Joan B. (ReelDeal) from N HOLLYWOOD, CA Reviewed on 10/28/2008...
What more can you say about this movie than:
HOLY MICHELLE PFEIFFER, BATMAN!!!!!!
2 of 8 member(s) found this review helpful.
Superior Sequel to "Batman"
Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 09/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Though not recommended for viewing by children under 10, "Batman Returns" is a definite improvement over the 1989 blockbuster. It's obvious that director Tim Burton had more creative freedom this time around. The result is a genuine vision behind the camera rather than filmmaking-by-committee. Admittedly, the 1992 sequel is a dark, strikingly mature fantasy-adventure with three iconic psychopaths - Batman, Catwoman and the Penguin - sharing screen time. However, it is the disturbing characterizations that make "Batman Returns" a standout among mainstream comic-book adaptations. The production design and special effects should have garnered Oscars, while the performances of Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito and Christopher Walken mesh perfectly with the expressionist surroundings. One wishes that Burton and Keaton had reunited for a third Dark Knight saga. Instead, Warner Bros. handed over the reins to schlockmeister Joel Schumacher, who drove the series into the ground with "Batman Forever" (1995) and "Batman and Robin" (1997). No wonder Keaton hung up his cowl."
A dark and totally wicked classic.
Distant Voyageur | Io | 07/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Dark Knight Bruce Wayne/Batman makes a roaring return in the second outing in the legendary Batman trilogy in a darker & much colder undertone with the mysterious hero now up against two menacing villains. One is a corrupt company CEO named Max Schrek (Christopher Walken) and the other is a deformed murderer named Oswald Cobblepot aka Penguin. A third rival character in this movie is difficult to categorize as a villain or a hero. That is the twisted seductive Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer). Although I don't categorize her as a dangerous murderess, it's very difficult to really say if she's truly a villainess but it's easy to say that she isn't exactly the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of heroism but on the other hand, she's an extremely complex character whose eccentric personality renders one unable to help but really pay a lot of attention to her. The movie begins in the cold snowy & remote stretches of a haunted mansion somewhere I'm guessing in upper New York state where a couple are the parents of a young but very odd child. The oddness of the child becomes highly evident after he pulls a cat into his cage and presumably killing it. Unable to handle the psychological burden of raising him, the Cobblepots toss him in his crib into the river and flee into the unknown. Many years later on, Cobblepot also known as the Penguin, runs in the election for the next mayor of Gotham City. The citizens though are unaware that he's actually plotting against the population and is in fact plotting to take over the city and kidnap the city's children. Meanwhile, The Penguin attracts the attention of a corrupt corporate CEO named Max Schrek (Christopher Walken), who wants to team up with him against `both' Bruce Wayne, and Batman, considering how much "they" oppose his plans for a toxic waste power plant. Schrek on the other hand also has to deal with a more vicious foe, and that is Catwoman, formerly Selina Kyle, a former employee who he had abused and tried to kill, and she is now out for revenge against him and also for competition against Batman. Now, with three major foes butting heads against him, Batman now has a dauntingly dangerous mission to stop the three from causing havoc and destruction across Gotham City and protect the citizens. All of the cast in this movie are superb beyond any words that I can muster up. Michael Keaton IS Bruce Wayne/Batman. Neither George Clooney, nor Val Kilmer (No offense to them. They did well too) could compete against Keaton in the role as the dark Knight Batman. Danny DeVito brings a truly chilling acting role that is worthy of remembrance with the deformed Penguin. Michelle Pfeiffer brings the odd and often extremely complex character Catwoman to life. Christopher Walken is totally awesome playing the corrupt CEO of the Schrek Corporation. Michael Gough is absolutely brilliant as Bruce Wayne's/Batman's caretaker and aide, Alfred and is the only one who I felt kept all of the talent of his acting intact throughout the entire movie series. Combine the brilliant cast with a dark and truly foreboding atmosphere, and you have what I considered Tim Burton's crowning achievement at this point in his career (Before he outdid himself with "The Nightmare Before Christmas") I can easily remember how this movie seemed to shape this period in my life around late 1992 and early 1993 and now in its 11th year of existence, "Batman Returns" has lost none of it's power and continues to be a thought-provoking masterpiece. Tim Burton did stunningly well on the first Batman movie from 1989, but he blew me away with "Batman Returns". Although it may sound like "Returns" is better than the first one, it's actually a tight toss-up between the two movies. The first one has a more fun atmosphere combined with a dramatic overtone to it. The second one, has a much darker, much colder, and more bleak atmosphere. The two perfectly complement each other so well that one's movie collection would be incomplete without them. Although I thought "Batman Forever" was a great follow-up, the more flashy direction that the movie saga went into would sadly go in a nosedive, sacrificing the drama, thoughtful plot, and intelligent dialogue, for excessive hodgepodges of colors and excessive flamboyance, ultimately killing the movie series with the campy, god-awful P.O.S. that was "Batman And Robin". Even to this day, I still cannot believe that the Batman series went from the dark, brooding, drama of "Batman" and "Batman Returns", and even the fun of "Batman Forever", down to just lowlife cinematic sewage that was "Batman & Robin". I just hope that Batman will recover soon and someday in the future, bring back the dark undertones that defined this incredible movie. Perhaps it was the stupidity of the entertainment industry at the time that they were disturbed at the `failure' of "Batman Returns" with "only" 280M dollars at the box office. I mean come on! 280M is HUGE! That's far fram a failure. It was when they turned Gotham City into a giant circus that caused the franchise to fail later on. It might have also been the stupidity of a large part of the audience that caused the franchise to die off later on after this movie. Of course for me, I was loving this movie when I was just ten years old when it came out, and loved far more than I `enjoyed' "Batman & Robin" when I was 14 when that came out. Even with all this I'm writing with this review, there's so much more from this movie that I can be able to explain with this review. The series would take a nosedive into campy oblivion later on in time but for me, give me the dark, dramatic, thought-provoking, and depth of "Batman Returns" anytime over the MGM grand flashy colors of "Batman & Robin"."
TIM BURTON'S VERTIGO... THIS MOVIE'S THE MOST INSPIRING MOVI
V. Parra | Dallas, TX (Garland) | 09/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"BATMAN RETURNS is the best piece of film work I've ever been witness to. It might be that it's only my personal taste but I don't care. I stand by my statements. When it was first released it got a lot of negative reviews, but just like Hitchcock's VERTIGO, it has garnered second opinions from many critics. This might in turn become Tim Burton's Vertigo. The writing is incredible for it's genre. The characters are so complex and so well played. Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman is the best to date. She has been quoted in saying that her part as Catwoman was the hardest roll she ever played. That she had to go through the script and meticulously outline what Selina Kyle's state of mind had to be. I have absolutely no idea how she missed a nomination for an Academy Award. Danny Devito does a beautifully gory interpretation of the penguin. Christopher Walken is awesome as the sort of the fun-house version of Donald Trump and I love to hate him. Michael Keaton's Batman isn't shown as much but Keaton still has him nailed. The chemistry created between each character is one thing that makes this movie so amazing. It's the tension between them that creates such realism in a surreal made-up world. Especially in my absolute favorite scene when Bruce and Selina find out who each other's opposite identity really is. It's not a coincidence that Rick James' "Super Freak" plays in the background. There are a lot of underlying themes in this movie that one can sit and think about. I think the writer was trying to say something about those times and about society. It's hard to put a finger on, but I know it's there. One complaint that most have of this movie is the lack of action. That's what I can warn about is the lack of action. This is like the Soup Opera of all comic book movies, and if all you want is action in your movies than you might as well go blow your head off cuz this world can't make much use of you. Anyway I could go on and on about the greatness of this movie, but I need to get back to MY life. So if you have a thoughtful head on your shoulders watch this movie and if all you like is your action go to K-mart and buy yourself a shinny new rifle."
The "French flipper trick"
Blake Kleiner | Troy, Michigan United States | 03/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Oh, this movie is so sad! It really is! This is a fantastic movie simply because it isn't afraid to be all of the other things that the original "Batman" was, also: Funny, exciting, thrilling, haunting, dark, romantic, and endlessly clever. It also features three terrific performances from the three leads; Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight (Bruce Wayne), Michelle Pfeiffer looking hot as ever as the sleek and smooth Catwoman (Selena Kyle), and Danny Devito as the diabolically demonic Penguin (Oswald Cobblepot). And we can never forget Christopher Walken, playing Max Schreck (yeah, just like the guy who played Nosferatu), who is quite the fiend.The film opens with a rather heartbreaking scene that sets the tone for the entire movie, which takes the lightheartedness of the Joker character in the original and tosses it right out the window. Instead, we have the emotionally scarred darkness of the Penguin, who was literally sent up the river like Baby Moses in a covered wicker baby basket on Christmas Eve simply because he wasn't a normal child born with five fingers instead of the shiny flippers he has extending from his wrists. Despite his ghastly, unsightly appearence and mangled people skills, we sympathize with the Penguin's plight simply because we would never wish what happened to him on our worst enemy. Sure, being sent up the river worked out fine for Moses, but Penguin is no Moses, and he is not on a mission from God. He's on a mission for a simple reason: Revenge. Revenge of biblical proportions by kidnapping every first born child in Gotham City, in honor of his own castaway status on Christmas Eve, more than 30 years prior. Meanwhile, we have the newly resurrected-from-cat-saliva Selena Kyle, who decides to try on a skintight vinyl suit with a whip draped around her feminine feline torso, desperate to avenge her "death" at the hands of her boss, Schreck. And amongst it all, Bruce Wayne is in love with Selena Kyle and trying to shut down the blatantly illegal operations of Schreck, trying to connect him to the Penguin, who he theorizes runs the Red Triangle Gang that terrorizes the streets. His hands are quite full as Batman, too: He is trying to stop Catwoman, is unaware of Selena's murder at the hands of Schreck, he knows that Penguin is up to something but can't prove it, and he is being framed. It's an amazingly confusing plot to explain, but it all works seamlessly through the carefully constructed pace of the film, for which I credit Tim Burton, whose direction is flawless, as usual. He keeps the characters interesting while making sure the background is just as visually stunning as Pfeiffer in that catsuit."Batman Returns" may take a few viewings to totally appreciate it, but you're astounded a little more each time. It's one of the best comic book movies ever made."
The Dark Knight Returns
J. Victor | Long Island NY | 03/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Batman Returns is very much a Tim Burton film. It is a stranger and darker film than Batman, netherless it is a striking film on several levels. Michael Keaton returns as the stoic and haunted Dark Knight. Danny DeVito is Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin. In the comic book he's a short rotund man who has an affinity for birds and umbrellas. The character is reinvented here. Born grotesquely disfigured, as an infant, he's cast into the river where he's brought up in a criminal circus gang that lives underground in an abandoned Zoo. Michelle Pfeffer is Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, a beautiful yet mousy secretary who's been pushed too far (of a window) and is out for some serious payback.These three disturbed characters make this Batman film more adult oriented than the first one. DeVito's Penguin is a tragic figure but is very evil and is looking to strike back at Gotham City any way he can. The grotesque make-up is impressive and DeVito delivers a powerful performance. Michelle Pfeffer is haunting as the mousy secretary who is pushed over the edge and finds herself battling with her new alter ego Catwoman. A nice chemistry is struck between Keaton & Pfeffer as the conflicted couple. Christopher Walken is on hand as the manipulative and power hungry businessman Max Shreck. Michael Gough returns as Alfred the butler as well.The stunning production design by Bo Welch extends the look from the previous film and Danny Elfman's score is a bit more subdued but retains the perfect atmosphere. The story is solid but the plotline regarding the circus gang is thin. Batman Returns isn't a film for small kids either. Between the overall look of the characters and some racy dialogue, this is a Batman film for more of a mature audience. If you're a fan of the first film, you'll enjoy this Batman film that has a few new twists to it."