After witnessing his parents brutal murder as a child, millionaire-philanthropist Bruce Wayne pledges his life to fighting crime disguised as Batman. His long-time nemesis, The Joker, has sinister plans for the citizens of Gotham City. His greed is matched by his obsession with photojournalist Vicki Vale. But Batman is there to counter the Joker's every move. With the fate of Gotham and Vicki in the balance, will good or evil prevail?
Thanks to the ambitious vision of director Tim Burton, the blockbuster hit of 1989 delivers the goods despite an occasionally spotty script, giving the caped crusader a thorough overhaul in keeping with the crime fighter's evolution in DC Comics. Michael Keaton strikes just the right mood as the brooding "Dark Knight" of Gotham City; Kim Basinger plays Gotham's intrepid reporter Vicki Vale; and Jack Nicholson goes wild as the maniacal and scene-stealing Joker, who plots a takeover of the city with his lethal Smilex gas. Triumphant Oscar-winning production design by the late Anton Furst turns Batman
into a visual feast, and Burton brilliantly establishes a darkly mythic approach to Batman's legacy. Danny Elfman's now-classic score propels the action with bold, muscular verve. --Jeff Shannon