Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Ranking the Batmen

Who is the best Batman? Who is the worst? Here's my take:

1. Christian Bale
2. Michael Keaton
3. Adam West
4. Val Kilmer
5. George Clooney

One of the keys of nailing Batman is the ability to play both the dark knight and the billionaire playboy. The great thing about Bale is that he plays both Batman and Bruce Wayne well. Most previous Batmen could only do one well. Keaton was a good Batman, but a pretty mediocre Bruce Wayne. Kilmer was okay at both, but just okay. Clooney was a decent Bruce Wayne but a terrible Batman. Plus, in that version, Joel Schumacher put nipples on the batsuit. That's just wrong.


Cabeza said...

I'm going to go ahead and agree with you on the order of your list.

The worst thing about George Clooney is that he was so forgettable in such a horribly unforgettable movie. You first remember how painful it was to watch Batman & Robin; then how much Chris O'Donnell had fallen from grace to stoop to that movie; then how you felt sad, scared, and uncomfortable with the whole Bat-nipple thing; then how Uma Thurman really isn't that good-looking no matter how much people talk her up, considering you could grate a block of cheese on her face; and THEN you finally realize, "Oh yeah, George Clooney was in that one." His agent should be lobotomized.

This is perhaps your most desultory of desultory musings.

The Shark said...

I am tempted to flip the order of Adam West and Val Kilmer, but won't because West was true to a certain incarnation of Batman - that of the 1960's. I much prefer the current version that actually puts the "dark" in "Dark Knight," but nevertheless West did fit the role that was modeled after a campier version of the Bat.

But what ever happened to the Bat-shuffle? Ooh, ah, oooh oh ah, ooh...

JKC said...

I flip flop on West and Kilmer. Sometimes I think they should tie for playing two very different versions at about the same level. The reason I put West first is because, as you explain, he was really good at the campy Batman. But the campy Batman isn't cool like the darker more psychological Batman. And Kilmer wasn't that bad. He just wasn't very good either.

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