Batman Returns/YMMV

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.


    • Alternate Character Interpretation:
      • Were Tucker and Esther Cobblepot really Abusive Parents, or were they Well Intentioned Extremists who wanted to spare their son the misery of growing up as a "freak"? When Oswald speaks to the press after "rescuing" the Mayor's baby, he seems to suggest that they were the latter ("....what I guess they felt they had to do....").
      • Here's a third one: they did it to protect others from Oswald. It's regarded that kids torturing/killing animals is a sign something's not right in the head and the kid might grow up to be a serial kiler; right before they tossed him, Oswald did kill the family cat, who just got near him.
      • On a fourth hand, they did have baby Oswald in a CAGE. Was he really a monster or could they not see past his deformities, hence providing the mental aspect that did make him a monster?
      • Shreck's love for his son. The movie leaves just enough ambiguity for us to question whether or not it's genuine. The novelization, however, states a few times that Max realises his son Chip is the only thing he's ever really cared about, even more than money, and is fully willing to seriously risk his life by taking his place.
      • Then there's Chip himself. In the movie, he's merely a spoiled rich kid with hints of being slow witted. The novelization, however, shows that he can be just as cruel as his old man. For example, the book has Chip actually seeing Max push Selina out the window. When Max tries to stammer out that it was an accident, Chip merely smiles and suggests it was suicide.
      • Does Batman himself have any kind of actual character arc in the film that could then reasonably be reflected in Batman Forever? He goes about his work in much the same way as the previous film, with the death of at least one mook on his hands, yet in Batman Forever, he seemed to regret doing things like this. Could it be that he saw what the cycle of revenge and violence was doing to Catwoman and it gave him a wake up call, forcing him to rethink his own life?
    • Anvilicious: "It is human nature to fear the unusual. Perhaps, when I held my Tiffany baby rattle with a shiny flipper instead of five chubby digits, they freaked." (Of course, Oswald is just milking the citizens for sympathy.)
    • Awesome Music:
      • Siouxsie And The Banshees' "Face to Face".
      • Much of the incredibly intense Danny Elfman score. "The Final Confrontation" in particular takes the cake.
    • Critical Research Failure: Despite having spent his entire life around them, the Penguin seems to think that birds are cold-blooded.
    • Crowning Movie of Awesome: According to the critics, for the pre-Nolan Batman films. It has the highest critical rating of any of the original four Batman films, and while it remains divisive, it is widely seen as the deepest and most intellectual of the original run of films.
    • Ending Fatigue: Batman takes out Penguin's gang and saves the day. Then he has to confront Shreck and Catwoman. Then we see Penguin die from the earlier attack. Then we see Bruce take in Selina's cat, and the camera pans in to see Catwoman who is Not Quite Dead. Then it ends.
    • Evil Is Sexy: Catwoman. Just look at that outfit. If you look at her behaviour though, you may argue that antiheroic is sexy.
    • Fanon Discontinuity: Quite a few people prefer to ignore the All There in the Manual fact that the Penguin killed his parents himself a few weeks prior, and only pretended to discover their grave leading to the iconic Cemetery scene. The idea makes the Penguin more sinister, which can be compelling in some ways, but is deemed by those fans to be much less powerful and striking than a genuinely morally complex Penguin. For those that it is not compelling enough that such a monstrous character had such a monstrous life blurring the line between the role of his savage nature and the role of his horrible upbringing.
    • Franchise Original Sin: Not only for this series, but the entire genre: Catwoman was arguably the first ever secondary villain in a superhero film. With Penguin and Schreck as the main villains, Selina was mostly in her own plot throughout the movie, and she only briefly works with the Penguin. And even then, her job—distracting Batman while the Penguin's mooks hack into the Batmobile—could have been done by another mook. She is still probably the best example of this, as she is a really well-rounded character with emotional depth and impact and much symbolism that fits perfectly into the films themes and mirrors the primary villain's case.
    • Hollywood Homely:
      • Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle. In the time period the movie seemed to be mimicking, executive assistants and secretaries weren't hired for their office skills but for their... ahem... other assets. The movie itself showed that Selina was treated bad mostly because she was so timid, she was intimidated just by being in the same room as a bunch of people. But, in her favor, she is also shown pre-transformation as intelligent... just overlooked due to the sexism of her workplace.
      • Completely averted in a coloring book published to market the movie to children, where Selina is depicted as a big-haired, Barbie-like blonde babe without glasses even before her transformation into Catwoman (kind of understandable since the activity book was for little kids, for whom Beauty Equals Goodness).
    • Iron Woobie: Bruce Wayne at the end. Also Catwoman, considering she gets shot four times and thrown off three buildings.
    • Jerkass Woobie: Catwoman and the Penguin.
    • Just Here for Godzilla: Even those who dislike the film are willing to admit that Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito turned in great performances.
    • Love It or Hate It: Some fans think that the dialogue, acting, and overall tragic feel to the film gives it a weight and maturity that the other movies just don't have. Other fans believe that this movie is unreasonably dark and depressing, while simultaneously being completely ridiculous. The critics are similarly split.
    • Misaimed Marketing: This movie had a lot of tie-in merchandise aimed at children despite not being a kids' movie by a long shot. McDonald's pulled their Happy Meal toys after parental backlash.
    • Moral Event Horizon: Penguin has been parlaying his status as The Grotesque into a bid for the Mayor's office. When he gets hoisted by his own petard via an Engineered Public Confession, he reveals his true plans to his hench-clowns: to kill all the first-born sons of Gotham. He then proceeds to Kick the Dog by shooting the Fat Clown dead when he points out that killing babies is a little too much for him to take.
    • Narm Charm: The Penguin's death. When Oswald, wearing pajamas, asks for a drink of ice water as his last words, falls over dead, and is ceremoniously pushed into the sewer by a six emperor penguins, acing as pallbearers, while sad and dramatic music plays in the background, it should be completely ridiculous! But somehow, it isn't. The scene still works, and is actually rather moving.
    • No Problem With Licensed Games: The Sega Genesis and Super NES game adaptations are actually fairly good, fun adaptations.
    • Older Than They Think: Despite being a Darker and Edgier movie from a Darker and Edgier time, the primary villains have major callbacks to their Silver Age incarnations: Penguin's gang and weaponized penguins wouldn't have been terribly out of place in the Adam West TV show, and Catwoman's personality shifts were the explanation given in comics for why Batman was Dating Catwoman: he wanted her good personality.
    • One-Scene Wonder:
      • Former San Diego Chargers punter Gregory Cummins as the bizarrely tattooed Acrobat Thug ("I'm not really one for speeches, so I'll just say 'Thanks!'").
      • Steve Witting as a disastrously tactless campaign worker who gets a vicious bite in the nose from The Penguin.
      • Lisa Guerrero as a volunteer who gets not-so-subtly groped by the Penguin. She's credited as "Campaign Bimbo".
    • The Problem with Licensed Games: Depends on which systems were released for.
      • The Konami games for the Nintendo systems were well-received. The Super NES version held the title of best Batman game ever released for over 15 years (until Batman: Arkham Asylum).
      • The Sega games for the Sega systems received mixed reviews (although the driving sections in the Sega CD version did score a decent reception).
    • Tastes Like Diabetes: Selina's apartment, before her Evil Makeover. Seriously, what grown woman has that many stuffed animals, dollhouses, and pink stuff everywhere? This may be a sign of an already present mental imbalance (i.e. she is the type to cover everything with optimism).
    • What an Idiot!: Batman reveals himself right in front of Shreck in an attempt to stop Selina from killing him. To which Shreck says "Bruce Wayne? Why are you dressed up as Batman?". Selina quickly points out that Shreck is a moron. Of course, he gave Selena another excuse to kill him after he apparently shot Batman in front of her. He had his armor on, and Max was unfortunate enough to miss his exposed head.
    • What Do You Mean It's Not Political?: The name "Red Triangle Gang" may at first seem random, or as an ironic nod to the circus troupe's colorful and innocent origins. But in fact, the "red triangle" is a fairly common antifascist symbol in Europe.