Meanwhile, back at Tim Burton Land…
One of the most disturbing things about the movie was the depiction of the Penguin. The Penguin in the comic books is in no way remotely like the character seen in the movie. For some stupid reason, Burton felt the need to completely reshape the character into a monster with black snot rolling out of his mouth. The Penguin in the comic book is a playboy and has connections to both legitimate and illegal high rollers. In Bob Kane’s books, he wanted to show that despite his monster-like appearance, the Penguin was in fact a gentleman, and one of the few Bat-villains that isn’t crazy. (Note: The movie hints that the Penguin may have been a child murderer while working at the circus. Listen closely for it.)
The thing that I always loathed about Burton was his lack of interest in a good plot. He cuts things down to its simplest form in order to make his emo style fit within the film. However, a plot should make sense and characters’ actions should make sense. The movie drags on and on while having gloomy clouds hovering over the entire movie. It feels like a bunch of Emo and Goth kids broke into the editing room and cut the movie together. The story in no way feels like a Batman movie and don’t get me started with the whole ‘Batman is barely in the movie’. With the three villains hogging the movie, the story really doesn’t have time to allow us to feel for these characters or even get to know them.
After finishing the movie, I felt like killing myself.
There are a few things here and there that worked extremely well. I liked the modifications to the Batmobile and the new structure of the Bat-suit. I felt that Danny Elfman’s score ended up being more rich and darker, pay special attention to the opening credits score. Christopher Walken nearly steals the entire movie away from the other bad guys. One of his best scenes is where he laughs and then throws Selina out of the window.
I also liked the last two minutes of the film. You know, the scene where Bruce Wayne thinks he sees Catwoman and finds Selina’s cat. This scene, in a lot of ways, echoes the ending to the first film, but now Bruce is the one in the car, thinking about the one he loves. And, we pan up to see Catwoman looking up at the Bat-signal. It gives an otherwise dreary movie a somewhat hopeful ending.
Note: Because the movie kind of got attacked for being to dark, WB didn’t want Burton to ever direct a Batman movie again. On the DVD, Burton actually discusses the story when he found himself interested in making Batman III, but the Studio tried their best to talk him out of making another movie. “Tim, don’t you want to make a smaller movie now?” I think the studio felt pissed that they gave Burton free control over the movie and what they got in return was A Nightmare Before Batman Returns.