Most would agree that Gotham’s baddest bad guy is none other than the Joker, a favorite villain within the Batman mythos long before Jack Nicholson first committed him to celluloid in 1989. Additionally, both Nicholson and his Joker-successor Heath Ledger were accused of stealing the spotlight from the hero of the hour, which basically stands true: Ledger’s work in the film remains chilling to the nth degree. Although his posthumous Oscar win all but eclipsed the work of Nicholson in the first Batman film, let us not forget that Jack knows how to be scary with the best of ‘em (anyone remember THE SHINING?). Re-watching BATMAN now, it’s clear he was going for camp with a tinge of pretty serious psychopathic tendencies, while Ledger did just the opposite: a core of terrifying insanity peppered with the lightest touch of kitschy theatricality (which makes him all the more scary).
Author: Dan Heching