Batman ’89 walked so that Batman Returns could run. For some reason this movie has a lower score than its predecessor on IMDB, and that’s just wrong; this movie is the best Batman movie. Well… the best live action Batman movie since Batman: Mask of the Phantasm still exists.
More of a spiritual successor than a direct sequel, Batman Returns features three villains: the deformed Penguin (Mr. Danny DeVito), who plans on drowning babies once his mayoral campaign falls flat; the seductive Catwoman (Ms. Michelle Pfeiffer), more driven by vengeance than a desire to actually be evil; and capitalism. Err, I mean, Max Shreck (Christopher Walken), the actual villain of the movie. He’s the one pulling all the strings and yet is often forgotten. I feel like we don’t talk enough about his plan to steal power from Gotham city–both the electric kind as well as control. Like, what? Penguin wants revenge on the society that views him to be a freak, Catwoman keeps getting killed and is really annoyed by that, and Shreck is a businessman who is evil for the sake of being evil. Some real neutral evil shit. Also Christopher Walken utters the word “poontang” which is an unforgivable offense.
I got sidetracked. Anyway, the Penguin and Catwoman team up against Batman, which falls apart when Penguin tries to kill Selina for not sleeping with him, and more so when Selina and Bruce realize who the other actually is. A foiled child abduction scheme and some penguins with rockets later, the Penguin dies, Catwoman kills Shreck, and she disappears. Batman continues the fight, but now more alone than he was before.
This is my favorite kind of romance between Batman and Catwoman, where they are drawn to each other because of how horribly fucked up they are. Would it have lasted? Probably not. Would they have had the hottest rooftop sex imaginable? Pretty sure they did that at the start of the New 52 because comic books are dumb, so absolutely. Pfeiffer is great as a meek woman pushed to her limits by every man in her life: her boss kills her, the hot guy in the rubber suit throws acid at her, and the mutant she teams up with strangles her with a flying umbrella. After being shot several times and disappearing in an electrical explosion, I think I would’ve preferred if the movie had kept it vague whether she survived or not (especially since she never returns to this segment of the franchise), but it’s still a masterful movie.
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