Thursday, April 26, 2018

All Batman Movies Ranked

To tie a neat little bow on my Batman month, here is a quick ranking of all the current theatrical Batman movies from my own personal least favorite to my absolute favorite. Sense I’ve reviewed these movies in full, I’ll keep the explanations short.

#11 Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) - My personal score is 4/10

While there are undeniably worthwhile highlights, this clash between two titan superheroes is unfortunately bogged down by an unfocused narrative, to many dangling plot threads, a noticeable lack of villains, and a formidable length.

#10 Batman Returns (1992) - My personal score is 5/10 

A truly haunting spectacle, but this entry in the Batman cannon still struggles with a boring plot and a hero who gets shamefully side-lined in favor of three mediocre villains.

#9 Batman & Robin (1997) - My personal score is 5/10 

What once had character depth and darkly stylish atmosphere is now replaced with childish puns, a bombastic color scheme and some painfully over the top gimmicks, yet by sinking to new lows it somehow achieves new highs as one of the greatest terrible movies ever made, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze can be very amusing in his own loony way.

#8 Batman: The Movie (1966) - My Personal score is 7/10 

Campy comic book storytelling and silly hummer is taken to an artistic level, although weather you find it appealing or not depends on how much of the silliness makes you smile or cringe.

#7 Batman Forever (1995) - My personal score is 8/10

"Batman Forever" may be just a little too loud and bombastic for some viewers, but with just enough kernels of character depth, a talented ensemble cast, and no shortage of eye candy, this is one entertaining comic-book movie that literally leaps from page to screen.

#6 Batman (1989) - My personal score is 8/10 

The story may be second rate, but Tim Burton’s artistic direction, a captivating comic-book atmosphere and Michal Keaton's performance as the struggling hero make this a classic in it’s own right.

#5 Batman Begins (2005) - My personal score is 8/10

Character driven, expertly crafted and thrilling to the end, "Batman Begins" suggested a bright new future for one of cinemas most iconic hero’s, and it was right.

#4 The Lego Batman Movie (2017) - My personal score is 9/10 

Bursting with delightfully colorful mayhem, and no shortage of comedy, “The Lego Batman Movie” celebrates everything that is “BATMAN” and surprisingly understands the deeper humanity of the hero more than most other incarnations.

#3 The Dark Knight Rises (2012) - My personal score is 9/10

While some plot details could have been touched up on, Batman's closing arc is still strong and “Rises” is without a doubt a powerful, action packed and poignant finale to this epic superhero trilogy.

#2 Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) - My personal score is 10/10

A dark and stylish spectacle that combines a beautifully Gothic love story with a hero’s origin, an exciting action mystery and ultimately succeeds where many live action Batman movies have failed.

#1 The Dark Knight (2008) - My personal score is 10/10

Dark, riveting, compelling, powerfully acted, and unforgettable, "The Dark Knight" takes the comic book genera to immaculate new heights while infusing it’s thrilling crime story with themes, ideas, morality and captivating character arcs.

The End

Mr. Freeze: One of the greatest comic book villains that no one ever notices

     (Characters words) “This is how I’ll always remember you, surrounded by winter, forever young, forever beautiful. Rest well my love, the monster who took you from me will soon learn that revenge is a served cold”. When a villain makes a first appearance saying something as sensational as that, then you know right away that he’s going to be awesome. When it comes to famous comic book villains there’s plenty of great one’s like the Joker, Doctor Octopus, Lex Luthor, Venom, Dr. Doom and my personal favorite, Magneto. But why doesn’t anyone ever acknowledge Mr. Freeze? He’s cold-hearted, and is forever trapped inside a suit that keeps his body temperature below freezing, surprisingly having a gun that freezes things makes him come off as a cool gun-slinger. I honestly think he’s the greatest of Batman’s enemies, not just because he looks cool and has a nifty gun but because he’s the most complex, sophisticated and tragic. So why does Mr. Freeze always get the shaft, well let’s take a look it his media legacy and see if we can find an answer.  
      As always it’s best to start at the beginning and it’s clear that he wasn’t that complex at first. The 1960’s animated TV show referred to him as “An Ice cream man from Mars” which isn’t the least bit intimidating. In the 1960s live action Batman television series, Mr. Freeze was played by three different actors, George Sanders, Otto Preminger and Eli Wallach. All three looked pretty silly but then again it was 60’s television and George Sanders at least gives his usual classy performance. The George Sanders version wore the classic refrigerated suit while the Otto Preminger and Eli Wallach versions wore a "Freeze Collar" around their neck. Despite not being that intimidating, I was still plenty disappointed that Mr. Freeze wasn’t in the 1966 film “Batman The Movie”, I mean that was the biggest collection of Batman villains on film and it would have been the perfect (and only appropriate)opportunity to see him amongst all the other classic villains. Anyway, this version of Mr. Freeze is nothing spectacular but it’s worth mentioning simply on the grounds of this being the first time the character appears in live action.
      Then there was the 90’s animated Batman show which recreated the character and is responsible for creating his tragic back story about his frozen wife. This is where I really found the character the most interesting, tragic and whenever I think of Mr. Freeze, the first image that always comes to mind is him in this TV show. His appearance in the series was designed by “Hellboy” creator Mike Mignola and holly cow is it an awesome design, it’s not over the top and is given just the right touch of both subtlety and menace. Another big highlight is voice actor Michael Ansara. His voice is so firkin awesome and his performance is so genuine and effective. I especially love how he delivers these awesome lines, there just so cryptic and tragic all at once. (Batman) “To satisfy your vengeance, you would take away innocent lives?” (Mr. Freeze) “Think of it Batman, to never again walk on a summers day with a hot wind in your face and a warm hand to hold, oh yes, I would kill for that”. He also gets away with saying other really sinister lines like "The cold eyes of vengeance are upon you," and "Prepare for the icy touch of death."
       His introduction episode titled “Heart of Ice” is often regarded as one of the best episodes of the series and even won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program. By TV show standards, it’s a really dark and complex back story with a relatively emotional tone. Actually, comparing Mr. Freezes unfortunate background with Bruce Wayne’s makes it look like Batman got it easy. His parents are dead, Bruce can morn them and move on, but Mr. Freeze isn’t so lucky. His wife isn’t dead, she’s stuck in a form of limbo where the possibility of life is still there but Freeze loses his chance to save her every time. He can neither morn her death or save her life and the one thing that makes his heart so cold isn’t hatred or greed, its hope! This back story was so good that just about every variation of the character uses it. The imagery is great, it’s the kind of serial imagery fans love to see in Batman stories. The music is also very effective and really gives life to the episodes surreal atmosphere. It’s just a very solid episode, here Freeze is more than just an awesome villain with a cool gun, he’s a tragic character write out of a Shakespeare drama. The dialog is so sophisticated that the episode is practically righting itself and the final spoken words from Freeze really get you to sympathize with the character. I failed you, I wish there were another way for me to say it......but I cannot. I can only beg your forgiveness and pray you hear me somehow, someplace, where a warm hand waits for mine”. Freeze would be seen in latter episodes like “Deep Freeze” which continued his story very well. 
       A latter episode titled “Cold Comfort” completely changed him, he’s no longer a frozen victim in a refrigeration suit, now his mutation has destroyed most of his body and all that’s left is his head that movies around on manacle spider legs. How on earth did Mr. Freeze get reduced to this, the character was just fine before but now he’s become Dr. Loveless from “Wild, Wild West”. He’s still plenty intimidating but he just seems to have lost the same sophisticated evil that was present in his earlier appearances. This story arch continued in the fallowing TV show “Batman Beyond” where he also gets a new suit and design. The story may not be that impressive but it’s still plenty entertaining and it’s great that Michael Ansara continued to do the voice work. There would be different portrayals of the character in future shows like “Batman the Brave and the Bold” and “Young Justice” but one that really stands out is his portrayal in the 2004 TV show “The Batman”. Now he’s voiced by Clancy Brown and is extremely menacing. Sure there’s no longer anything dark or tragic about him and his design looks fare more monstrous then classic but he’s still pretty awesome and had many episodes in the shows run.
       In 1998 there was the animated direct to video movie titled “Batman and Mr. Freeze: Subzero”. This is definitely the best thing to happen to the character sense his first “Heart of Ice” episode and the story takes place during the animated Batman TV series before the events of the “Cold Comfort” episode. Once again he’s a menacing villain but he still has a certain sense of honor and dignity to him. In the end he becomes a better man and one that Batman feels sympathy for, which is great because it’s not often that a hero and villain can come to a respected understanding. While the film did a good job with Mr. Freezes character, the story is still nothing special and Batman is hardly in it, in fact he doesn’t even see Freeze till the very end of the film where they have a very brief fight. They got the internal conflicts down just fine but I would still like a good external conflict with Batman involved.   
          Mr. Freeze makes a small cameo in the animated DVD movie “Superman/Batman: Public Enemies”. He's seen with the other cold warriors like Icicle II, Killer Frost, and Captain Cold when they are among many other villains trying to claim the bounty on Superman and Batman. After a brief fight with Batman, they are all defeated by Superman's heat vision. It may not have been that big but it was still nice to see him in another animated Batman movie.
       Now of cores I need to mention Arnold Schwarzenegger’s portrayal of Mr. Freeze in the 1997 theatrical movie “Batman and Robin”. First of all, it’s such an odd casting choice, personally I think that Tom Hardy or Patrick Stewart would have been the perfect actors to bring the character to life. To be fare, this film does keep the tragic back story of his frozen wife and there is one or two note worthy moments, especially his change of heart scene at the end. But they just weren’t enough to excuse everything else, like his non-stop puns and dancing around to a sing-along tape of “I’m Mr. White Christmas, I’m Mr. Snow”. The costume is also a bit over the top, it’s actually a cool design on paper but in the film he looks a lot like a big glowing action figure, there’s just nothing subtle about it. He even has his own signature battle vehicle that looks like it belongs in an old adventure serial. I know it’s hard to take a guy in a freezing suit seriously but this is the big reason that Mr. Freeze constantly get’s the shaft. It was his first and to date, only theatrical movie appearance and it turned out to be a huge disappointment to fans and now no-one feels safe using him in another motion picture. 
      I understand that this portrayal was a fluke but that doesn’t mean the character should be completely abandoned. The best villains are those born of tragedy, similar to the way Batman was born from horrific events and there’s so much potential for this character to have a truly sophisticated, dramatic and intense appearance in a theatrical Batman film. Any character (fact or fiction) deserves a second chance and I really hope writers of future Batman movies will allow Mr. Freeze to make a proper comeback in a motion picture film. But for now, it seems that the character will literally be put on ice.  
"It would move me to tears......if I still had tears to shed."
                                                                                                           The End

A look at the Bat-mobile and its different appearances on the big screen.

Christopher Nolan has just revealed the title, casting and villains of the upcoming Batman movie, this has gotten fan’s excited and I’ll admit I’m pretty hipped myself, so I thought it would be fun to post something Batman related. A lot of fan’s have been interested to know who the new villains are or if Robin will be in this film, and while all that is interesting, I’m more excited about what the new Bat-Mobile will look like. In my opinion it’s the coolest vehicle in cinema. Why, can’t say, maybe because it’s the most famous superhero vehicle, maybe for its many different appearances on screen, well, it’s just awesome so I thought it would be fun to look at the different versions from all 8 of the theatrical Batman movies.      
Bat-Mobile shown in the 1966 film “Batman The Movie”.

This was the first portrayal of the Bat-mobile on the big screen and yes, it looks like a toy car that wheeled its way out of “Chucky Cheese” but for the time it was really impressive. There’s a bonus feature on the DVD called “The Batmobile Revealed” hosted by the vehicles creator George Barris. It’s pretty cool how he talks about how he came up with the design of the car and how he points out little details in the vehicle that are hard to notice during the film. This batmobile is nostalgic for its time but it’s not as cool as most of the more modern bat-mobiles.   
Bat-Mobile shown in the 1989 movie “Batman” and the 1992 movie “Batman Returns”.  

This is my favorite version by far and it’s the first one that comes to mind when I think Bat-mobile. It had such a slick and dangerous look, almost like a missile on wheels. Also, it’s not to over the top with bat wings or bat features, it’s just right. I’m not shore why it needs that big circle-fan in the middle but other than that, this bat-mobile will always stand as the classic Batman vehicle.  
Bat-mobile shown in the 1993 movie “Batman Mask of the Phantasm”.      

I probably shouldn’t even count this one because it’s an animated car and it was shown for a full 3 seconds in the film. Never the less, I found it necessary because it’s my second favorite design of the Batmobile. This one’s smooth and slick, it doesn’t have a big circle in front and it bears a resemblance to the original when it had its shields up. Unfortunately, it has less of a bat feature but that doesn’t ruin what is otherwise an awesome looking vehicle. There’s also one note worthy moment when Bruce Wayne goes to a place that’s a carnival /blue print to what a future Gotham City will look like. One of the future cars on display gets his attention and it has the same design of the Bat mobile. It’s always fun to see where the Bat-mobile originated from, a concept that will be built on in another batman movie that will be mentioned latter. 
Bat-mobile shown in the 1995 movie “Batman Forever”

In comparison to the last two batmoblies, this one looks a little silly but to be honest it still feels like a classic bat-vehicle. I had a toy version of this car, this version has also been on display at theme parks and it’s the version shown in comedies like “Lonnie Tunes Back in Action” and the resent "Arthur" remake. This one’s smaller, has more of a bat design and has a little more screen time than most of the bat vehicles. It doesn’t have the same subtle feel of the animated one or the cool, dangerous feel of the Tim Burton one but it’s still a good vehicle all the same.  
Bat-mobile shown in the 1997 movie “Batman and Robin”.     

What can be said about this one, well, it’s definitely one of the weakest of the bat-vehicles and it looks like one of those toy cars that break apart and then are reassembled into robot fighters. To be honest, I think it has too much unnecessary stuff built on it, I mean, come on, dose the bat mobile need that much useless stuff covering it. Well it may not be that great but at least I can call it a batmobile, unlike the next one.   
Bat-mobile (Tumbler) shown in the 2005 movie “Batman Begins” and the 2008 movie “The Dark Knight”.  

At last we get to the newest (and worst) Bat-mobile, well, bat-tank or bat-war van are more appropriate titles. I’ve had my up’s and downs with all the previous cars but the one thing that can be said for all of them is that they are all bat-mobiles. This thing is so over done and so distant from the rest that it’s stupid to label it as a bat-mobile. To be fare, I liked how Bruce Wayne actually bought this car from someone else and just painted it black, as opposed to creating something so technically advanced on his own. Having said that, I don’t think batman needs something this big, loud and destructive. If you hadn’t seen either of these movies (“Batman Begins” or “The Dark Knight”)   and just saw a picture of this vehicle, you probably wouldn’t connect it to Batman at all, you’d just think it’s a battle van. Fortunately, the Tumbler was destroyed in the last film and that’s what leads me to the main reason of this post, what’s the new Bat-mobile going to be like in the next film. Well, here’s what I think, in the first season of the 2004 TV show “The Batman”, he had a bat mobile that was also very big, just with a tint of blue. But in season 3 that vehicle was destroyed and replaced with one that looked more like the classic animated one and that’s what I hope they do in the next film, give us a Bat-mobile that’s slick, subtle and can be labeled as a Bat-mobile. 
                                                                       THE END      

All Batman Movie Climaxes Ranked

When it comes to superhero movies, it’s the climax that usually hits the biggest action highlight. Batman has had his share of worthwhile final battles, and here’s my own personal ranking from least favorite to absolute favorite of every single climax from Batman’s theatrical movies.

#11 The Climax to “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” 

Now, it’s hard to decide when the climax for this movie officially starts, as the whole hour long third act is just a string of fight sequences. We have the much-anticipated throw-down between Batman and Superman, which in my opinion was very mediocre. Then things do get good once they both calm down and work together. Lex Luthor now realizing he has to contend with two superheroes, moves onto his second phase, which is unleashes a giant cave troll monster on the city. Both Batman and Superman are soon aided by Wonder Woman, who all lead the beast to the abandoned Wear-house district to make a final stand. I’ll admit, seeing Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman on screen together for the very first time, and fighting in this big epic showdown is any comic book fans dream come true. Granted, this fight has nothing to do with anything that came before hand, and the monster is also kind of stupid looking, but I’m not going to pretend like I didn’t have a blast watching this battle go down. I loved seeing Wonder Woman use her lasso, and it was really cool to see Superman punch the creature into outer space. The only thing I didn’t like was Superman’s supposed death, which was annoying because even without the knowledge of the upcoming “Justice League” film, I knew he wasn’t really dead for good. 

#10 The Climax to “Batman The Movie” 

As we start this films third act, the villains succeed in kidnapping the leaders of the united nations (or at least Gotham’s version of the UN), and they take to the sea in a submarine. Batman and Robin draw them to the surface, and the climax takes the form of a silly little fight on the top of the submerging. It's actually very amusing, and a rare case in which we see Batman fighting out in the day time. Another famous trade mark that came into play here are the comic book style words like “BAM” and “POW” that would show up whenever Batman hits someone. This is also the only time we see Batman fighting with a sword, as he and the penguin get into a swashbuckling dual that closes the battle. One major downside is that Robin of all people is the one battling the Joker, whom Batman has no interaction with during the whole fight. Batman also learns that Cat-Woman was never really in love with him, and was just playing him the whole time. This leads to an awkward moment where Batman stairs off and quietly laments what could have been, only to snap out of it and say … whatever, it’s no big deal.

#9 The Climax to “Batman Returns” 

In my review on the first “Batman” movie from 1989, I talked about how even though the climax was very simple, it still felt very epic and awesome. This movie somehow is the exact opposite, as there’s far more spectacle and explosions on display, but it just doesn’t feel all that grand or special. Once the Penguin fails to kidnap all the first sons of Gotham, he moves onto phase two, which is easily the goofiest threat to ever be unleashed on the city. Where some villains attack Gotham with toxic gas or a giant Freezing gun, this guy unleashes an army of cute little penguins in battle suits, and rockets strapped to their backs. Seeing this army of cute little penguin’s march on the city has got to be the most surreal finale a superhero film could possibly have. The final showdown between Batman and Penguin is nothing special either, as the Penguin just doesn’t make for an exciting foe for our hero to battle. 

Although, I do at least like the banter, especially when Penguin says to Batman “Your just jellies because I’m a genuine freak, while you have to wear a mask”. Things do get really good once Cat-Woman emerges on the scene. I love when Batman tries winning her over, and he even goes so far as to rip off his mask in front of her. It’s great stuff, but also very tragic as Cat-Woman is too far gone to reform. We then get two of the franchise’s best villain deaths right back to back with each other. I may not care for Max Shreck, but his death is as epic as they get. Cat-woman basically takes her revenge by electrocuting him, but he doesn't just get fried, Max Shrek gets freaking nuked in this big electrical explosion, and is reduced to a grilled corps … it's awesome. The Penguins death follows next, and this is a very quiet, somber death that’s beautifully shot, and always left an impression.

#8 The Climax to “Batman & Robin” 

This climax begins with Mr. Freeze using a giant cold gun to blanket the city in ice. Like many action set-pieces in this film, it’s trying to be a larger scale spectacle then the final battles of the previous films, but it just doesn’t succeed with the delivery. Right from the start, we see our hero’s drive off to save the day while riding these new vehicles meant for traversing icy-terrain, and they look hilarious. Seriously, it looks just like something from out of “Power Rangers”, and it begs the question as to how and where our heroes acquired these things. The ensuing battle plays out just as you’d expect, it’s a circus of flashy effects, there’s an onslaught of ludicrous techno babble solving problems, and there's people falling from blinding heights … yet are never in any danger. I will say that there’s some really good practical effects on display, and it was one of the last superhero movies to feature model buildings that get destroyed. 

It all builds to the big showdown between Batman and Mr. Freeze, which is a very clumsily choreographed fight, and features a hilarious send off line from Batman, in which he over powers his enemy with this line … “The Heat is On!” The only reason this climax ranks higher than the one’s previously mentioned is because of the aftermath. Once the action is done, and the city saved, we come to my personal favorite scene of the whole movie, in which Batman has a heart to heart with the defeated Mr. Freeze, leading to the villain’s reformation. This kind of set-up has admittedly been done more effectively in films like “Spider-Man 2”, but this was still a genuinely good scene. It was fairly well acted, and I always feel a little touched when I see a hero and villain come to an understanding, and forgive each other. This one little scene alone honestly highlights what a good film this could have been, but ultimately failed to be.

#7 The Climax to “The Lego Batman Movie” 

Despite only coming in at number seven on my list, this final battle truthfully is one of the most awesome things I’ve experienced at the cinema in years. It’s something special that made me feel like a six-year-old in a twenty-five-year-old man’s body, and I just embraced it. Here’s the set up for this mega finale, the Joker leaves Batman’s Lego universe, and recruits various iconic villains from other franchises to concur the city. Then Batman rallies his family, and even recruits his own army of all his iconic foes, who were all betrayed by the Joker earlier. Thus, a massive battle takes place between classic Batman villains, and other classic movie villains … which is about as epic as they get. Ever sense I was a child, I always wanted to see something like this, in fact that’s what I did with all my toys. I only wish they spent a little more time on individual characters here, and a little more banter between the two different groups of villains. As the battle comes to a close, we see the city split apart, and the only way to save it is for some decisive people to connect together, and thus bring the city back together. It's actually kind of a touching statement that's meaningful for our time, but isn't preachy in the delivery.

#6 The Climax to “Batman Forever” 

This film comes to a close in a climax where the Riddler baits Batman to his island base, and it’s full of death traps. I have to admit, seeing Batman and Robin take-off in both the Bat-Wing and Bat-Boat to the island gets my hyped every time I watch this. Surprisingly, for a film that's been extremely over the top to this point, it resolves with a rather subdued final battle. Batman doesn’t even fight the villains physically, instead the Riddler forces him to choose between saving the lives of someone that Bruce Wayne loves, and someone Batman loves, raising the question of which ego will win out. While this concept will be done more effectively again in both “The Dark Knight” and the first “Spider-Man” movie, this was still a very original concept for the time, and a legitimate challenge for our hero to face. My only problem with this finale is the rushed confrontation between Robin and Two-Face. This could have been a really exciting showdown, but it’s awkwardly staged, poorly lit, and ends way too quickly. The death of Two-Face is at least satisfying, and a nice visual callback to the Jokers death from the first film.

#5 The Climax to “Batman Begins” 

Talk about a real roller-coaster of a climax, as this finale features one of my favorite action set-pieces of the whole franchise. Batman battles Ra’s Al Ghul on a runaway train, which our hero needs to stop before it reaches a crucial destination, and it’s just a wild ride of a final battle. As the chase is on, Scarecrow has unleashed his fear toxin, and has also released all the criminals from prison. So, there’s lots of high stakes and excitement going on. The fighting then builds to one of Batman’s most epic closing lines, “I won’t kill you, but I don’t have to save you”, and Ra’s Al Ghul gets an explosive death. This climax would have ranked higher on my list if Batman had any kind of confrontation with Scarecrow, but unfortunately, he’s taken out of the fight way to soon … and by an insanely young looking girl friend off all people.  

#4 The Climax to “Batman” 

This finale is less about action, and more about build a strong mood and atmosphere. After the Joker fails to kill Gotham's people with his toxic gas, he takes Vicky Vale to the top of Gotham’s cathedral, and an injured Batman follows close behind. Even though this finale is short on fighting, it still feels like a spectacle, with a heavy atmosphere, and growing tension as each scene gradually builds on top of the other. In many ways, this climax is like a classic medieval adventure finale. Batman is a metaphorical Knight climbing a tall tower to rescue a girl, Vicky Vale in her white dress resembles a princess, and the Joker is the evil that needs to be slayed. My only real issue with this ending is that the actual showdown between Batman and Joker isn’t that riveting. In fact, Batman never once feels like he's rising against a challenging adversary. It all builds to one of the most memorable villain deaths in the Batman series, with the Joker falling from a helicopter, and dropping to his death. Obviously it’s one of the most common cliches to have a villain die from dropping like that, but the Batman movies actually make a tradition of it.

#3 The Climax to “The Dark Knight” 

Here’s a unique final battle that is both a non-stop thrill ride, and in my opinion highlights our hero at his absolute best. There are Two boats, one with convicts, and the other with civilians that are trapped in Gotham harbor. Thanks to the Joker, both ships are on the verge of blowing each other up. Now Batman has to get the detonator before Joker can force their hands, but to make matters worse, the Joker is also holding hostages dressed like his clown goons, which have become the target for a swat team. Thus, our hero has to use all his skills to prevent the troops from killing the wrong people, and stop the Joker all at once. Seeing Batman use his quick intellect, strategy, stealth and an awesome new sonar devise is simply the dark knight at his greatest, and it’s absolutely riveting to see him pull all this off without taking a single life. 

It’s like a big puzzle for him to solve, which is why this is my favorite portrayal of Batman in any climax. It’s highlighting him as both a superhero and a detective all at once. Also, I absolutely loved that new sonar device, as it’s very original and fits right in with our heroes Bat-themed persona. The final showdown between Batman and the Joker is short on fighting, but extremely satisfying, and their verbal confrontation is equally exciting. The real finale is Batman’s final confrontation with Two-Face, and once again it’s not an over blown fight, but a nail-biting situation with Commissioner Gordon’s family being held hostage. Again, it’s the verbal confrontation between our hero and villain that has me riveted. The movie then closes on a high-note, as the hostages are freed, but Harvey Dent parishes, and to make sure the people of Gotham don’t lose hope, Batman throws himself upon the sword to protect what Harvey initially stood for. It might just be the greatest act of heroism he’s ever done, and it’s a riveting set-up for the final installment.

#2 The Climax to “Batman Mask of the Phantasm” 

This climax takes place in a theme park dedicated to the future of Gotham city, but to avoid spoilers, I won’t go into the major details. Basically, it’s a deeply thrilling confrontation between our main characters, and the theme park setting leads to some riveting action set pieces. A stand out moment is when Batman and Joker fight their way into a room where their surrounded by giant city models. 
This artfully, represents how both characters are viewed as larger than life titans wagging war with each other in the city of Gotham. It’s also worth noting that all the stakes are internal ones, as the Joker isn’t launching any large-scale schemes against the city. It’s all about what’s going on between our three principle characters, and it gives the fighting more weight. As the battle rages on, they cover a lot of ground, even fly through the air on jet packs, explosions are erupting everywhere, and it’s just a sheer animated spectacle to behold. Another one of my favorite moments is when the climax comes to it’s exciting conclusion, everything is blowing up, and the Joker gives the most epic final evil laugh ever. Now the fate of the Joker is left extremely vague, as it suggests he was killed, but he also continues to appear in the TV show after this … so, just what happened to him? Truthfully, putting that detail of Jokers demise to the side, I think this is one of the better finale’s in the whole Batman film series.

#1 The Climax to “The Dark Knight Rises” 

Now, let’s finally talk about final battle that closed Nolan’s trilogy, and is personally my favorite climax of the entire Batman film franchise. Batman makes his triumphant return to the city, and leads Gotham in an all-out war against Bane and his troops. There are large scale battles wagging in the streets, the Bat wing is flying through the city, lots of explosions, lots of battle vehicles, car chases, and it’s just one big cinematic feast for the eyes. The main highlight is when Batman rematches Bane amidst all the fighting. 

I love how the two are walking through the crowds looking for each other, then they finally stare down, exchange their lines, and the rematch of the century is on. There’s a great visual call back to their first fight in which Batman stands on top of a flank of stairs, and looks down at Bane. In their first dual, this marked the moment in which Batman lost his cool, and got caress. Now during this second fight we see him stand on those stairs, but he’s calm, collected and we just know he’s got this match in his hand. The only down side in all of this is that Banes death is very rushed, with lots of battle still remaining, and it just feels disappointing to have such a power house villain get taken out so quickly. What’s worse is that it’s all in favor of making Talia Al Ghul the final threat to the city, which is extremely annoying considering the long line up of superior villains that have come before her. Thankfully, the resolution to this climax is excellent, and closes things on a strong note. Batman flies a nuclear bomb out of the city, and presumably dies, saving everyone else in the process. Now, the people of Gotham are no longer looking to a false idle like Harvey Dent, they’re respecting the real hero who saved their city, and even dedicate a statue to his honor.

                            The End