Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Michael Keaton (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Michelle Pfeiffer (Catwoman), Danny DeVito (The Penguin)
If Batman was playing second fiddle to the Joker in Burton’s first film, then he’s right at the back of orchestra giving an occasional ping on the triangle this time around. Burton seems to have lost all interest in his hero, placing the Penguin and Catwoman up front and centre. But while Pfeiffer’s purring, PVC-clad femme fatale is one of superhero cinema’s most iconic performances, DeVito’s Penguin is just too blustering and unsubtle to work.
Stylistically, the film moves slightly away from the mystic Gotham of the first movie, to a more “dark fairytale” Gotham, with the kind of stylised imagery we’ve since come to expect from Burton. Again, it seems to be evidence that the director isn’t quite as in tune with his source material as we thought, and would rather go off and do his own thing. It’s certainly still an enjoyable movie with some stand-out setpieces; you just get the feeling that Batman has been added into it at the last moment, like an unwanted contractual obligation.