Skip to main contents
Darren says

This movie is a bit of a dark, disgusting and campy affair at times, but holds true to Burton's original vision.

Tym says

Far better than BATMAN; a dark poetry, especially in the intro and with Catwoman.

Ciaran says

Beautiful to look at but hated the Penguin and it was a waste of Christopher Walken.

The guy who messed it up gets it right, sort of, by accident.

Tim Burton's best works—Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, and Big Fish—came from being personally invested in the material. But he had no experience or empathy with Batman comics. His first Batman film was thus rife with problems, but its success bought him the clout to rethink it, out from under studio control.

This superior sequel operates on strengths. Where the first was clumsy and cloddish, this one is fleet and fervent. Turgid murk has now become elegant and even beautiful. And the dreary wooze is now instead fervored with brisk focus.

Burton still doesn't understand Bruce Wayne, who's still too adrift, uneven, off-synch. But he gets it right despite himself via Catwoman. This is not the real Selina Kyle either. But this alternate take (sinfully played by Michelle Pfieffer) is edgy, conflicted, brutal, and downright scary. She is an unhinged demon in the night who can hurt you. She is, in fact, how The Batman should make you feel. She steals the film from an earnest but hollow Batman, and a Penguin so far gone that he is legitimately disturbing. (But it wouldn't be till 2008 that audiences met the real Selina Kyle as she was intended.)

Despite some missteps {the unnecessary Christopher Walken, the snubbing of Two-Face/Billy Dee WIlliams for the second film, a claustrophobic feel}, Burton synthsesizes style and enough substance this time for a better film. It begins poetic and poignant, builds through edgy interplay, and ends with epic severity. Even if Burton still doesn't really know the material, his goth opera instincts at last intersect with it enough for a more satisfying simulacrum.

(The success of this film opened the door for Bruce Timm's animated series, which would do more to reveal the correct DC universe to the screen than anything in history.)