Feb-7-2017

Reel Snippet – Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders

Summary: Holy animated tribute! Duly deputized crimefighters Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) are facing their biggest challenge yet. Fiendish foes the Joker (Jeff Bergman), the Penguin (William Salyers), the Riddler (Wally Wingert), and Catwoman (Julie Newmar) have banded together for their devilish plan yet: turn Batman evil. Naturally, the Caped Crusader possesses moral fiber too strong for this plan… or does he?! Will Gotham survive with a darker Batman? Will Robin be able to pull a daring do and mend his mentor’s madness? Tune in next week — same bat-time, same bat-website!

Review: Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is absolutely glorious and this is from a guy who couldn’t stand the Adam West Batman series. But man, oh man, after two bad Batman blockbusters and a deeply flawed animated movie (though I still liked The Killing Joke), I can safely say that this is the best Batman movie of 2016. Part of it is because, like Independence Day: Resurgence, it knows what it is and embraces it past the point of parody. From the abuse of alliteration to the ludicrous Bat-devices to the leaps of logic that even Evel Knievel couldn’t make, this is one giant sendup to the 60s Batman series that manages to poke fun and be loving towards it at the same time.

It’s funny this movie came out when it did because Batman movies have been criticized for being overly dark for the sake of darkness. Then here comes this movie, where Batman becomes darker as if directly mocking these other films (even parodying Batman’s classic silent exit)… which isn’t possible because this movie was still in production before the controversies surfaced. Still, even though Batman is more menacing, the film never loses its sense of fun. [SPOILER WARNING!] The ultimate culmination of Batman’s descent into darkness is to use a science ray to duplicate himself and take over all of Gotham’s positions of power, including the police commissioner, the mayor… and the mothers pushing their carriages. It’s ridiculous yet still menacing at times. [SPOILERS OVER!] Seriously, why aren’t you seeing this movie?

My only complaint would be that the climax stretches out a little too long, but that’s small potatoes. It’s still a ludicrous adventure for everyone to enjoy and a treat for Batman fans young and old. There’s a ton of easter eggs from the Adam West show, including villains like King Tut, Egghead, and Robin Hood. Again, I had no love for the Adam West Batman series, but this still hit me in my funny bone. In fact, even writing this review has cheered me up after the truly terrible state of the world. I would definitely watch it again.

Fun Tidbit: While it’s great to see Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar reprise their roles, we shouldn’t discount any of the new blood. Wally Wingert provided the voice of the Riddler in the Batman: Arkham Series video games. Given that in those games, he was imitating the actor for Riddler in the 60s series, Frank Gorshin, this whole thing has come full circle.


Goto Home Page
Posted under