Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Michael “Greatest of All Time” Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Christopher “Yeah, But Imagine If I Had Been Playing The Scarecrow” Walken
Have I Seen it Before: So, so many times.
Did I Like It: I’ll do you one further. Not only is it a great movie—even if it intentionally plays fast and loose with the core of Batman—it may be damn psychic.
But before I get to the film’s prescience, let’s talk a little bit about the movie in the context of the time it was released. One supposes that Warner Bros. wanted to reassemble as much of the team responsible for Batman (1989) as possible, and were willing to just about anything to get Michael Keaton and Tim Burton to acquiesce where they might have otherwise been disinterested in the prospect of returning to the batcave.
So Warner Bros. decided to let them do whatever the hell they wanted as long as it featured the Penguin, an action set piece with the Batmobile, and was ready for summer 1992.
They delivered on all of those promises, and went completely nuts with everything else. In a movie essentially meant to entertain children, there sure is a lot of filicide, borderline S&M, and biting of Republican noses*. I can almost see why McDonalds got all bet out of shape in the summer of ’92. Maybe that means I’m getting older, but we’re treated to an unashamedly idiosyncratic movie in place of what could have been a throughly bland summer blockbuster. The Schumacher of it all that was to follow proves pretty conclusively that this movie was a special treat that is unlikely to come
But in the twenty-five years since the film’s release, it has taken on a new life.
Now, I don’t want to say that there is some modern parable in the story of a woman beset by a crushing degree of sexual violence and harassment, while the rest of society is slowly burning under the caprice of a malevolent homunculi trying to grab all the political power he can before laying siege to everything in sight…
But I could.
*Watch that movie again and tell me that each and every person supporting The Penguin (DeVito) in his bid for Mayor of Gotham is a Republican, and I’ll be able to tell you haven’t been paying attention. Oswald Means Order, indeed.