Seven Bats on Film
If my memory serves, the only post on the Batman films is my review of The Dark Knight Rises. I recently had the chance to rewatch the first two Batman films, Batman and Batman Returns. I originally thought that I preferred those two films to the other five. But now, I don’t think so.
Don’t get me wrong. The first two Bat films are far superior to the third and fourth films. I mean seriously, Batman Forever is okay but ridiculous and Batman and Robin is just unwatchable.
But compare the Burton Duology to the Nolan Trilogy. Perhaps the Burton films rose in my estimation given the fact that I haven’t seen them in a decade or more. Was my high estimation of the two films based solely on nostalgia and memory?
Well, I certainly think that is the case with Batman Returns. Rewatching after so long, I found that film to not really hold up. Especially when compared to The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Why?
Well, time to compare Catwoman to Catwoman. Let me be clear: Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle/ Catwoman is far, far superior a character compared to Michelle Pfeiffer’s Selina Kyle/ Catwoman. Where BR’s Catwoman struggles to assume a stronger position (and is undercut by the hints that Catwoman is a “freak”), TDKR’s Catwoman has a subtle strength. That she can kick ass without becoming “abnormal” is so much more satisfying.
And overall, I’m finding that Batman Returns does not hold up very well in terms of plot. Penguin’s machinations, though numerous, always fail. Despite the illusion of a threat, he really isn’t. I mean, Batman defeats him quickly in each engagement.
And really, it takes months for recall and political elections to occur. And Batman Returns only lasts a week or two at most.
I am disappointed that I’m not loving this film as much any more.
So what about Batman? I don’t know anymore which Joker I prefer. To a degree, I almost want to say that I’m leaning more towards Ledger’s Joker. But, it has been years since I’ve seen the first two Nolan films, too.
Maybe I should take the time to watch them again.