The Definitive Review for Batman Returns

The Definitive Review for Batman Returns

The Definitive Review for Batman Returns

The Bat, The Cat, and The Penguin

First of, Batman Returns is not connected to the comic books. The only thing that is similiar to the comics is the names of the characters. This is Tim Burton's version of Batman and you know what.... I love it! I can't believe people make such a big fuss over this movie. There is no Bat nipples, Robin, or Joel Schumacher. What's the problem? Many people I know don't care much for Batman Returns. My friends and I have had numerous debates over whether its a great movie or not.

There are three complaints I hear all the time about this movie. First, Batman is hardly in it. Second, the Penguin is disgusting and gross. And the last one is that the film is too dark. The one thing I find fault with Batman Returns is that there is too many villains. That's why I guess Batman is overshadowed. This trend will continue with the next two films (Batman Forever and Batman & Robin).

If you don't like Tim Burton's movies, you're probably not going to like this movie. I understand that it was a let down to many people after the big success of Batman 89. There were some problems during pre-production that made this film very different than its predessor. Tim Burton didn't want to make another Batman film. The studio desperately wanted him and allowed him to create his own version of Batman. Don't blame Burton, Warner Brothers is at fault here for being too greedy. They wanted more Batman films out as quickly as possible. If they didn't like the script, they should have chosen a different director that wanted to make a Batman sequel.

The original screenwriter Sam Hamm turned in a draft for this movie. I have read the screenplay online and wasn't impressed. The story had a character, who was not named the penguin, looking for treasure. The only thing in it that I liked was the return of Vicki Vale. However, the story that made it into the final film has many loopholes. When a new screenwriter came in, the whole tone of the story changed. One element that was discussed, but never used was that Max Shreck was the Penguin's brother. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I heard a rumor that Harvey Dent would have been similiar to the Max Shreck character, and when Catwoman tried to killed him, half of his face would have been burned. This would have been the creation of Two-Face. Do you think that would have been a good idea?

The ending was also changed for the film. Originally, Catwoman killed herself when she electrocuted Max. For proof of this, check out the Batman Returns novel. You will also find out what happens to the two Penguin campaign workers (the one who got his nose bit off). They end up hearing that the Riddler is in town and think about working for him.

Christopher Walken is an excellent actor and I am glad that he was in a Batman film. However, his main goal of building a power plant is never fully developed. He is the main villain of the piece, even though the character of Max Shreck is not in the comic books. He is basically a master manipulator that uses Penguin and Catwoman. Comic book artist Alex Ross even said that Walken stoled the show. As much as I like Walken, the character that made the movie so special to me, was Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman.

There is nothing bad I can say about Michelle Pfeiffer's performance as Catwoman/Selina Kyle. Besides Julie Newmar, Pfeiffer is the best Catwoman. I was so disappointed to find out that Anne Hathaway was cast as the new Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. There is no way she can top Michelle's Catwoman. What's Catwoman without the whip? I liked the way Tim Burton handled the Catwoman character. She first started off as a shy, warm hearted secretary who was abused by her boss. The only friends that cared for her was her stray cats. When she is murdered, her cats bring her back to life. This mystical aspect has divided fans of the character. Remember, this is a Tim Burton movie. When you look at it this way, this scene works. I thought it was extremely lazy when they used this scene again in the Halle Berry Catwoman movie. Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfeiffer had excellent chemistry on screen. This makes their relationship work well in the movie.

Michael Keaton is still a great Batman/Bruce Wayne. I wish he would have had a larger role in Returns. He is too good of an actor to be have limited screen time. The title Batman Returns is a little misleading. Batman never stops fighting crime, but looking at the title, you would think he quit for awhile and then suddenly "returned."

The character of the Penguin is hard to adapt for film. Again, the studios insisted that the Penguin be part of the sequel. Danny De Vito is a great Penguin, but only certain people will find him the definitive version. I loved the Burgess Meredith Penguin. I wasn't scared of the Penguin when I saw Batman Returns. He was a somewhat tragic figure. There was a great scene when the Penguin dies and is carried off into the sewer by his fellow penguins. The scene reminded me of the death of King Kong. Even though he does horrible things, you have to feel sorry for this creature.

One scene that is really dumb is when the Penguin acts like Patton and gives his speech. He actually thinks his missile bound penguins will destroy Gotham City. I wish they would have cut this scene. A darker plot point is when he tries to drown all the first born sons of Gotham. Man, this guy is angry.

Batman Returns is my personal favorite of the series. I wish the studio would have taken more time and fixed some of the problems with the script. I wonder what Batman 3 would have been had Tim Burton made it, instead of Joel Schumacher. After some disappointing Batman films, the studios wised up and done Batman justice with the Chris Nolan films.

I give Batman Returns 5 stars out of 5.

*Please comment on my review and give me your opinion. All comments are appreciated!

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