Annual Batman Returns Christmas Rewatch: Stray Observations

A kiss can be deadly if you mean it.

– My favourite movie Batmen — Burton here and Reeves’ recent outing — are the ones that display at least a glancing affinity with subcultural figures, in contrast to hectoring enforcers of the status quo. Musical choices confirm it.

– Case in point: The Batman (2022), famously, re-introduces Nirvana to Gen Z, and on top of ‘Returns’ pan-freakshow of fetishistic weirdness, let’s not forget that Bruce and Selina kiss under the mistletoe while Siouxsie and the Banshees are snuck into the playlist for the Gotham one-percenter’s schmoozy Christmas do.

– The very ’90s ‘battle of the sexes’ sub-theme just scans as quaintly adorable now.

– Yes, Burton was unfettered this time around in contrast to the 1989 original. But I dream of a world where screenwriter Daniel Waters was ALSO allowed to go full Heathers on this one. Not that I don’t cherish the crystalline nuggets of punny dialogue that do betray his indelible presence. And on that note, last but not least…

– Max Shrek absolutely, positively, has the best lines.

POSTSCRIPT: It’s hardly surprising that a beloved film you love so much and have rewatched so often leaves an indelible stamp on both sub- and conscious mind. And over the past couple of rewatches, it’s become clear to me how strong an influence this movie in particular has been in the creation of Mibdul.