Originally Posted by The Joker
What mooks are these? The only criminals I saw show any fear of Keaton's Batman were the two muggers at the start of Batman '89. The Joker wasn't scared of him. Penguin wasn't scared of him. Catwoman wasn't scared of him. Schreck never registered his presence in Gotham. Grissom never mentioned him before he died. Half way through Batman 1989, Joker's men knock Batman out in an alley and figure out he's just a guy in a costume.
I never ever got the sense Keaton's Batman was a fearsome presence in Gotham in Burton's movies.
I saw more fear from the criminal underworld of Batman's presence in Begins alone, than I did in both of Burton's movies combined. I haven't even mentioned the scenes in TDK where you see criminals too afraid to do anything at the sight of the batsignal, bringing attack dogs with them to the drug meets, and the mob meeting up in day time to avoid Batman.
Actually, Knox tells
us what the rest of the low level mooks think. In fact, he doesn't have to say it. The opening scene is brilliant because the discussion tells us all the other punks in Gotham are talking about the same thing in hushed voices. A giant bat seems to preying on their kind... and they are spooked because the stories are coming from guys who don't usually fear anything during Gotham's wild nights. The more cynical and loud mooks laugh at the idea... until they meet the Bat for themselves. He 'converts' them and they go out spreading his 'gospel'. Among low level criminals the Bat is the bogeyman... even if they realize he's a guy in a suit. In fact, they probably fear him MORE when they make the realization because it's clear this guy is a wee bit crazy to be doing what he does. He's freak, a psycho who just happens to prey on other psychos instead of the rest of society. Are you scared of this fictional apparition yet?
So, like duh, yes all the sane mooks are terrified of him. Probably even more so since he put an end to Jack Napier and his gang. The RTCG are freaks... psychopaths emboldened by the new Lord of the Underworld. And lets be very clear here: just because Penguin thinks he's big enough to take down the Bat doesn't mean it is so. Batman retaliates after the Penguin's initial salvo, driving him back to the sewers. Penguin, like Joker before him, goes berserk and tries first kill the children, then tries to level the heart of Gotham City. Batman foils him both times. And when the RTCG finally realize Penguin is in over his head they abandon him in face of the oncoming Shadow of Bat. Batman defeats the Penguin, smashes the RTCG, and all is well again with the Bat-signal in the sky. Burton's Bat gets the job done.
Catwoman is crazy and doesn't fear anything... least of all a man. Like I said, only crazy people and their dumb minions **** with Burton's Bat. Anyone who is
dumb enough to challenge him gets their ass handed to them in short order. The wiser mooks scurry into the shadows when they hear the Batmobile coming. And that is the whole point of the Batman persona, not to be some hollow 'symbol' for the masses.
Furthermore, Batman doesn't target the mob first in the Burton movies. He starts small and works his way up to build the legend. But when he hears the police are closing in on the mob's number two guy, he decides to be on site in case he needs to intervene directly in the capture, which he does when Napier tries to kill Gordon. He backs off during a mexican stand-off. But Napier doesn't take the hint or listen to a reasonable Bob -- he kills Eckhardt in full view of the Commissioner of Police. Batman reappears to remind Napier that he is still watching, but Jack doesn't take that hint either and tries to kill Batman. The rest is history. After his resurrection, Joker takes over the underworld and kills any rivals foolish enough to challenge him. So the mob is a non-issue in the Burton films because Joker took care of them early on.
Did you even watch Batman 89? Those are basic story differences obvious to anyone who watches the films. I'm talking about the impression
Batman makes in Burton's films versus the Nolan Trilogy. Burton Batman gets the job done and his stature increases every time he does, whereas Nolan Batman has the stature of squashed hedgehog. As soon as the Joker appears, the criminals in Nolan's movies stop fearing Batman. His mystique and fear factor evaporates because he is only a construct
created by Bruce Wayne to hide behind
The construct serves it's purpose and becomes a statue at the end of the trilogy, with Bruce Wayne going off somewhere to live happily ever after. Now you may think that's great and all, but that's not the core of Batman. In fact, Nolan's movies don't have Batman in them at all. Just a guy called Bruce Wayne who dresses like a bat. A small distinction that makes all the difference in the world...