Bat­man Re­turns (1992)

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT -

“I was their num­ber 1 son, and they treated me like num­ber 2.”

— The Pen­guin (Danny De Vito) re­calls his tragic child­hood.

Tim Bur­ton and Michael Keaton re­turned to the fran­chise with Michelle Pfeif­fer as Cat­woman and Danny De Vito as a de­formed, bile-spew­ing Pen­guin. Bur­ton gets bib­li­cal: The Pen­guin, re­jected in his in­fancy by his wealthy par­ents, wants to re­venge him­self on Gotham City by claim­ing ev­ery first-born child, even as he runs for po­lit­i­cal of­fice. Mean­while, Michelle Pfeif­fer’s punk­ish Cat­woman pings kinky as she trades blows and provoca­tive glances with Bat­man. The se­quel was so ex­ces­sive in style and tone, Bur­ton didn’t have any­where else to take the hero, which un­for­tu­nately led to the fran­chise be­ing placed in un­wor­thy hands ... Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger was top-billed as Mr. Freeze, bur­bling one hor­ri­ble pun af­ter an­other (“Ice to meet you”) while the vel­vet-voiced Ge­orge Clooney seemed com­pletely at a loss as he was squeezed into his fetishis­tic rub­bernip­pled bat­suit. If Robin was an un­wel­come ad­di­tion in the pre­vi­ous film, the ad­di­tion of Batgirl (Ali­cia Sil­ver­stone) was pos­i­tively groan-in­duc­ing. The best thing that can be said for it is that it gave Clooney a wealth of self­mock­ing com­edy ma­te­rial for years to come.

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