Webster’s defines Michael Keaton as an actor known for his wide range of starring roles, including Batman, Birdman, and The Vulture. Recently, it’s been rumored that Keaton will return as Bruce Wayne/Batman in a new The Flash multiverse movie. I look forward to the audience screaming, “Batman returns!” during the movie and people giggling and hugging each other and sobbing over the pinnacle of meta-humor they just lived through.
Now, you may ask yourself, “why is there a Webster’s Dictionary listing for Michael Keaton and when will Cinema Listed dot com feature a list about the best five Michael Keaton movies?” Well buddy boy, strap on your segue pants because here comes another article!
Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Michael Keaton plays an actor who becomes a Birdman man. No, not Birdman, but a different Birdman. He’s not the cartoon character Birdman, and he’s not Batman, or The Vulture even though yes that’s technically a birdman too. He’s an actor playing an actor who is best known as a birdman. Kind of like how Keaton is an actor who is best known as a bat man. Got it? Let’s talk about something else.
Michael Keaton plays Bruce Wayne/Batman who must stave off every man’s trifecta of nemeses: animals (The Penguin), women (Catwoman), and the elderly (Christopher Walken). The sequel to Tim Burton’s Batman, this movie had better characters, better action sequences, and rocket penguins. Many nerds will debate if Michelle Pfeiffer or Anne Hathaway is the best Catwoman. To that I say, “hey nerds shut up” and also the only way to know who is the better Catwoman is with a game of traditional Catwoman 1-on-1 street basketball.
Michael Keaton plays an American autoworker who is challenged by a Japanese car company take over. Keaton leads the American workers as they clash with the Japanese executives, but in the end they overcome their differences and build cars together. It’s like Rush Hour, but with with car manufacturers instead of cops. And Japanese executives instead of Chinese detectives. And also way less martial arts and way more George Wendt. Ok, it’s nothing like Rush Hour. I just had to fill this space with some words. Man, Rush Hour was a cool movie.
The Other Guys
Michael Keaton plays a police captain/Bed Bath & Beyond manager who helps solve crimes and encourage his officers (Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dirty Mike) with words of wisdom. Keaton is the scene-stealing Captain Gene who unknowingly makes TLC references and has enthusiasm for scented candles. There’s not really a joke here but they should make a Captain Gene spinoff.
In this Spider-Man reboot of a reboot, Keaton plays Adrian Toomes/The Vulture who sells weapons to New Yorkers and keeps getting picked on by the ruthless Spider-Man. In Homecoming, Toomes is an average American patriot entrepreneur and family man trying to make a living while anti-small-business bullies Tony Stark/Iron- “The Man” and Spider-“The Man” get in his way. Why did they keep hassling him when he was basically trying to be the next Smith & Wesson? The next time you watch this movie pay attention to who the real villain is.
Sure, Toomes is selling weapons to people, but you know who else did? Tony Stark.
Sure, he accidentally vaporized one of his subordinates with alien weaponry for mouthing off, but everyone gets a mulligan.
And sure, Toomes’ suit is kind of scary with its giant wings and huge claws and scary eyes. But you know who else has giant wings and huge claws and scary eyes? A bald eagle.
Condolences for reading this far into another Cinema Listed dot com feature article. Go ahead and pat yourself on your back and let us never forget that time Michael Keaton played Beetlejuice.
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