Having defeated the Joker, Batman now faces the Penguin - a warped and deformed individual who is intent on being accepted into Gotham society. Crooked businessman Max Schreck is coerced into helping him become Mayor of Gotham and they both attempt to expose Batman in a different light. Earlier however, Selina Kyle, Max's secretary, is thrown from the top of a building and is transformed into Catwoman - a mysterious figure who has the same personality disorder as Batman. Batman must attempt to clear his name, all the time deciding just what must be done with the Catwoman. Written by
Graeme Roy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As a life-long mega Bat-fan, I thought that Batman Returns did the best job (of all four films) of portraying the Dark Knight. Sure, the 1989's Batman was great, but it was lopsided; it might as well have been called "Joker" considering the focus of the film. Batman Returns allowed us a better look at Batman/Bruce Wayne himself, who was little more than an imposing supporting cast member in the first film; I loved Jack Nicholson's over-the-top performance, but THIS fanboy wanted more of the Caped Crusader in the film. Batman Returns gave us that and more...we got Batman/Bruce character development, the AWESOME give-and-take between Batman and Catwoman (one of the strangest courtships in comics), and Burton even tossed us a little bit of fun, dark humor with Shreck and the Penguin. Everyone's performances maintained consistent characterizations that came across beautifully as both mad and tragic; Keaton was subtly psychotic, Pfeiffer was fatally seductive, Walken was deliciously megalomaniacal, and DeVito was unwaveringly grotesque. Everyone pulled off their characters with gusto and memorable appeal. Though not as dark and gritty as the first film, "Returns" captured the subtle madness that permeates Gotham City. When you compare "Returns" to the other Batman films, it is easy to see that it gives Batman's world the touch of underlying insanity (as only Burton can capture) that the first film lacked (where was the Joker's twisted sense of humor?) and the last two increasingly turned into the Three Stooges ("Chicks dig the car"!?!). Batman Returns excelled in that it was a dark, disturbingly insane portrait of Batman and Gotham City; a film that carefully balances on the fine line where and darkness and madness meet. For those movie lovers brave enough to try walking that line, I recommend this film.
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