Road to The Batman - Batman Returns (Quick Review)

Above Gotham looms its greatest hero.

Batman Returns is a 1992 gothic superhero film directed by Tim Burton, written by Daniel Waters, produced by Warner Bros., and distributed by Warner Bros.. The film is based off of various Batman comics by Bill Finger and Bob Kane. It stars Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito. It was nominated for Best Visual Effects and Best Makeup, but did not win either. This is the third film in the Batman franchise, but the second in the Burton/Schumacher quadrilogy. It was preceded by Batman and followed by Batman Returns. Michael Keaton will also return as Batman in The Flash.


"We're the same...split right down the center." - Batman

Plot


When the vile Penguin emerges from the sewers to take total dominion over Gotham, Batman teams up with Catwoman to take down the evil animal and save Gotham once and for all.


My Favorite Thing About Batman Returns


Batman Returns is much more a Tim Burton movie than it is a Batman movie. This film is very freakish in nature, so there's a lot of strange elements. But my favorite part is definitely the relationship between Catwoman and Batman. Michelle Pfeiffer is so charming and great in this role, bringing a lot of seduction and charisma while also having a relatively emotional side to her. The parallels between Catwoman and Batman and Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne is awesome. I love the way that they find out each other's secret identities. Their relationship is the best executed Batman-Catwoman relationship I've seen, and it's easily the best part of Batman Returns.


My Least Favorite Thing About Batman Returns


I really don't like the Penguin. I think that Penguin is a great villain in the comics, but Batman Returns abandons most of the comics lore and makes him this tragic, monstrous figure. Danny DeVito is strangely cast in my opinion, and I don't think the character is written very well. His plan is so convoluted and changes so often that I just can't get behind it. He's creepy and makes you uncomfortable, but not really in a good way. And that's a really big problem, because the storyline that surrounds him isn't very good either.


Why Batman Returns Doesn't Work


I think Tim Burton is a great director. He has such a stylized vision and is able to give you this gothic, creepy vibe in all of his films that usually work. However, his style simply does not work in Batman Returns. He turns Batman and Catwoman and Penguin into this freaks that are just too wonky and sometimes too gothic and dark. It makes this movie extremely heavy and disturbing, but in all of the wrong ways. I don't think I'd ever criticize Batman for being too dark, so that's not exactly what I'm saying here. I think that Batman Returns has the wrong kind of dark.


Final Score


Batman Returns is one of the weakest Batman films, and I really can't get behind the creepy vibe and disturbing themes that feel too heavy and too gothic for Batman.


I will go Sour here. Age range is 12+.


SWEET N' SOUR SCALE

Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)


"Batman Returns"


Fun Factor: 5/10

Acting: 6/10

Characters: 5/10

Story: 2.5/10

Quality: 5/10


Directed by Tim Burton


Rated PG-13 for superhero violence and action, frightening themes and images, minor sexual content, moderate language


Released on June 19, 1992


2 hours and 6 minutes


Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne / Batman

Danny DeVito as Oswald Cobblepot / The Penguin

Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle / Catwoman

Christopher Walken as Max Shreck

Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth

Pat Hingle as Commissioner James Gordon