Batman Returns Review
Batman Returns is the second entry in the Burton film series. It features Michael Keaton as Batman, Danny DeVito as the Penguin, and Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman.
Story: Batman Returns starts off with the Penguin's birth. It shows us what the doctor, nurse, and his very own parents felt when they first saw him: terror. Penguin wasn't a normal child, he had flippers instead of fingers, and his nose was bigger than most baby's arms. His parents had no idea what to do with him, so they threw him into the river. He spent thirty-three years in a sewer, plotting his descent from the underground of Gotham, to the city of his birth.
But Batman Returns features more than one villain. There's the Penguin, Catwoman, and Max Shreck. Catwoman is introduced later in the movie, when an unfortunate accident transformers her from a lonely, quiet secretary, to the beautiful, dangerous Selina Kyle we all know and love.
At first, Penguin's intentions seem genuine. But Bruce later discovers that he's not what he appears to be. When Oswald (Penguin) makes his debut to the rest of Gotham, he saves the mayor's son from a kidnapper, assumingly hired by the Penguin himself. He tells the press and the citizens of Gotham that all he wants is to learn more about his history. I won't spoil the movie, so that's all I'll say.
All in all, Batman Returns' story is even better than Batman '89's.
Cast: Most of the actors from Batman '89 reprise their roles in this film. Michael Keaton plays the Dark Knight, Michael Gough plays Alfred Pennyworth, and Pat Hingle as Commissioner Gordon. But that's not all. Danny DeVito takes on the role of Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot, Michelle Pfeiffer plays Catwoman/Selina Kyle, and Christopher Walken as Max Shreck.
Much like the story, the casting for this movie is top notch! Keaton continues to play the perfect Batman. Gough plays an excellent Alfred Pennyworth. Heck, we can even understand what Pat Hingle says this time around!
Danny's take on Penguin is truly stunning. I've never been a big fan of the Penguin, but Mr. DeVito has changed my mind. In Batman Returns, Penguin is a fat, ugly, disgusting white man. But boy does Danny pull it off. Not one complaint from me.
Michelle Pfeiffer is also wonderful. Catwoman wasn't always my favourite female comic book character, but Michelle's performance made me re-think that. Her nervous, lonely secretary act is well done, but it gets even better. Her Catwoman is terrific. The voice, the movement, everything! Her "bad" Selina Kyle is also a lot better than her nervous one.
Christopher Walken is a funny man, and it shows even in this film. My personal favourite Max Shreck moment is during the end. Even when he's about to die, he tells Selina that she's fired! What a guy.
Style: It's a Burton film, so you know there's going to be some unusual stuff going on here, but I like it. The Batsuit in this film is even better than the first one. The city stays the same for the most part, except for the weather. The weather is a big reason why I like this film. I'm a big Christmas guy, and seeing my favourite holiday mixed with my favourite super-hero was a wonderful thing.
All of the changes Burton made for this movie were the right ones, and I applaud him for that.
Gadgets: Gadgets didn't really play a huge role in Batman Returns, but the ones we saw sure were cool! In the beginning of the film, we get to see a remote controlled Batarang, capable of taking out multiple goons with one throw. We later get to see the usual grapnel gun, and even Batwings, used for gliding across Gotham!
The Gadgets weren't in short supply, it's just that Batman himself had very little screen time (a choice made by Keaton, actually). In each Batman scene, there was at least one cool gadget. And that's more than enough for me.
Overall: Batman Returns improves upon all of the first film's mistakes. It is my favourite Batman film ever made, and that title is well deserved. I recommend Batman Returns to everyone with an appreciation for terrific acting, beautiful scenery, and an excellent story.
Batman Returns' metric score is a 9.8/10