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Review Batman Returns (1992)

genre: action, adventure, crime, comic book, fantasy

Batman Returns is a movie I was wanting to re watch for a long time now since the Arkham games and now the new show Gotham. In every discussion you can think of that concerns Batman, Batman Returns is very prominent. And I do remember that this was my favourite film for a while and had watched it almost yearly when I was younger. But now somewhat years later, do I feel the same?

And to answer my question right away. No, I don't feel the same. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. The problem with Batman Returns is that it is almost a very standalone film. It does feature known and established characters from the DC Comics, but it tells its own alternative tale where Batman is a side character with prominence only not very present. Which for me personally is a letdown. I was never really fond of Danny DeVito as The Penguin. When I was younger, I think I was swept away by the Tim Burton style that was hard to ignore, and it seemed more like a Christmas film than a comic book adaptation. In that context, The Penguin fitted nicely. But seeing how the focus of Batman Returns was more about him and other villains now, it does not work as well. If not for Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle / Catwoman. Without a doubt she was the highlight of the film and a real shame she was not in it a little more. For me, she did approach the characters as good as she could. And she was definitely super sexy. You just could not take your eyes off her and her antics. I am not that fond of Michelle Pfeiffer as an actress. But in this she is a scene stealer through and through. I would have loved to see her reprise her role as Catwoman. 

Christopher Walken is Christopher Walken. When does he disappoint? The first times I saw Batman Returns I though it was quite spectacular. Now I don't think it is. It is incredibly visually appealing and very stylish. But almost lacking real substance to back them up. While it still featured some nice action for me it simply was not satisfying any more. Let's face it. Most of the appeal of Batman is seeing the caped crusader kicking butt. 

Overall Batman Returns is a wonderful dark fantasy film. As a Batman film it's not so good. Batman should never be a side character in one of his own movies. That's just unforgivable. 

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