Batman Returns Review
Synopsis:When a corrupt businessman and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman can stop them, while the Catwoman has her own agenda.
Batman Returns (1992) is an American superhero action film that is based on DC Comics character, Batman and is the second installment of Warner Bros.’ Batman film series. Michael Keaton reprised his title role of Bruce Wayne/Batman and director Tim Burton did not want to direct this movie but had a change of heart when the team agreed to give him more creative control amongst other things. Batman Returns was the last film that Tim Burton directed in the Batman film series and is the last film that leading actor Michael Keaton was featured. Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands (1990), Corpse Bride (2005), Ed Wood (1994)) did an excellent job directing and producing the film resulting in it to be a financial success, but Warner Bros. said the film had the potential of being more successful.
The movie had an estimated budget of $65 million and grossed over $266.8 million at the box office. Batman Returns opened in 2,644 theaters on its opening weekend and earned about $45.69 million making it the highest opening weekend film in 1992 at the box office up to that point. It was the third highest grossing movie in the USA of 1992 and sixth highest film worldwide. Batman Returns introduces new character Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) who is a business tycoon that teams up with Penguin (Danny DeVito) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) to take control of Gotham City.
Batman/Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton - Birdman (2014) / The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance (2014), Spotlight (2015)) battles with the Penguin, who is deformed and walks with a limp. Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot (Danny DeVito - One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Matilda (1996), L.A. Confidential (1997)) is determined to do whatever it takes to be accepted into the society of Gotham. Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer - Scarface (1983), What Lies Beneath (2000), Dark Shadows (2012)) was transitioned/transformed into Catwoman after she was thrown from a building. Selina was Max’s secretary and also discovers that she has the same disorder as Batman. Penguin gains the help of business person Max Schreck (Christopher Walken - Catch Me If You Can (2002), Wedding Crashers (2005), The Deer Hunter (1978), Pulp Fiction (1994)) who agrees to help Penguin become the new Mayor of Gotham. Penguin and Max do not like Batman and plans on exposing him so that Gotham can see him as the enemy.
Tim Burton’s visual style was magnificent and pleasing to the eyes and the way he created the consistent wicked world/atmosphere with the mixture of horror, playfulness, societal, greed deterioration and sympathy were seamless. With that said, I could have done with a less violent and dark tone - a little too much for me but not my fellow watchers. The following people came together and gave us Danny Elfman‘s musical score, Bo Welch (production designer), Stefan Czapsky‘s cinematography (crisp results) and Daniel Waters’ screenplay (sharp) an excellent movie that was dazzling and impressive. Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito, Christopher Walken and Michael Keaton gave the best performances, but the other actors also did an incredible job with their roles.
About Batman Returns (1992)
Original Title: Batman 2
Runtime: 126 minutes
Total Avg. Votes: 9
Writers: Bob Kane, Daniel Waters, Sam Hamm
Director: Tim Burton