Batman Returns [holiday film series]

As the holidays arrive in Gotham, Batman faces threats from two sources: a disfigured orphan who grew up and devised a plan to rise to power and squash those from whom he feels wronged, and a woman whose near-death experience leaves her wanting vengeance on the man who pushed her over the edge.

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Why I Saw It: It’s the follow-up to the awesome 1989 Batman film, so I had to see it. I’m reviewing it because it’s part of the holiday film series over at Half Popped Reviews.

Rating: 7.0 out of 10
While this is unquestionably my fifth favorite Batman movie (at best, not including animated offerings), it’s still a fun time. It’s set against the Holiday season, but unlike a lot of holiday movies, it doesn’t target families. Instead it takes a look at the loneliness of its four main characters during a universally rough time of year for a lot of people.

Memorable Performances: The performance from Michael Keaton as both Bruce Wayne AND Batman declined a bit from the previous film, but he still does it better than Clooney and Kilmer. Danny Devito took Penguin places that I wouldn’t have gone, but it’s a performance that is truly unforgettable. Easily the best job of the bunch – and one of the best of any pre-Nolan Bat-films is Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman.

Favorite Parts: The scene where Selina Kyle is making her leather outfit and transforms into Catwoman was a lot of fun, especially with the subtle touch of Tim Burton destroying part of the “HELLO THERE” sign to become “HELL HERE”. The attack of the clowns and Batman showing up was a good action sequence, featuring an enjoyable spot where Batman shoots an anchored-line into the wall next to a clown, then pulls it back towards him, taking out the thug in the process. The end of the film, with Catwoman going through the concept of her 9 Lives, is very clever.

The Regrettable Aspects: The way The Penguin was portrayed, as something just short of a monster, was disappointing. His hands were one thing, but the way he ate and snarled gave him a ferocity that they don’t take much advantage of later in the film.

Would I watch it again? I watch it every couple years, and although it doesn’t have to happen during the holidays, it is my favorite time of year to watch it.

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