We count down our favorite Batman rides, in The Weekly Rising.
By Kevin P. Sullivan
Warner Bros. recently shot a bonus feature from the eventual Blu-ray release of “The Dark Knight Rises” (early, I know!) that featured all five Batmobiles from the movies, starting with Adam West’s Lincoln to Christopher Nolan’s Tumbler.
The video makes for a cool stunt, seeing all the vehicles in one place, but it also provides insight into just how different the Batmobiles have been over the years — so much so that it begs the question: Which Batmobile was best?
Here is our countdown of the top five Batmobiles from the movies:
5. “Batman and Robin”
Joel Schumacher‘s run as the director of the Batman series brought around the two worst Batmobiles by far. Both cars stand as perfect symbols of everything that was wrong with the director’s take on the Caped Crusader. They are both too over-the-top to actually function as vehicles, in the same way that Schumacher’s Batman simply doesn’t work. But of the two, the painful swirling light of the final Schumacher Batmobile from “Batman and Robin” remains the worst Batmobile of all time. The one-seater looks like an oversized Happy Meal toy, and the convertible design puts the Bat out in the open air where everyone can make fun of him.
4. “Batman Forever”
The first Schumacher Batmobile gets a pass simply because it’s not as bad as the one from “Batman and Robin.” The enormous fins remain, but the body doesn’t extend nearly as far out. It also gets the added benefit of a closed cabin, so Batman can hide his shame from behind the privacy of tinted windows. At the very best, the “Batman Forever” Batmobile wins the losers bracket.
3. “Batman: The Movie”
The Batmobile that Adam West drove during his stint as Batman on the television series and in the 1966 film is the only one of the Dark Knight’s cars that actually looks like a car. Completed in three weeks, the original Batmobile was made from a modified 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car. West’s Batmobile scores points now for a retro style that can’t be beat and just the right amount of camp.
2. “Batman” and “Batman Returns”
Admittedly, this is the ride that inspired the two worst Batmobiles ever, but Tim Burton’s take on the Bat vehicle has a certain charm to it. Burton’s films in the series had a look all their own, but they never quite went over-the-top insane like Schumacher’s, and the same applies to his Batmobile. It had the same long body but had a more refined and battle-ready look to it. As impractical as it probably was, the Burton Batmobile was badass in its own way.
1. “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises”
Is there really any other choice? The Tumbler not only fits the realistic take on the series, but it also could eviscerate any and all other Batmobiles. Did I mention that his has a motorcycle hidden inside the front of it? How about the newly added flight feature? It may have been meant originally for building bridges, but all the Tumbler ended up doing was being the toughest ride the streets of Gotham has ever seen. It’s only fitting that the greatest iteration of Batman gets the all-around best version of his car.
Which is your favorite Batmobile? Let me know on Twitter via @KPSull!
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Dark Knight Rises.”