The Batman Returns, but not the Legend
Directed by: Tim Burton
Starring: Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Danny DeVito, Pat Hingle, and Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth.
Without a doubt, a sequel to burton's successful adaptation of 1989 would be made. It's darker, sadder, uglier, and doesn't quite make it as much as its predecessor, despite popular belief. Born a disfigured modern day elephant man, Oswald Cobblepot, known better as Penguin is abandoned into the sewers of Gotham by his parents. For the rich and famous, status and image is the most important element. What would happen if they were to be seen with a monster for a son?
It doesn't seem like there has been much to worry about in the streets of Gotham since the events caused by the Joker until he met his untimely death. Now, present day Gotham, a new evil surfaces with a plot to turn Gotham against Batman, and become the new leader of the free gothamites. Who do we thank for giving a positive image to such a grotesque creature? Max Shreck (Walken), a corporate tycoon with a plan to create a power plant for the Gotham of the future. However, there's always a dark side to men like this: hiding the truth behind your company, skeletons in the closet, taking out the small fry. Who knew villains could blackmail from beneath a cesspool. We get the origin of Penguin, and the origin of one Selina Kyle. Over the years, her origin has been simple. An orphan that did what she could in the streets to survive, only to one day train herself and acquire an alter ego to steal from the rich and for her own personal gain. Occasionally, she would have a relationship with Batman, and even sometimes raw romanticism.
Selina Kyle gets a superhuman origin, from a book worm nervous wreck assistant to an irresistible vixen. In my opinion, she's better looking in Wolf than in this production. Her only goal is vengeance towards Max Shreck for throwing her out a window to keep all his dirty secrets buried. After being bitten by every hobo cat in Gotham, she awakens with text book 9 lives and a sexual appetites. Some might say it's the purrfect combination. Like Bruce Wayne, she has a second personality. In the night, when she wears her cowl, she lets herself go, and acts like the woman that was buried within her soul. Bruce is allured by this strange creature. His first female adversary, and one clever enough to outwit him dozens of time in a hand to hand combat. They tend to understand each other. Michelle and Keaton play off each other like ebony and ivory.
The only problem is Oswald. We're supposed to feel sad for a character who was never loved by his parents and in turn, takes it out on the city that gave birth to his ugliness. I guess you could feel bad, but not if he's going to threaten Gotham with penguins strapped to explosives. Really Burton? Penguins? That's a star down the drain. I guess you can compare Penguin and Batman. They are both men who want nothing more than to have their parents in arms and decided to have a tantrum to handle their frustration in their own right. Penguin is dark beurocracy. I remember a doc*mentary compoaring him to batman, that if Bruce Wayne ever crossed the line beyond his methodology, he would be no better than the men is locked away in Arkham.
I wasn't truly able to understand Oswald when I was a kid. Nor did I find his black muk drools appealing at all. I swear, thumbs up for the make up department. Hey, I've sat through Human Centipede, but as a kid, you aren't as prepared as you thought. Guess that's why my dad ignores this sequel. Regardless, the performance delivered by DeVito is almost perfect. He's a classic for me since Twins, Hercules, Matilda and Jr. I always found Selina to be immortal after taking 5 bullets to the chest like a champ. as you grow up, it all clicks. Some of the action is a bit sillier than you would imagine. A few sequences overly dramatic here and there. Penguins adoptive family/ henchman felt more like a loan from Joker than followers. But like the three men, they have a thing for the theatrics.
One crucial point made in this sequel is how married Mr. Wayne is to his alter ego. When he's called to action for the first time, he is seen in his mansion, in a dark room, doing nothing but what seems like impatient meditation. When the bat signal is lit, he snaps back into reality. He has a purpose than being a wealthy american. He is Batman, and will never be rid of his curse.
Overall, a fun sequel to look at in a marathon, but fails to surpass its predecessor.
Written by: Bawnian©-Dexeus.