We all know Batman is perhaps DC’s most popular character for many, many decades. Ever since Batman premiered in 1989, Batman has been a box office juggernaut and has been DC’s cash cow on the comic book publishing side of things. And a big reason for the success of Batman has been Michael Keaton. Keaton wore the cape and cowl for two massively popular movies that many people point to as being their entry point for becoming a Batman fan. And this summer Michael Keaton is back in The Flash. And that only means one thing- TBU Five Things. You want Five Things! C’mon let’s do Five Things.
This is probably the most memorable Michael Keaton Batman scene. Batman drops down on the muggers on the roof, kicks a guy through a wall, whips out a Batarang, and drops the famous line that has been quoted and paid homage to countless times. We heard him say it in that first trailer for The Flash.
A few years ago, Keaton gave the commencement speech at his alma mater Kent State University. Upon receiving a plaque, Keaton left the crowd with two final words- “I’m Batman.” Just pure awesomeness.
The Batmobile Chase and the Alley Fight
A lot of this is the totality of Burton, the Batmobile, and the Elfman score, but it is a great Keaton action sequence. Keaton’s Batman is a man of few words, but it adds to his mystique. It has always been one of my favorite parts of the film when Batman just says “shields” and puts those shields on the car. And the way he stands there as the Batmobile is on autopilot and stops it an inch in front of him and doesn’t flinch. Keaton’s Batman was in total control.
His Bruce Wayne
Michael Keaton played Bruce Wayne unlike any actor before or since. You can tell that the death of his parents consumes him, and he doesn’t care about much else other than being Batman. We see him at the start of the party in Batman when he doesn’t know how to talk to people. He is just killing time until he can get back down into the cave and put on the cowl. In Batman Returns, we see a little more of his Bruce Wayne with Selina and Schreck. In The Flash trailers, we see Bruce talking to Barry about the death of his parents, and I think we’re going to see Keaton go a little bit more in-depth on it.
This is one of my favorite Batman/Bruce Wayne moments. We first see Keaton in Batman Returns brooding in Wayne Manor. The Bat-signal hits and shines into the library, and Keaton just stands up into the light as that Elfman score swells up. Batman then hops into the Batmobile and takes out the Red Triangle Circus Gang without breaking a sweat.
Bruce and Selina
At its core, Batman Returns is a pretty good Bat/Cat story. Take out the goofy parts of the film but focus on Batman and Catwoman, and you can get a lot out of it. It is a story about two tortured souls with dark backstories that only feel free and their true selves when they have their masks on. That is evident in the costume ball, as everyone has their masks on except for Bruce and Selina. Keaton delivers at the end of the film when he is trying to stop Selina from killing Max. Bruce rips that fruit roll-up of a mask off and tries to tell Selina that they can just arrest Max and head home to enjoy Christmas. Unfortunately for Bruce, Selina was too focused on revenge and not justice.
I am very excited about the return of Batman, played by Michael Keaton. I think this movie is going to deliver and deliver big. Keaton will be a huge part of it. From what we have seen in the trailer, Keaton has been a standout. To see him in the new all-black Bat-suit, saying “I’m Batman,” and flying the Batwing. Never in our wildest dreams did we ever think we would see this. Let’s get nuts.