Batman Returns

Release Date: 6/19/1992 – Rated PG-13

Starring: Micheal Keaton (Gung Ho), Danny DeVito (Throw Momma from the Train), Paul Reubens (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)

Plot Summary:  The citizens of Gotham City are being terrorized by the Circus Gang.  As the gang attacks a Christmas festival, the Dark Knight shows up and kicks some clown ass.  The attack is just a diversion to kidnap business Max Schreck, and he is taken to the lair of the mysterious Penguin.  The Penguin blackmails Schreck into helping him return to the surface and find his birth parents.  Schreck returns to his office to find his secretary, Selina Kyle, working late.  Max, who had a bit of a rough night, gets suspicious and pushes her out of a window; she is soon surrounded on the ground by a group of feral cats who nibble on her like a fresh trout.  She awakens changed from the shy doormat she was, to an outgoing and dangerous vigilante, who adopts the name of Catwoman.

Meanwhile the Penguin arranges the kidnapping of the mayor’s baby, so that he can save it and become a hero and win the public’s favor.  He plans, with the help of Schreck, to run for mayor himself.  While swimming through his money like Scrooge McDuck, Bruce Wayne realizes something is not right… besides that there is a fat man with flippers for hands.  Catwoman and the Penguin team up and cause some issues for Bats, while Bruce falls for Selina; all the while Batman and Catwoman have been flirting.  As much as you can flirt by kicking each other’s ass and throwing the other on and  off of buildings.  The Penguin, with his new-found fame, has planned for his circus freaks and a group of armed penguins to kidnap and/or kill all of the first-born of Gotham’s elite.  Batman must stop The Penguin and at the same time contend with Catwoman who has discovered Bats’ true identity.   

Alex’s Thoughts:  After Dark Knight this is my favorite batman movie, and I like them all; even the way crappy Kilmer and Clooney ones have small amounts of redeeming values to me.  This movie, like the first one, is darker than the following sequels and is closer to the more recent Batman comics.   DeVito is a great villain and I couldn’t think of anyone else to play that role, even today; and Christopher Walken is great and crazy as always.  With the exception of Bruce Wayne acting like a DJ, there is nothing I don’t like about this movie.  This is Tim Burton doing what he does best!

Tim’s Thoughts: I am so torn with this movie, I love the portrayals of all the characters, and Walken is always awesome, but there were times where I felt that this may be one of the most indulgent Tim Burton movies. I really think at this point they were just letting him do whatever he wanted, which is kind of true considering that he only agreed to the project when he got to rewrite the script. At times I hated the way they changed Penguin and Catwoman, but they are so much fun to watch. Not to mention that for me there’s never enough Batman, I needed more Micheal Keaton, ( I am biased, I think he’s an awesome actor that needs to be in more movies.) I think the movie’s too long, and the midgets in penguin suits for the very end made me laugh out loud. I couldn’t watch this over and over anymore, but it’s still better than the Kilmer/Clooney Batmans. (I agree with Alex that they all have redeeming qualities, just not the nipples on the Batsuit.)

Final Thoughts: This is the Batman film that lands somewhere between the new re-boots, with their stylized cinema, and the campy original Batman: The Movie with Adam West.  It’s a good time, and there are enough good things about it to entertain the gambit from hardcore fanboys to your Grandma Gertrude, that kooky, old, racist bitch that she is.

Alex Rates This Movie 9/10

Tim Rates This Movie 7/10

“You’re just jealous, because I’m a genuine freak and you have to wear a mask.”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue