I don’t wanna cause a Bat-overload on here – as my last review was Batman Returns. However in light of the last 24 hours on Twitter, and the reveal of a new promotional image for the final film in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises – I thought I’d use this Sunday afternoon to countdown my top 20 Batman moments on film to date…. Just to ease whatever tension :-)
20. Rachel Dawes using the tazer on Scarecrow (Batman Begins)
Late in the movie, Dr Jonathan Crane (Cillian Murphy) is busted out of Arkham Asylum by his ‘hired goons’, and goes to town on horseback. Only to be met by Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes) and a nice dose of voltage to the kisser… Ouch!
19. “What A Day…” (Batman)
Presumed dead after the incident at the chemical plant, Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson), now ‘The Joker’, visits his old boss, Grissom (Jack Palance) – seeking out retribution
18. Catwoman’s Origin (Batman Returns)
After being murdered by boss Max Shreck – Timid secretary, Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer) gets a taste for milk as she arrives back at her home after being revived by numerous stray cats. Never really ‘got’ the whole idea of this, but Tim Burton and the insatiable taste for the supernatural go hand in hand. Anyway, unnerving scene ahead
17. Playing The Odds (The Dark Knight)
Commissioner Loeb’s memorial service implodes into chaos, leading to District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) apprehending one of Joker’s henchmen and showing a certain side of his personality that would eventually dominate him. Tension by the barrel and an impressive performance by Eckhart.
16. Power (Batman Begins)
Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) returns from Princeton University and confronts mob boss Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson), proving to be the catalyst for Bruce’s desire to seek out vengeance on organised crime in Gotham. A pivotal plot point in the entire film and a great scene directed by Christopher Nolan.
15. “Never rub another man’s rhubarb!” (Batman)
Funny shit! The Joker deals with a crazed Bruce Wayne the only way The Joker can…
14. Carrey’s Riddler (Batman Forever)
Batman Forever is without a doubt one of the more disappointing films in the series. But I’ll be honest… I loved Jim Carrey as The Riddler. Sure he’s campy as hell and it probably didn’t please the fanboys. But I love Carrey and he does what he does best here. There you go, shoot me if you wish. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJit_tLOV7E&feature=related
13. The Will To Act (Batman Begins)
Liam Neeson’s Ra’s Al Ghul begins his training for Bruce in the mountains. Using the art of ninja and methodically delving into Bruce’s dark past. A superbly edited sequence.
12. Robin Revealed (Batman Forever)
Again, a bit of a guilty pleasure. Remembering my favourite character, Robin, from the amazing Batman: The Animated Series, I couldn’t wait to finally see Robin in the flesh on the big screen. Sure, it’s a cheese worthy performance looking back – but the scene where Dick Grayson (Chris O’Donnell) in costume descends the flight of stairs into the Batcave really was one of the high points of my childhood.
11. “I Am The Batman” (The Dark Knight)
Harvey Dent makes the ultimate sacrifice in light of The Joker’s continual reign of terror. Another stellar scene showcasing the talented Aaron Eckhart
10. Ohhh, what a world! (Batman)
No secret that Jack Nicholson portrayed The Joker to sheer delightfully wicked perfection in Tim Burton’s 1989 film. As Kim Basinger throws water in the face of Napier after he torments her, he retaliates in the most appropriate way possible… :-)
09. No Need To Thank Him (Batman Begins)
After successfully defeating Ra’s Al Ghul and The League Of Shadows, Batman visits Jim Gordon – where the newly promoted Lieutenant voices his fear of escalation in the criminal world. But Batman declares they will find a way, working together. As Gordon produces the calling card of a certain Clown Prince of Crime – we are left in anticipation of what Mr Nolan has in store for us.
08. The Bat Vs The Cat (Batman Returns)
Batman (Michael Keaton) nearly gets his ass handed to him… Then he gets molested… Then he gets nailpoked, go figure.
07. Bank Heist (The Dark Knight)
Filmed in IMAX, Nolan’s prologue to the greatest superhero movie ever gives us a brief taste of things to come. And of course introduces us to Heath Ledger in a defining performance as The Joker.
06. Flass Attack (Batman Begins)
Batman continues his relentless assault on the mob, as well as bent cops. After robbing a food vendor, Detective Flass gets his just desserts as The Dark Knight terrifyingly demands for information. A scene that shows the ‘fear’ that Bruce wants to instil in his enemies.
05. Harvey Two-Face (The Dark Knight)
Another brilliant scene from Nolan’s sequel. While recovering in hospital after the warehouse explosion – Harvey Dent is visited by Gordon, who is attempting to uncover the trace of events. The new Commish is awkward and uneasy in his questioning, and Harvey doesn’t take the bait. Before he finally reveals his horrific injuries to Gordon and vowing vengeance against him. Two Face is born.
04. Starting Tonight (The Dark Knight)
Heath Ledger purely inhabits and revels in his role as The Joker. This scene, filmed on a handheld camera, shows our favourite clown with one of Batman’s copycats tied up and beaten – while Joker threatens Gotham and its citizens on the news. Ledger’s knack to deliver such contrasting and vivid elements to his performances is simply mind-blowing.
03. “Gotham needs its true hero” (The Dark Knight)
The final scene from the film. Jim Gordon, reeling over the murders committed by Harvey Dent and the subsequent ramifications, is taken aback when Batman declares the blame be put upon him. As Harvey must remain a beacon of hope for the city – even in death. While Bats rides off, Gordon calls in a squad to pursue the Batman. Gordon Jr asks his father why he has to run from the police… and Gary Oldman then delivers a closing monologue that has become one of my favourite quotes of the last decade. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psSGVhTd0i8
02. Punchline (Batman)
Batman finally gets his hands on The Joker, who is still insistent on laughing in the face of adversity – even to the end. Jack Nicholson truly at his finest…
01. The Interrogation (The Dark Knight)
Of course, what else would it be? A dazzling performance from Heath Ledger and Christian Bale. It’s relentless and intense as can be as Batman nearly reaches breaking point through The Joker’s provocation and constant taunts . A scene that made Ledger’s posthumous Oscar a thoroughly deserved one.