Starrring: Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito
Director: Tim Burton
Running Time: 126 mins
Batman Returns is an American film and the sequel to Batman. At Christmas time, a corrupt businessman and a villainous madman named The Penguin attempt to take control of Gotham City, leaving only Batman to stop them. However, the arrival of the seductive Catwoman on the scene leads to complications.
Well, following on from the first film, this is an incredibly dark and gritty adaptation of Batman. In fact, it’s much darker, with even more violence, disgusting-looking characters, and sex thrown into the mix, so it really isn’t one for the kids to watch and love.
The plot isn’t necessarily darker in itself, it’s actually more formulaic, but the fact is that the overall atmosphere of the film is incredibly nasty, making this at times an almost unpleasant watch, because it is often too dark, however, it once again does the comics justice by taking the same approach, which will be music to the ears of many big fans.
Strangely, despite having this darker look at Batman, the character development for the new additions to the franchise in this film isn’t as in-depth and dark as it was in the first film. The Penguin’s back story and desire for domination of Gotham is a little more comical, whilst Catwoman’s sudden transformation from an innocent, weak woman into a seductive and powerful superhero isn’t that convincing either.
So, on the one hand, you could say that this is a less intelligent look at the characters in the Batman world, which may irritate some big comic book fans, however the fact that it is a little more formulaic opens it up to wider audiences, because it’s a lot simpler to understand.
In terms of the plot, that also takes the more generic superhero form, and although that would normally be a criticism, it seems to work better than the darker character study did in the first film. As a result, the plot is a lot faster-paced, more exhilarating, and simply a lot more fun to watch, whilst the increased action also adds to the excitement levels.
Overall, despite being an incredibly dark take on the world of Batman, this sequel might be a more accessible one to wider audiences, due to its faster-paced and simpler plot that allows for more entertainment in place of the in-depth character study in the first film, so that’s why this gets a 7.2 from me.