This is from theguardian.com
Thirty years ago, audiences came out in droves to see an over-the-top political satire about the mayoral campaign of a disgusting sewer mutant - a movie that also doubled as an oddball romantic comedy
about two weirdos with mask fetishes, trading blows and spit in a snowglobe metropolis. Hindsight has a way of turning every box-office sensation into a curious time capsule, letting us gawk at the strange
attractions that used to put butts in seats. But through the lens of the modern blockbuster machine, and the reigning superhero-industrial complex that powers it, Batman Returns looks like a true anomaly,
as weird and horny and maybe personal as mega-budget Hollywood spectacles get.
It's certainly a more idiosyncratic movie than its predecessor, Tim Burton's record-breaking popcorn sensation Batman, released to teeming, cheering crowds in the summer of 1989. To lure Burton back to the
world of the caped crusader, Warner Bros had to offer him greater creative control over the sequel. The director exercised it from top to bottom. In place of the original's art deco noir aesthetic, Batman
Returns goes full baroque fairytale. When the camera swoops like a creature of the night through the twisted architecture of the Gotham Zoo, it's clear we're fully in Burtonville, previous home to
wisecracking prankster apparitions and lonely hairdressing androids.
With Batman Returns, Burton turned Gotham into the
biggest of big tops, terrorized by a gang of criminal carnies and populated by freaks on both sides of the hero/villain divide. That includes billionaire vigilante Bruce Wayne, ostensible hero of the
movie, who at one point likens himself to Norman Bates or Ted Bundy, serial killers with split personalities or secret pastimes.
Bruce's problems are doubled, his screen-time halved. Just about everyone agrees that Jack Nicholson's Joker stole the first Batman. The second surrenders the spotlight to the rogues' gallery immediately,
depriving Keaton of any dialogue for the opening half-hour. The movie belongs more to Danny DeVito's deformed, anguished Oswald Cobblepot, AKA the Penguin, and to Michelle Pfeiffer's Selina Kyle, reborn
into the vengeful,