Thursday, April 26, 2018

All Batman Movie Girl Friends Ranked

Unlike Superman or Spider-Man, Batman has never had a stand-out girlfriend, in fact the girl friends change in every movie, much like the James Boned women. With all my Batman reviews completed for the month, here’s a quick post ranking all of Batman’s theatrical girls friends in my own personal opinion from least favorite to absolute favorite.

#11 Elle Macpherson as Julie Madison from "Batman and Robin

In this movie, Bruce Wayne has a rather pointless love interest, who has no bearing on the film at all, and thus, there’s nothing else to say about her.

#10 Kitka played by Lee Meriwether from "Batman: The Movie

There's a sub-plot in which Cat-woman has a relationship with Bruce Wane, all while posing as a girl named Kitka. While Bruce is head over heals for her, this relation is only leverage, and in the end, it becomes her most powerful weapon against our hero. While a solid portrayal of Cat-woman, she just can't rank any higher, as there's no real love in the relationship.

#9 Rachel Dawes played by Maggie Gyllenhaal from "The Dark Knight

The only cast change in this squeal was for Batman’s girlfriend Rachel. Originally, she was played by Katie Holmes in “Batman Begins”, but now she’s played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Thankfully, she looks just like an older version of Katie Holmes, and she even delivers a more dignified performance then her predecessor. Having said that, I truthfully felt a little more chemistry between Katie Holmes and Christion Bale, in fact, for all her faults, I actually found Katie Holmes to be a pinch more memorable. That’s not to put down Maggie Gyllenhaal, as she’s definitely a bright spot in regards to her performance, but she just didn’t leave that big an impact on me either. Truthfully, I think it had more to do with the written character as opposed to the performance. I just felt that Rachel contributed more to Batman Begins as opposed to Rachel in "The Dark Knight".

#8 Selina Kyle played by Michelle Pfeiffer from "Batman Returns

Our hero's only real character arc in this squeal is a relationship with Cat-Woman, and more specifically her alter ego Selina Kyle. The two could relate to living with split lives, and they even shared an engaging chemistry on screen, but I just don’t think it was developed enough, especially when their story is sidelined in favor of everyone else’s character arcs. Michelle Pfeiffer at least owned the role, and while not one of my favorite love interests, she certainly shined as a great villain ... but that's for another list. 

#7 Wonder Woman played by Gal Gadot from "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

The introduction of Wonder Woman played by Gal Gadot was absolutely my favorite part of this whole movie. Granted, she isn’t even in the film for very long, nor is she written into the film very well, but still, she absolutely thrilled me whenever she was on screen. Gal Gadot shined in the role, she had terrific chemistry with Bruce Wayne, and it was just plain awesome to see Wonder Woman fighting for the first time in a live action movie. Also, her theme song was freaking amazing! It’s actually kind of ironic that neither Batman nor Superman have any stand out music tracks in this movie, yet Wonder Woman has a score that left me exhilarated.

#6 Batgirl voiced by Rosario Dawson from "The Lego Batman Movie

Now let’s look at Batgirl, who thankfully is old-enough in this film to have a romantic relationship with Batman. Honestly, I never understood why other shows and spin off material would push a relationship between the two, especially when one character was half the age of the other. Well, this film finely got it right, although, I admittedly liked her more as just plain police commissioner Barbara Gordon. However, it’s still cool to have Batgirl there to complete the Batman family, and I even liked the purple and yellow redesign of her costume. She’s voiced by Rosario Dawson, who I’ve had a small crush on ever sense I saw the 2005 musical "Rent", and even though she’s not present on screen, I still think she has a sexy voice.

#5 Rachel Dawes played by Katie Holmes from "Batman Begins

I know I'm a minority on this one, but here she is ... Rachel Dawes, played by the very cute Katie Holmes. This character is admittedly a mixed blessing, and the one thing that fans point to as a weakness in the film. On the one hand, she's devoid of common clichés, as she doesn’t run around in a hot dress, she can take out a super-villain like the Scarecrow, and the chemistry between her and Bruce feels natural. Rachel even teaches the hero important morals like “it’s not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you.”, which makes her a decent role model. The down side is that Katie Holmes, despite her best efforts, just doesn’t feel right in the role. She just looks and feels too much like a high school student rather than someone working in a District Attorney office, and she certainly doesn’t look like someone who’d get paired with Batman. Regardless, the positives of her character for me are just enough to out-way the negatives. 

#4 Dr. Chase Meridian played by Nichol Kidman from "Batman Forever

Nichol Kidman plays Bruce Wayne's most attractive love interest named Dr. Chase Meridian, and while she's very appealing, she also comes off as a missed opportunity. This character as written on paper had a lot of potential to be, perhaps Batman’s best love interest. I love the idea of a girlfriend that’s a psychiatrist, and it’s a cool idea for her to be in love with one of the hero’s identities but dismissive of the other. Also, in general, I love Nichol Kidman, and it’s awesome to see her in this kind of role. Putting aside her obviously attractive screen presence, I think she has the coolest eye brows of any Batman girl. There’s just something about that look and stair of hers that makes her feel bad ass when paired with Batman. Unfortunately, while she’s written as a character with both brains and brawns, neither of them is utilized effectively in this film. It’s as if all the right ingredients are there for a strong female lead, but something just falls flat on the delivery. I think the movie got too distracted by capitalizing her as the good-looking eye candy for Batman to rescue, before utilizing her potential strengths to leave a memorable impression. Never the less, she still ranks higher then most as a personal favorite ... I mean it's Nichole Kidman, and she was one of my first movie crushes, so that alone puts her in my top five.

#3 Selina Kyle played by Anne Hathaway from "The Dark Knight Rises

My favorite character of the third installment of Nolan's trilogy by far is the new Selina Kyle played by Anne Hathaway. Speaking personally, this is my absolute favorite portrayal of the character by a mile. This Cat-Woman just gets everything right, as she’s not a villain, nor is she a hero, she’s just a wild card who dose whatever is in her interest. Sometimes that means aiding either the hero’s or villains, and that’s how I’ve always felt Cat-Woman should be. I also like that she’s just a small-town cat burglar who just wants to make a new life for herself. She and Batman also have perfect chemistry. Well, their romantic side is just “ok”, but as two vigilantes working together … they’re just a dynamite pair. Whenever they're on screen fighting together, infiltrating a bad guy base, or just plain walking together, it’s an absolute thrill. On a side note, I really love how subtle the costume is, as she’s incredibly beautiful to look at without ever coming off as slutty, unlike her two theatrical predecessors. Now, I came from a generation that grew up with Anne Hathaway in Disney movies like “The Princess Diaries” and “Ella Enchanted”, so I couldn’t even imagine her pulling off a great Cat-Woman, but she really did.  Every inflection she gives as this character is spot on, she has a lot of energy, and is clearly having a blast with this role. So, while obviously not on Oscar standards, this is still a shining performance in the actress’s carrier.

#2 Vicki Vale played by Kim Basinger from "Batman

Our lead girlfriend in the original Tim Burton classic is Vicki Vale, played by the lovely Kim Basinger. She’s a surprisingly likable, albeit cliched damsel in distress, always in need of rescuing, always losing her shoes and always screaming. However, despite being such an obvious cliché, she could still stick up for herself, she was supportive, yet had her limits, and it just made her a really fun character to have present. As for the girl always loosing her shoes, Kim Basinger was actually the tallest person on set, so she always had to go around either bare foot or sock footed in order to appear shorter then either Michael Keaton or Jack Nicholson. One side note, I really like Vales wardrobe, as most of Batman’s girl friends are always in black attire, but Vale was always in white, and that was a much cooler contrast to both Batman and the dark, Gothic surroundings.

#1 Andrea Beaumont voiced by Dana Delany from "Batman Mask of the Phantasm

Let’s finally cut to the chase, Bruce’s love interest Andrea Beaumont is in my opinion the absolute best female lead from any Batman movie. She’s fearlessly independent, can fight for herself, but is also brimming with personality and still keeps her femininity in check when acting tuff. Her voice is supplied by the exceptionally talented Dana Delany, who’s best known for voicing Lois Lane in the 90’s animated “Superman” TV series. Her relationship with Batman is naturally one of the films strengths, as it plays with our emotions by mixing the hopes and dreams of a beautiful life with the darkness of reality. I’ll admit, I don’t know if such polar opposite people as Bruce and Andrea would actually get together, but their on-screen chemistry still works, and I genuinely wanted to see them get together. Surprisingly, as the film goes on, we discover that Andrea has quiet the tragic backstory herself, and even makes Batman’s complexities look tame by comparison. 

The End 

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