Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Comic book extravaganza: #8: Batman Returns

Staring: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, Vincent Schiavelli
Director: Tim Burton

Until not too long ago this was the second best Batman film until Batman Begins supplanted all the older films in the ratings. Still, this film is third of the series, but only marginally. Where as Batman Forever was “too cooky” – taking too many pages from the 60s camp version, this batman is almost too “dark.” No, stop right there, this is not one of those “Tim Burton makes dark films” conversations. They aren’t – they’re generally unique – with many of them mediocre or just plain bad. This “dark” thing came around because of the corporate whoring that placed like Hot Topic did to sell merchandise to weird emo and goth middle and high school kids. That whole “dark” thing won’t work.

What I mean by “dark” is that it seems to purposefully be grim for grimness sake – which could have been something wrong with the directing, editing or writing because the similar Batman Begins was just as grim but it had something Returns didn’t – actual hope.

Again, like the trend of the older Batman films – this was barely about Batman – most of the story was actually centered on the villains of the film. A huge misstep that only got worse by the end of the original film’s run. With the “Shumakery” of Batman complete. Villains of the film are Penguin, Catwoman, and Max Shreck (Okay we get it Christopher Walken looks like Graf Orlok in Nosferatu).

The best thing that the series did was get a reboot; still this was a pretty solid Batman, and comic book film. The music from Danny Elfman is what really saves the entire picture.

Verdict: *** ½ / *****

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