If you’re of a certain age, by this point 25 years ago, you had already seen Tim Burton‘s “Batman” and perhaps were lining up to see it again. As we noted yesterday, Warner Bros. was slightly concerned about the shift in tone from the campier TV take most mainstream audiences knew, to the darker (yet fantastical) world Burton conjured for his version. But they didn’t really need to be concerned. Audiences loved it, and most critics embraced it to, but not everyone did….
Roger Ebert was not a fan of the movie, though he did love the visual look, and you can see him battle Gene Siskel (who liked it more than “Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade“) in a vintage “Siskel & Ebert” segment below. But it’s the lede in his written review that sums up Ebert’s feelings on “Batman”: “The Gotham City created in ‘Batman’ is one of the most distinctive and atmospheric places I’ve seen in the movies. It’s a shame something more memorable doesn’t happen there. ‘Batman’ is a triumph of design over story, style over substance – a great-looking movie with a plot you can’t care much about.”
Strong words—what do you think of Ebert’s assessment? Let us know below and for a trip back in time, you can also check out the report by “Entertainment Tonight” (classic Mary Hart!) from the L.A. premiere.