Batman Returns is a 1992 superhero film starring Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michael Gough, Christopher Walken, and Michelle Pfeiffer. It is a sequel to the 1989 hit film Batman. The film was directed by Tim Burton.
Sometime after the events of the first film, Bruce Wayne/Batman finds out about a criminal named Oswald Cobblepot (Danny DeVito), known by many people as "The Penguin" due to his short stature. Bruce also meets up with a woman named Selina Kyle, better known by most residents of Gotham City as "Catwoman" due to her outfit.
Why It Rocks
- Michael Keaton returns as the title character Batman, and he is more powerful than he was in the first movie.
- Danny DeVito was an amazing choice to play The Penguin. Not only that but Michelle Pfeiffer also made an excellent Catwoman.
- The film's dark tone works pretty well (despite some a bit of flaw in this film See BQ#2), and manages to actually be even darker than The Dark Knight (depending on your opinion).
- The villains are extremely faithful to the source material.
- The setting of Gothman City during wintertime is well-done, as it stays faithful to the winter season. Not only that, but the idea of a darker tone Batman film taking place around Christmas time is very nifty.
- Tim Burton returns as director and his direction is sturdy as ever compared to its predecessor due to him getting more creative control from Warner Bros..
- You gotta admit, I played this stinkin' city like a harp from hell!
- Danny Elfman's amazing score is used again, and his soundtrack is even darker, depressing, and maybe better than his soundtrack from the first film.
- Great production design, especially Catwoman's apartment, and The Penguin's lair.
- The Penguin's minions are very diverse as well as the penguins depicted are a mix of animatronics, puppetry, actors in costumes, and even real ones.
- The idea of bombs strapped to penguins is both interesting and creative.
- Despite its depressing atmosphere, it's very appropriate and also because it doesn't take itself too seriously.
- The ending is very heartwarming to watch, just after the Penguin is killed, Bruce finds a black cat from Catwoman and he goes back to his car.
- Plot hole: Just like with Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Batman never clears his name at least onscreen by the end of the film, but he is still contacted through the Bat-signal.
- The tone can be a bit rather inconsistent. Despite being considered one of the darkest Batman movies, there are a few campy moments, such as Batman fighting with Penguin's circus freak army who all act pretty goofy and silly, Penguin's rocket-launching penguins, and Penguin driving around in a giant duck vehicle. However, this might be intentional considering Tim Burton's trademark style and the attempts to balance out the dark tone with some levity, although it is still kind of jarring.
- Just like the previous film, the Arkham Asylum is still absent here and it was never mentioned.
Batman Returns received even more positive reviews from critics and audiences than the previous film, and the film currently holds an 80% "Certified fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 6.7 out of 10 and a critic consensus that reads "Director Tim Burton's dark, brooding atmosphere, Michael Keaton's work as the tormented hero, and the flawless casting of Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Christopher Walken as, well, Christopher Walken make the sequel better than the first." Despite the positive reception from critics and audiences, the film was met with criticism from moral guardians for its darker and more violent tone.
Batman Returns went straight to #1 on its opening weekend, grossing $45,687,711 domestically. It would later make a total domestic gross of $162,831,698. In foreign countries, it grossed $103,990,656. Overall, Batman Returns made $266,822,354 against its $80 million budget.
Awards and nominations
Batman Returns was nominated for 2 Academy Awards, including Best Visual Effects. It did, however, manage to win a BMI Film & TV Award for Best Music.