Batman Returns

From Academic Kids

Batman Returns, 1997 DVD cover

Batman Returns is the second Batman movie starring Michael Keaton as Batman. This time Batman has to stop Catwoman, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, Max Shreck, played by Christopher Walken, and The Penguin, played by Danny DeVito. It was released in theaters on June 19, 1992, and directed by Tim Burton. The score by Danny Elfman creates Gothic atmosphere by combining strings and children's choruses. The film is considered the darkest installment in the franchise and contains most of the artistic and fantastic elements often attributed to Tim Burton.

In 1992, as part of the publicity campaign to promote the movie, Warner Bros. produced the animated series Batman: The Animated Series. This movie, as its predecessor, was a huge success, although some fans complained it was "too weird". Film critic Leonard Maltin accused Batman Returns of being a "nasty, nihilistic, nightmare movie" with a dark, mean-spirited, and often incoherent screenplay. Today, however, a significant portion of the Batman movie fanbase regards this as one of the best films of the Batman franchise percisely because of the very qualities for which Maltin criticized it.



Missing image
Michael Keaton in Batman Returns (1992)

It is Christmas in Gotham City. A twisted penguin-man, the heir of the aristocratic Cobblepot family, abandoned to the sewers by his parents shortly after birth, is determined to regain his birthright.

"I was their number one son, but they treated me like number two." -The Penguin, after visiting his parents' graves

Max Shreck, a corrupt millionaire, wants to build a giant energy-stockpiling capacitor (disguised as a new power plant) for Gotham City as a legacy for his son to inherit, but is stymied in his goals by Bruce Wayne and the Mayor of Gotham City.

Abducted by the Penguin's Red Triangle Circus gang, Shreck agrees to help the Penguin re-enter normal society and ease his acceptance by the surface world. Once the Penguin's tragic story wins over Gotham City, Shreck encourages him to run for Mayor, confident that he can be more easily manipulated than the current Mayor to approve his "power plant".

In order to replace the current Mayor, the people of Gotham must lose faith in his ability to keep order. The Penguin's Red Triangle Circus provides the necessary emergency, with the help of Selina Kyle, Schreck's harassed secretary - nearly killed by her boss when she uncovered his plans for the capacitor and revived as Catwoman, a sexy vinyl-costumed criminal, she also has a love/hate relationship with Bruce Wayne as Selina and the Batman as Catwoman. It is left up to the Batman to stop the riots, expose Schreck's schemes, and save Selina from herself. He must also contend with the Penguin's horrific true motivations for returning to the surface world.

Box office and reaction

This $80 million movie earned nearly $163 million domestically and $104 million abroad. Although it earned less than the original, it was nevertheless the most succesful movie of Summer 1992 and third-best of the year (next to Aladdin and Home Alone 2). Critical reaction was mixed (resulting a 6.6 average in Imdb), but most consider it to be one of the best Batman sequels. Danny Elfman's music still obtained a favourable reception, and Danny De Vito and Michelle Pfeiffer created positive feedback with their chilling portrayals of the Penguin and the Catwoman. But many were still concerned about the movie's nearly black-and-white atmosphere, which was even darker than the 1989 original.


  • In an earlier version of the script, Harvey Dent was set to appear in the movie, played by the same actor as in the first movie, Billy Dee Williams. He was going to be used in the Max Shreck role, and the scarring of his face (which would turn him into the villain Two-Face) was set to happen during the finale when Catwoman kisses him while holding onto the Penguin's generator. (This would then, in turn, set up the third movie, in which Two-Face was going to appear as the main villain.)
  • This is the second time Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito were in the movie together. Their first movie was Johnny Dangerously.
  • When Michael Keaton takes off his mask to reveal to Michelle Pfeiffer that he is Batman, the scene jumps from eye shadow on Keaton to him not having eye shadow.

External links

sk:Batman sa vracia


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