Bigger, louder, more relentlessly action-packed than its predecessor, Batman Returns batters its audience into submission. The main problems are both the lack of story and the wealth of superfluous detail in the dialogue that is sometimes barely intelligible. Precisely what the villains - Catwoman (Pfeiffer), the Penguin (DeVito) and property developer Max Shreck (Walken) - are up to, and why, is often unclear, save that they are all on some sort of power trip. Catwoman's schizophrenia, never properly explored, seems a scriptwriter's cop-out; the Penguin is merely vengeful for being consigned to the sewers at birth; and Shreck is simply a corrupt, murderous tycoon posing as Gotham's leading philanthropist. Even the epically conceived and impressively executed set pieces become wearisome after a while. If you're satisfied with stars in funny costumes playing shallow characters involved in an obscure battle to the death, fine; but if huge sets, special effects and a blaring score are not enough, it's a long haul.
Cast and crew
Daniel Waters, Wesley Strick
Cristi Conaway Christopher Walken Michael Keaton Pat Hingle Michelle Pfeiffer Vincent Schiavelli Andrew Bryniarski Michael Gough Danny DeVito Michael Murphy