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Batman Shootout


Many thanks to YouTube user Ryan Hartley for creating a score reduction of Danny Elfman’s “Shootout” cue from the first act of Batman (1989).


I’ve always loved this cue! I remember from the moment I heard it in the theater, that opening ostinato for the bad guys rushing into the factory—wonderful!


I’ve read through the piece in the Omni Music score book, but that was the full orchestrations. Dilettante as I am, I appreciate the reductions to make sense of it all.


I’ve written before about the 1989 Batman, and how seminal it was. I always loved this opening set piece because it’s more gritty and grounded than the rest of the film. After months of hype, we were finally watching the movie, and the factory sequence totally delivered.


When I rewatched the film a few months ago, I had the same feeling during the first act—this is great! Why did we sort of write this movie off as incoherent?


Then in act two when Jack comes back as the Joker: he kills somebody with a Joker gadget.


In my recent rewatch, I was like, where did he get the gadget? Who made it for him? Was it custom manufactured? Did Jack Napier already have it (no, of course not).


There’s no answer, of course. He had it because he’s the Joker and the Joker in the comic books had these Joker gadgets.


It makes no sense, on purpose. It threw the groundedness out the window—and in hindsight, after the Nolan films, it seems like a cartoon.


I think that’s what always lingered from the 1989 film, and why it’s sort of an afterthought today, even though at the time it was transformational.


But the music endures!

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I agree it has such a momentum build up of action and suspense like old time film

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