Monday, July 16, 2012
Batman Returns (Tim Burton, 1992) Review
It's Christmas time (no, seriously...this is a Christmas film!) and Gotham City is all set and ready to celebrate. and business owner Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) is ready to give a speech to Gotham (he owns department stores...or something) but just before things are finished, a gang of clowns attack Gotham and raid the place (I assure, the Joker is dead by this point so it's not him...)! Naturally, Batman (Michael Keaton) is on the case. After Gotham recovers, Oswald Cobblepot (Danny DeVito), who goes by the name of 'Penguin' because of his deformed appearance and being brought up by penguins (context), manages to win over Gotham so he can set up a scheme to get revenge for his abandonment as a child. Meanwhile, after being 'let go' (if that's what you call it), Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer) decides to get revenge on her boss who *ahem* 'let her go' by taking on the persona Catwoman.
I'll just throw this out here, Batman Returns is not as good as the first one. I think what I love about the first one was Jack Nicholson as The Joker and, while I give the next villain a chance to try and be better, the Penguin just isn't as good as The Joker...in ANY form. It's hard to top The Joker (Good luck Bane). This isn't a problem though since he's a new version of a Penguin, never seen before (no more of the top hat wearing RAH RAH RAH Penguin) and it's good to see Burton do his own take on things. Catwoman is great in this film. That's all. I just anticipate to see how well Anne Hathaway does. Again, Michael Keaton is still great as Batman and is arguable the best around. The relationship between Batman and Catwoman is great because they both have their secret identities and the great scene in the ballroom where their the only ones NOT wearing masks is well done.
The reason this one isn't as good as the first one is because it pinpoints where the series started it's decline into child friendly...ness...as alot of the darkness from the first film is taken away. Sure, it's still dark (my God, the final battle was violent) but things such as The Penguin riding a giant duck (errrrr) or using clowns as henchmen (WRONG VILLAIN, GUYS!) but really, this was expected with The Penguin seeing as he is a somewhat childish villain (a short, fat guy who uses umbrellas and penguins to kill people) but in forms of media such as this, the animated series and Arkham City, he is made more mature and it's a good thing. Is that a dark scene I see? Get used to it, they'll be gone until 2005 by this point...
Batman Returns is the last great Batman film until Batman Begins so give it credit for that even if you didn't like it. Batman was a tough act to follow but it did alright. Sure it wasn't as good but it was still holds up as a good film that recreates characters like The Penguin but a lot of the darkness was taken out and was starting to turn the Batman film franchise into a more child friendly series. See you tomorrow for Batman Begins. Yup, that's the next one. There totally wasn't two other films that were critically panned because they destroyed the franchise and almost killed it once and for all nor did they feature three of my favourite villains and ruin them....HEEEEEEEEEELP!!!!
A good sequel that, while not as good as the first, still holds up as a good film that recreates classic characters very well.