Thursday, 16 September 2010

Blog - "Evil In Batman Returns"

Hey people, Tom Colohue here.

One thing that I've realised recently is that you can effectively write an essay on just about anything, so, today, I'm going to examine a pet peeve using the conduit of Batman Returns. The pet peeve, by the way, is mostly to do with myself, as a writer, and how I feel things could be done differently and, potentially, better. I'm probably wrong here, but I do like to make my points.

So, the discussion topic, other than Batman Returns, is The Portrayal Of Evil In The Media.

Let's start with the old Batman series. You know the one; zap, pow, shazam etc. In that series, the 'evil' was practically slapstick. The progression of the original Batman film seres (from 'Batman' to 'Batman and Robin') moves slowly down this route.

The original Batman film had the iconic evil of The Joker, brilliantly played by Jack Nicholson. Now, there, we had a real evil in action. He had true malicious intent, and the true urge to create utter carnage. By Batman and Robin, past the travesty that was Two-Face and The Riddler, we ended up with Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze. Evil? Yeah, right.

The Joker, as he was also shown in the more recent film The Dark Knight, was dominating, cerebral and psychopathic. Even as a mere observer, you felt that you were being mentally dragged through a rough and aggressive selection of challenges. In many ways, the original Batman film was a little too dark. The last scenes certainly gave me many chills.

In my opinion, Batman Returns actually got it right. Even though the Bruce Wayne character was somewhat undernourished in the second of the four films, the three evils were spread out and, even when they did work together, they had obvious motives of their own. Max Shrek had the typical greed of the megalomaniac, Catwoman was envious of the success all around her, and eager to create a little anarchy for the sake of it. The Penguin literally hated everything purely because everything hated him first. They all came together briefly, but it all broke down very quickly. While The Joker was quite easily, as I see it, the best and most evil of the crowd, but it was everything coming together in Batman Returns that makes it work for me.

So that's what I've been thinking of recently. I could write more, but this is only a blog after all.

Thanks for reading,


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