The special effects are okay, but the heavily armed penguins are just silly looking. "Batman" has a couple of new toys, but his "Batboat," much like the "Batwing" in the first flick, makes a quick entrance and exit.
It's obvious that Tim Burton was given a lot more creative freedom on this project. That's too bad, because he takes too many liberties with the characters involved on this project. The whole film has this "Edward Scissorhands" feel in it. I usually enjoy Burton's projects, but this one goes too far with its brooding yet goofy atmosphere.
In this movie we are introduced to the idea that all of "Batman's" villains have to team up in order to beat him. This one has three: "Penguin," "Catwoman," and "Max Shreck." Although "Catwoman" is only "sort of" a villain, the flick still has to spend time describing her origin. Following sequels have "Riddler" and "Two-Face" teaming up and "Poison Ivy" and "Mr. Freeze"(and an underused "Bane"). The result is a story crammed with the origins of all the villains, the introduction and explanation of allies("Robin" and "Batgirl")and a twisting, turning plot that falls into quick boredom. Sure, all of these sequels may be visually satisfying, but the stories are clunkers. Perhaps the next movie(if there ever is one) will return to the original idea of having one meanie take on "Batman." Give these villains credit, they can give "Batman" a time on their own.
In closing, this is an okay picture. It is very atmospheric, but atmosphere and a nickel won't even buy you a cup of coffee anymore. "Batman Forever" is a slightly better movie. The tone of the film leans more toward the silly antics of the old TV show, but the brighter colors and lighter humor are a welcome change from "Batman Returns." Don't get me wrong, it's nowhere near the original, but it is a decent vision of the "Batman" comics. The action is better than in "Batman Returns," and Val Kilmer does a fine job filling Michael Keaton's shoes. He keeps the integrity of the character alive despite a lightweight story. The "Riddler" is a good villain(though not "Joker"), but "Two-Face" just doesn't belong. Don't even bother with "Batman & Robin." It takes the cheese-factor to an all-time low.
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