Michael Keaton is getting the best reviews of his career for Birdman. The film chronicles the attempts of a washed-up superhero actor named Riggan Thomson to gain artistic legitimacy by staging a Raymond Carver adaptation on Broadway. In his head, he's taunted by the character that made him famous (and his alter ego reminds him that his Birdman paved the way for Iron Man and The Avengers). But while he's trying to regain the respect of the theater world, he also is trying to earn back trust from his daughter (Emma Stone), ex-wife (Amy Ryan) and manager (Zach Galifianakis).
Of course, it stings a bit to see a film parallel of Keaton being the first but now often forgotten superhero (Batman has been filled by respective men of the moment such as Kilmer, Clooney, Bale and Affleck). But Keaton never wallows in despair in. He elevates what could be a dour portrait. As a result, Birdman has a kinetic energy. And of course it does! Keaton has always infused energy into every film he's been in. And we've missed him so!
So, we've got a few words and images below that'll ramp up your excitement for the triumphant return of the original, one-and-only Michael Keaton.
Now that Michael Keaton’s back, we realize how much we’ve been missing him.
He was always so much more than Batman.
Always a consummate professional.
He brought levity to Tarantino.
He became presidential...
By learning from a multi-term POTUS
He survived a movie that put Lindsay Lohan behind the wheel.
Meanwhile, everyone was going on and on about how "serious" the new Batman movies were...
Yet, in his bones, Keaton knew that Tim Burton was building toward a dark superhero in their films.
And after turning darker corners with Batman Returns, he wasn't going to take $15 million to follow that with a softer, Batman Forever.
Spare your tears, though...
It's not like he's been sitting around, waiting for his comeback.
He had some other priorities.
But then a call came from an Oscar-nominated director (Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu)...
So he cleaned up...
And proved that he's still got it.
Brian Formo is an entertainment journalist for CraveOnline and Complex Pop Culture. He also writes features for Flaunt magazine and can be found at @BrianEmilFormo