Similar to our recent Top 5 Superman moments on screen, the Dark Knight himself has had plenty of memorable moments at the movies as well. With 13 films to choose from going all the way back to 1943, it seemed like it would be a difficult list to put together. But people were all pretty consistent with the following choices and made compiling Bats’ top 5 moments on screen easy actually.
Surprisingly, or not, no scenes from The Dark Knight made it into the top 5 although I’m sure we can all guess as to why. The Joker played of course by Heath Ledger rolled through everybody and stole most of the scenes. But not to be totally outdone, Batman has some great moments and they show up in the honorable mentions.
With Justice League coming out this November and the Matt Reeves The Batman in a couple of years, this list is sure to change but till then here you go, as chosen by fans. Enjoy!
Warehouse scene – Batman v Superman
This scene from Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was mentioned by almost everybody. Ironic that the moment in this deeply divided film that precedes it and sets it up is the scene most people point to as being the worst, the infamous “Martha” scene. Either way, it’s the best on screen version of Batman to date and resembles the fighting style we’ve come to love from the Batman: Arkham series of video games, especially the grappling hook. Personally, I prefer the human trafficking scene at the beginning but this action is stellar and Batman’s brute strength and agility are on full display here.
The Docks – Batman Begins
Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins would be considered an achievement if the only thing it accomplished was erase the memories of the Joel Schumacher’s Batman films from the 1990’s. Lucky for us it did that and a whole lot more. Nolan’s fresh and real world look at the Dark Knight, this time played by Christian Bale, would reinvent the superhero genre forever and this scene is exhibit A. The first half of the film plays as an origin story and it’s not until the half way point of the film when we see Bale as Batman for the first time. The build up to this scene is masterful and by the time we see Batman in full costume, Nolan has you indoctrinated and prepped that your jaw will drop. That combined with Hans Zimmer’s score immerses you like so few can. Wonderful.
Moon Bat Symbol – Batman
This is just pure fun playing around by Tim Burton in 1989 and idea is so simple yet visually striking it almost takes your breath away the first time you see it and made audiences cheer. Burton’s Batman starring Michael Keaton changed things forever when it came out 1989 and not only was a box office hit but started a cultural shift for comic book movies as well. Burton’s take on the caped crusader caught many off guard and the style and concept he imposed on the look and fell of the characters and Gotham was immersive and wonderful. That plus fantastic performances by Keaton and Jack Nicholson as the Joker make this an all-timer.
Batmobile Carnage – Batman Begins
There was a lot of talk going into Batman Begins about the Batmobile and how it would take a more practical and realistic urban warfare type of vehicle approach this time around. But I’m not sure fans were quite ready for the “tumbler” when it showed up on screen and lead a path of destruction across Gotham highways and rooftops, yes, rooftops. While it doesn’t resemble past Batmobile’s in any shape, other than being black I suppose, fans couldn’t help but love this getaway scene as it’s a memorable one for it’s visual effects and extremely wonderfully constructed carnage. This style of vehicle would go on to influence Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight in Batman v Superman so it must’ve done something right.
“What are you?” – Batman
Depending on your age you’re not likely to ever forget this moment from Burton’s 1989 Batman where we see Michael Keaton as Batman for the very first time as he strikes fear into the souls of two small time crooks. It’s visually striking and who can forget the memorable response to the question, “What are you?” delivered very well by Keaton. The scene establishes the mood and tone of the film very quickly and also goes against convention by lifting the veil very quickly where today’s comic book films are more about the slow burn. The movie has a very memorable opening 10 minutes and this bit, as well as the opening credits and Elfman’s score, are the reason why.
Honorable Mentions: Bat Signal (BvS), Joker Card (Batman Begins), Two-Face death (TDK), “Some days you can’t just get rid of a bomb” (Adam West, Batman), Sex Ring (BvS), Art Gallery (Batman), Joker interrogation (TDK).
Well, there ya go! Pretty good list, not mine per say, but pretty good nonetheless. As with all franchises, new films alter “best of” lists so we’ll see if Snyder/Whedon can create some all-time memorable Batman moments. Can’t wait!
Till next time…