Alynda Wheat
October 03, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Talent? Check. Stylistic moodiness? Check. Buff bod? Check. (Though Michael Keaton proved that last one unnecessary 14 years ago.) The critical question, now that Christian Bale has been cast as Batman: Does the ”American Psycho” have the lips to be the man in the mask? George Clooney’s strong chin and wry smile were the best parts of 1997’s reviled ”Batman & Robin”, and Val Kilmer’s pucker lent 1995’s ”Batman Forever” a certain, shall we say, gravitas. We’re mask-half-full optimists that Bale has the raw material to tackle the Caped Crusader by the film’s ’05 debut. His lacking upper labium hints at the shadow over Bruce Wayne’s soul, but a full, sensual lower lip suggests a passionate nature and constant need for ChapStick. Just like Batman: sexy, mysterious, and chafed. — Alynda Wheat

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