While there have been been decades worth of live-action superheroics on the big screen since Tim Burton’s 1989 blockbuster shaved itself into the back of your little brother’s head, there’s still a special something about Batman that nobody’s been able to replicate. Having Jack Nicholson go apeshit with a clotheshanger shoved in his mouth definitely helps on that front, but for all the corniness and dated decoration curling up around the edges, there’s a still-propulsive, still-mesmerizing, still-fucking-awesome blend of character, design, and action at the center. You can see why executives decided they needed to get back in the superhero game... and you can also see how they learned every wrong lesson along the way.


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