I have noticed people bragging about how Burton's Batman was all kinds of awesome whereas Nolans Batman sucks because of his realistic portrayal.Now i'm not a fan of realism,and i do believe Batman is'nt as effective under Nolan as he should be,but i see nothing "watered down" about the villians,did we really need a lazarus pit in Batman Begins? and while the joker gas would have been a nice touch let's be honest neither would have added to the plot.
Now lets get down to Burton's flaws which people tend to overlook in their nostalgia;
His characters were'nt characters,they were robots.Take a look at the people of Gotham,they decided to elect Penguin after he saved a baby from a kidnapper(who was hired by him,and was'nt ever captured),these very people flocked to the streets when Joker promised them some free cash,they forgot the fact that this same man poisoned all their cosmetic items and murdered another man in public in broad daylight.The authorities were absent from the parade and only showed up after/around Joker's demise,these people deserved to be killed.
Then there's Burton's Joker who's greatest ambition in life was to have sex with Vicki Vale,facepalm,Selina Kyle was you average assistant who falls a dozen stories fall and then overnight transforms in to brilliant acrobat and a capable fighter,Selina's motivation was...go figure.Then there's Keaton's awesome(supposedly) Batman who just sits in his cave doing nothing untill the police flash the signal,this Batman decided to kill Joker after he found out that the Joker killed his parents and even punched him off a building,he also attached a bomb to another wrestler type brute,but later he was giving lessons in morality to Selina Kyle when she wanted to kill Max Shreck,who funnily was the REAL villian of Batman Returns and arguably the only multidimensional character,Gordon and Alfred might as well not exist and no one would miss them.Keatons fighting style was also mostly laughable to me,everytime he struck someone it looked like a rubber doll hitting another doll.Batman also had no character in him to boot,Penguin,Schreck and even Selina were more likable then Bruce Wayne.
Now Schumacher did get somethings right,his Batman was'nt an emotionless shell.Take a look at his relationships with both Alfred and Dick Grayson,i find it amusing how people complain about Robin when he was arguably the most realistic character in the entire franchise.Riddler,Freeze and Ivy were fairly good as well,i'll take them over Joker,Penguin and Catwoman.Two-face and Bane were raped no doubt.
Really the only thing Burton has going for him over Schumacher is the set design/atmosphere,and sadly people use this as a pretext for claiming that Burton's portrayals were close to the comic, but really when did you ever see Joker having a fetish for Vale? Catwoman was actually trained by Arm less master and WildCat,unlike Burton's version who became what she is in under a few minutes,and i most certainly don't recall Oswald Cobblepot finding an army of killer Penguins in the sewers.
Share your opinions folks.