god. It's not even that the acting wasn't all that good, Val wasn't bad per se, but he didn't rise above his co-stars. Jim Carrey's Riddler was the star of the show in Batman Forever and even though Tommy Lee Jones kind of dropped the ball on his character he was still more interesting than the hero of the flick. If you're playing Batman how do not command the screen? The nipples on the bat-suit were kind of a faux pa but you can't blame that one on Kilmer. Wins points for Heat. Rank: 3
George Clooney: Easily the worst of the four and thankfully only got to make one. Look, I think Clooney's great, definitely the Carey Grant of the present day but he's a thinking man's hero. Totally not tortured enough to play Bruce Wayne but way smooth enough to play Danny Ocean. It wasn't all his fault as he was cast in the worst movie of the franchise in Batman and Robin. Clooney even admitted that the film was no good once saying, "I think we might have killed the franchise." Geez, even Mariah Carey probably defended Glitter. Wins points for honesty and Ocean's 11. Loses points for Ocean's 12 and Ocean's 13. Rank: 4
Christian Bale: Hands down best Batman. Combines the looks, attitude, athleticism, and brooding nature of the Dark Knight. Batman Begins used the old formula of attracting star power to tell the story but did it wisely casting actors that seemed to fit together. Michael Cain as Alfred is a brilliant move along with Gary Oldman as Commisioner Gordon. Great supporting cast aside, Bale is the perfect choice to play Batman as he can command a presence at a cocktail party as well fit into a neoprene suit. Bale just seems to "get" the character a little bit better than Keaton but this can also be attributed to the director spending more time on the development of Bruce Wayne than on the development of a sweet utility belt. Wins points for American Psycho. Rank: 1