Originally Posted by GothamAlleys
Washington Post described him best:
There are different ways to be intimidating. You can be intimidated by a big and angry bodybuilder who says that hell mess you up. You can also be intimidated by a lone child in the middle of the night standing still in front of your house staring. Keaton is that creepy child while Bale is that bodybuilder.
I like that. A psycho vs. a bodybuilder. That's exactly how I feel. Bale can do all the stuntman work but it just comes off as any other superhero movie of the week: he can do all those things but he doesn't put the fear in Batman.
It's almost like you can put person X, as long as he's buff and rich enough, into Nolan's Batman world and he'd emerge as the same Batman as what Bale has given us.
Can't say the same for Burton's Batman. He's unique, one of a kind. You can't just drop a rich and good looking playboy into Burton's world and automatically make him Burton's Batman. It takes a certain psychological edge to be on Keaton's level.
Maybe it's Burton too, the sets, the lighting, the photography peeps and the costume designers: these guys made sure only saw much of Keaton's Batman as you needed to know that he's there, but only enough to leave you guessing just what the heck this psycho is about to do. I never got this sense of mystery from Bale's Batman. It's as if we're comparing a figure in the shadows to an overexposed GI Joe with Bat-ears full lighting. We know too much from Bale's exposition and dialogue, literally knowing that he's an actor who playing a dude who's supposed to be in so and so mood, that it leaves zero interpretation or analysis for the viewer.
That brings me to another issue. After Rachel died in TDK, when Bale is sitting there sulking, I thought the "acting" there didn't capture the gravity and graveness of the situation. Is this a Bale issue or a Nolan issue? I don't know. But there could have been much more effective ways to show how hollow Bruce has become inside.