Batman Returns (1992)
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny Devito, Christopher Walken
If a little Michael Keaton Batman is good, more should be even better, right? I dunno. Kinda. Maybe. Sort of. Meh.
There are a lot of things to like about this movie. It's the same great Batman (same somewhat unconvincing Bruce Wayne as well) same Batmobile, same Alfred, etc. The only difference is that this time, Batman faces a couple of villains instead of just one. Michelle Pfeiffer's performance as Catwoman put her right up there with Julie Newmar and Lee Meriwether. Danny Devito also makes a terrifying and disgusting Penguin, which I guess makes it a good performance.
I like so many things about this movie, and yet there are a couple things that really bother me. 1) Why does Michelle Pfeiffer become Catwoman? I didn't understand it when I first saw this movie, and I sort of figured I'd understand when I got older. I still don't get it. She falls several stories, receives a massive blow to the noggin, and this somehow teaches her martial arts, whipcracking, and how to turn a small jacket into a full bodysuit?! I like Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman. She looks good, and she does great things with the role. Her origin story just isn't very convincing. I'm able to suspend disbelief for a lot of things, but a bump on the head does not a Catwoman make. 2) Since when would the Penguin make a decent mayoral candidate? The people of Gotham were terrified when reports of a penguin man started showing up in the papers. They were disgusted by him when he first showed his face on the surface. Even though there was a movement to humanize him, I still don't think anyone would vote for him. People didn't want to elect Richard Nixon because he looked like a weasel with flop sweat. He didn't win until he ran against the equally unattractive Hubert Humphrey. Because the Penguin looks like a freak, talks like a villain, and generally seems uncomfortable around regular people, why would anyone vote for him? His mayoral campaign is a major part of the movie, and yet it makes absolutely no sense to me.
So yeah, those two things got into my craw (whatever that is) and didn't come out. I wanted to love this move every bit as much as the first Tim Burton Batman movie, but I didn't. There's still a lot of good in it, and if you're able to make all the leaps of faith that I wasn't able to make, you'll probably enjoy it more than I did, which is not to say I didn't enjoy it. I just wanted to enjoy it more.