I have decided to start reviewing or rewriting the reviews of the Batman films. However, I am perfectly content with my review of the first one for now, so we'll start on this. That includes Batman and Robin too, which we'll probably get to tomorrow. All in all, this is a decent movie that deserves to be in the Batman canon, although it isn't as good as the first. However, in this movie Tim Burton needs to learn that there is such a thing as too dark. This sequel can be very hard to deal with due to the tragic origins of catwoman and the often-disgusting penguin, also due to the fact that most of this story takes place around Christmas.
The film is about Batman locking horns with Catwoman and The Penguin. For those of you unfamiliar with the Batman universe, Catwoman is sort of an anti-hero/love interest who starts out as a demure secretary to the villainous Max Schreck and becomes Catwoman after being revived by cats after Schreck pushes her out of a window. The Penguin is a deformed man who was raised by emperor penguins in the sewers after his parents dumped him there when he was a baby. He spends the majority of the film being disgusting and trying to run for mayor with the "help" of Schreck. The film focuses much more on the villains, and I didn't like that because it is called BATMAN returns. Yes he returns, but its almost like The Penguin and Catwoman are the main characters and Batman is just meant to be a background character even though his name is in the title of the goddamn movie.
I mean, I can tolerate it in the first film, but that was because there was only one villain and Jack Nicholson was so amazing in that particular role whereas DeVito, Pfeiffer, and Walken were decent. I also didn't like too many elements of its exceptionally depressing storyline and the ending left me thinking...what? The villains, I suppose, were sympathetic to a degree, but I was just left somewhat bored and wanting to see more batman. The nefarious plans of Catwoman and The Penguin involve killing Max Schreck and killing all the first-born sons in Gotham, which I didn't find all that exciting seeing as the first-born thing was squeezed into the last half hour as was the killing Schreck business. So all in all, it doesn't really add up.
Say what you want about Christian Bale, I think Michael Keaton is the one true batman and will always be the one true batman no matter how good an actor Christian Bale is. I also thought Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken were okay in their roles and the acting was the one thing preventing me from giving this film a rotten rating. Danny DeVito, well I suppose he's okay in some aspects, he's just enjoyably over the top like Willem Dafoe in Spiderman. His character is a little too disgusting for my taste though and I can see why he won a razzie for his performance.
The action is okay and as per Tim Burton standards, the visuals are dark and eccentric. Perhaps just a tad too dark for me though. I suppose this is a decent movie though and worthy of being in the Batman series, although nothing in the original four will top the first one and the Nolan films. I just didn't gravitate towards the profoundly depressing storyline or the focus on the villains and treating THE Bruce Wayne like a second string player to The Penguin and Catwoman. If you like Batman, I would suggest you check out this movie though, seeing as it was good enough to warrant a sixty.
Batman Returns is such a weird movie. It sort of holds the opposite distinction than the first Batman for me because whereas I was the perfect age for the first film, when this came out in theaters I was 15, sort of jaded and ended up pretty disappointed in the movie. In fact this is one of the first flicks that I should have loved but didn't which has only gotten worse and worse as I've gotten older. Tim Burton has provided a lot of firsts for me I guess. … more
Tim Burton can say whatever he wants about how he felt that Batman should be a loner and not have so much attention on him, that may be true but if your going to have Batman in the movies title, you better have some Batman. Tim Burton didn't have any reason to really come back for another Batman. He said what he wanted with the first one but with a promise of some more money and lots of creative control he came back and got Michael Keaton to come back with him. … more
"Batman Returns" has plenty of atmosphere about it. There's no denying that. However, this sequel pales in comparison to its predecessor. The scenery is dark and moody, but the character of the "Penguin" is just atrocious. How did a rich, greedy, power-hungry villain in the comics become a mutated, flipper-handed freak? Keaton does a fine job as the "Dark Knight," but his performance isn't enough to save this divebomb. Michelle Pfeiffer is good as the "Catwoman," but her squabble with Max Shreck(Christopher … more
The first Batman sequel takes a wicked turn with the villainous exploits of the freakish and mean-spirited Penguin (Danny DeVito), whose criminal collaboration with evil tycoon Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) threatens to drain Gotham City of its energy supply. As if that weren't enough, Batman (Michael Keaton) has his hands full with the vengeful Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer), who turns out to be a lot more dangerous than a kitten with a whip. As with the first Batman feature, director Tim Burton brings his distinct visual style to the frantic action, but this time there's a darker malevolence lurking beneath all that extraordinary production design.--Jeff Shannon