Batman Returns (1992)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
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Overall Rating 71%
Overall Rating
Ranked #461
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Connections: DC: Batman DC: Catwoman

While Batman deals with a deformed man calling himself the Penguin wreaking havoc across Gotham with the help of a cruel businessman, a female employee of the latter becomes the Catwoman with her own vendetta. --IMDb
Michael Keaton
Michael Keaton
Danny DeVito
Danny DeVito
Michelle Pfeiffer
Michelle Pfeiffer
Christopher Walken
Christopher Walken
Michael Gough
Michael Gough
Review by bluemeanie
Added: July 24, 2008
After the incredible success of 1989's "Batman", it's only logical that both Tim Burton and Warner Brothers would be itching to follow that up with a sequel. And, so they did. "Batman Returns", released in 1992, reunited Burton with Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Michael Gough as Alfred, while also interjecting some brand new villainy into the mix -- Danny DeVito as The Penguin, Michelle Pfieffer as Catwoman and Christopher Walken as Max Schreck (named after the star of the silent film, "Nosferatu"). "Batman Returns" was yet another smash hit for Burton and for the franchise, carrying on the visual legacy that Burton had already crafted in the original film.

What makes Burton's "Batman" films work is that they feel like comic books translated to film, and that is what has been missing from most comic book adaptations. We find Gotham City in the throws of criminal activities, with a corrupt business (Walken) coupling with The Penguin (DeVito) to help take over the city. Batman has to save the day as usual, and contend with romantic interest from Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Pfieffer). It doesn't get much more complex than that. You have a problem and you have Batman looking for a solution. You have romance. But, you also have Keaton doing an apt job of dealing with the emotional turmoil of his position in the city. You have a fine father/son relationship between he and Alfred that constantly confronts it.

It's not that I don't appreciate the idea of making "Batman" and darker and more sinister, but I honestly have yet to see either Joel Schumacher or Christopher Nolan create a Gotham City more authentic or more true to the comic than the Gotham City that Burton created in the original film and "Batman Returns". Sorry, but I could tell that it was very much Chicago all throughout "The Dark Knight". Here, Gotham City comes alive in color and in texture and it those gorgeous streams of shadow and light that border on German Expressionist. Danny Elfman's score is just plain incredible, and the art direction from Tom Duffield and Rick Heinrichs basically invented most people's modern day idea of what Gotham City is supposed to look like.

Ever since the release of "The Dark Knight", I keep hearing people talking about how it's the greatest "Batman" film ever made and how it's the greatest comic book movie ever made. Well...for starters...it's not a comic book movie to me. It's a crime film. It looks and feels like Michael Mann directed it. "Batman Returns" is a comic book film. It has the look and the tone of one and it has the color and vibrancy of a comic book saturating it from beginning to end. Also...in "The Dark Knight", Batman was no very super. This is understandable since Batman has never really had super powers -- just a guy with a lot of money and some high tech gadgets. He's basically like the Inspector Gadget of the DC Universe. In "Batman Returns", Batman possesses no super powers either, but he sure does feel a lot more like a superhero to me.

Call it the kid in me, but I want the Batman I grew up with, and the Batman of recent years is certainly not that. I have no problem with a director attempting to re-invent something or bring a new twist on something, but I just can't get behind the idea of a Batman who talks like he has throat cancer, acts like he's on methadone and has about as much color and emotional swing as a cardboard blow-up doll. "Batman Returns" was the last truly great edition to the "Batman" franchise, and watching it always makes me miss just how much creativity and imagination Tim Burton brought to it. "Batman Returns" is a great comic book movie. 9/10.
Strait Killa #1: Strait Killa - added 07/25/2008, 02:37 PM
couldn't agree with you any more
Ginose #2: Ginose - added 07/26/2008, 12:38 PM
Never found Burton a terribly talented director, but this was one of his three that nearly changed my mind entirely. When he makes a good one, it's damned good.
Rik #3: Rik - added 07/27/2008, 09:12 AM
I totally agree with this review, although Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns apparently 'brought Batman back to his dark roots'. So it's really up to preference. Although I still feel that Nolan tried to hard to make it too dark. I wonder how Robin will look like when he enters Nolan's Batman. He can't possibly wear red, yellow and green right?

I still think the best Joker is from Batman: Dead End. Although he didn't get enough screentime, he looks twistedly happy and psychoic at the same time. Nolan's Joker is too depressive and psychotic. There's a reason why Joker wears purple and has green hair... to make him into a campy character.
Rik #4: Rik - added 07/28/2008, 03:30 PM
Also, gotta remember that Catwoman didn't die.
Tristan #5: Tristan - added 07/30/2008, 11:21 AM
You're right. She didn't. This franchise is dead, so why would that matter?
Rik #6: Rik - added 07/30/2008, 12:49 PM
You have a point there.
Rest Easy Soul #7: Rest Easy Soul - added 12/26/2009, 10:09 AM
It was an okay movie. Not as good as Batman but it was still good.
AttnDefDis #8: AttnDefDis - added 03/13/2011, 02:09 PM
This is my favorite Batman movie bar none. The cast was incredible and I loved the storyline. I have to say, even if the movie was total crap, Michelle Pfeiffer's performance was so captivating she could have saved the whole movie for me, but everyone was great! Michael Keaton will always be the only Batman as far as I'm concerned, Danny DeVito was born to play the Penguin and Christopher Walken was awesome too. One of the few sequels to top the original in my opinion.
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