If it is summer, it must be time for superheroes. Yesterday, this column reviewed “Batman,” which was released in 1989 and was directed by Tim Burton. This was the first “Batman,” film directed by Burton. The second was “Batman Returns,” which came out in 1992
“Batman Returns” is set at Christmas time. In it, a dangerous new villain, the Penguin (played by Danny DeVito), is living in the sewers of Gotham City. As a baby, he was abandoned by his parents, who were unsettled by his unattractive appearance. After being raised by penguins rather than the affluent parents who rejected him, he is consumed by bitterness and vents his anger by blackmailing crooked businessman Max Shreck (played by Christopher Walken) into helping him get revenge. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne (played by Michael Keaton) falls for Max’s secretary, Selina Kyle (played by Michelle Pfeiffer). After she discovers evidence of his sinister side, Selina is nearly killed by Max, but she is brought back to life by cats and becomes Catwoman, who teams up with the Penguin. Batman must stop the Penguin, Catwoman, and Max.
Like the other “Batman” films, the movie looks great. Gotham City looks almost fantasy-like. Although it is made by many of the same people who did the first film, the look is a lot different as it is more industrial.
The cast is very good. Michael Keaton, as always, is impressive as both Bruce Wayne and Batman. Michelle Pfeiffer does a great job showing the different sides of Selina Kyle and Catwoman. Selina is quite timid, yet Catwoman is very aggressive. Danny DeVito is strong as the Penguin. The movie shows why he wants revenge, and he is almost sympathetic. Christopher Walken is also great as Max. We see that he is very corrupt.
“Batman Returns” is well-worth watching as it is offbeat and visually stunning.