Simply put, Batman Returns is a good movie. It follows Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) through a political and economic conflict with businessman Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) who is good but severely underused, and the Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot (Danny Devito) a malformed man whose life of growing up in a sewer has made him both animalistic and unexplainably powerful. Also joining the cast is a fantastically portrayed Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer), a mistreated secretary who gains the power of performing gymnastics in a skintight suit after an attempted murder leaves her with a traumatic brain injury, and one of the only Batman movie love interests who feels truly three-dimensional. The plot is a tangle of municipal politics, but the real driving force of the movie’s excellence is the kooky characters with whom Batman goes toe to toe. Although much darker than the first movie, Batman Returns is also fuller— everyone feels rounder as a character, more realized, entertaining, and often tragic. Burton is in his full Burtonistic element after Batman (1989), and the result is a superior and enjoyable sequel that leaves one vaguely uncomfortable but is also, to put it simply, very good. 4/5.
@crookedcrows of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

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