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Batman Returns

The 1992 movie directed by Tim Burton

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I did enjoy this "Penguin and Catwoman" movie but the concession stand was out of antidepressants

  • Jun 15, 2009
  • by
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.  This movie is more of a Tim Burton movie with Batman in it then a regular Batman movie.  If you love Tim Burton's stylishly weird and offbeat filmaking you will have a better feeling from this movie.

Batman Returns is infamous in many regards of the Batman franchise.  Most notably with the Penguin character.  Before in the comics and the 60's show, he was just a goofy little short guy with a cigerette, here his story is given a little more oomph in that he's more of a freak baby who grew up in a lonely sewer with penguins and turned to crime.  The movie is very stylish, maybe not in the drab and ugly as the first one where buildings literally had clashing architectural styles and everything seemed to be painted in charcoal, but in a different way.  Gotham plaza looks phenomenal and the rest of downtown Gotham has a beautiful aire to it.  It also got points for taking a popular comic book character and turning the darkness up to almost a pitch black level.

When you look at dark movies, theres dark for the sake of being dark which is what I still think of when I see Watchmen.  Theres The Dark Knight which took characters down dark paths and ends on a note where good people are still hurt but this darkness is almost evil levels.  Batman Returns is at times a masochist by having characters suffer or in the process of making people cry and bleed.  The people who thought this movie was lighter then the first Batman must have been talking about the lighting.

The story has it's pros to it.  Out of the four original Batman movies, it has a pretty in depth story going on with the characters and their interactions involving politics and duality of the the heros and villians.  Some people say that it's a horrible story that only looks good in comparison to the other three Batmans.  I beg to differ.  The bad side is that some elements were left out due to time contsraints.  We were supposed to get a Robin character, Harvey Dent and his accident among others.  The key one being that at one point Max Schrek played by Christopher Walken was supposed to be the younger brother of Danny DeVito's Penguin which would have made things a little more interesting.

I said up top that Batman isn't in this movie much.  He gets some screen time don't get me wrong but a lot of the story is centered around the THREE villians.  Penguin, Catwoman and the aforementioned Christopher Walken who plays a business tycoon.  Batman really gets lost in the shuffle and you really come to cherish him when you see him, but then he's gone again.

Some people were really turned off by this movie, especially the Penguin who is a snarling, chouvanistic little beast man who also bleeds green blood (DROOLING it at one point).  My friend thought it was silly how the penguins treat him at the end of the movie.  I told him that it was appropriate in that the penguins see him as a loved family member.  You be the judge when you watch, I got an animal kingdom vide myself.  Michelle Pfeiffer while gorgeous in both her characters (even as nerdy little assistant Salina Kyle) has a real strange job as Catwoman.  She beats up muggers and we see her have a catharsis of sorts when she destroys her employers store, but she fights Batman and participates in crime.  Shes largly a villian but we try to sympathize with her just the same.  A wild card if there ever was one.

That brings me to Michael Keaton.  I'm in the minority when I say that I never really understood why people like him.  Sure he has a great grin when he's Batman and plays some parts right, but his quirky attitude as Bruce Wayne (and the fact that I don't think "action hero" when I think Michael Keaton) to me always is a turnaway.  People hated him at first but relented quickly after they saw the first Batman.  I think many of those people are just happy he wasn't as bas as he could have been.  His voice is the best attribute talking with a natural chill, and not a barking, laryengytis afflicted dog like Bale did in The Dark Knight.

Baman Returns really pushes the dark into a black domain and it's the wrong kind of dark for Batman.  Batman is often known by many as a brooding billionaire who has a thurst for justice, not stories about everyone else in pain and suffering.  So harsh at times, it's real child unfriendly which is why we can see where Joel Schumachers neon world came in after this one.  Batman had grown too dark but had to try on those neon tights a few times to remember what the right shade of dark was, moody not malevolant.
Michael Keaton returns as Batman Danny DeVito as The Penguin and his army of clowns Michelle Pfeiffer as Salina Kyle, put upon worker Christopher Walken as Max Shreck, vile executive Penguin and Catwoman scheme Batman and Catwoman get cozy in the heat of battle

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October 21, 2010
Great review first off, I thought this was a pretty good film over all. Good memories with this one.
October 21, 2010
I like this movie, but it was still too dark and I can't say I blame people for being turned away from it.
May 10, 2010
Of the original four Batman films, I think I only really liked the first one.  It was a mistake, in my mind, to give Tim Burton total creative control.  Not because it's so dark but because the level of bizarre was almost too much... even for Tim Burton.  It wasn't really "bad" just a little off putting, I suppose.
May 10, 2010
I like all the Batman movies (there are times when I can watch Batman and Robin) but while Batman is dark, this movie over did it and I think Tim Burton embellished way too much, your right. People like to talk about Joel Schumacher ruining Batman but Tim kinda ruined it too. The first one is good, but I enjoy it more when Jack Nicholson was around and thankfully hes in it a lot.
More Batman Returns reviews
review by . March 16, 2011
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 …
review by . September 26, 2010
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.      …
Quick Tip by . July 21, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Too dark for it's own good still has some beautiful sets and interesting characters for Batman to battle. The lighter tone of Schumacher was welcome in my opinion after this one.
Quick Tip by . May 10, 2010
Black as an onyx Batman story that while stylish is off the deep end on the hurt meter with it's characters and subjects.
Quick Tip by . September 29, 2009
Stylish and very dark follow up to the 89 film. Nicely cast characters, but the brooding and dark touches are black as an onyx.
review by . April 08, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
"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 …
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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About this movie


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
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