Your Hawaiian vacation of pop culture
Copyright 2014-2016 by Dr. Mike Rickard
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ISSUE NUMBER SEVEN
Unless Noted Otherwise, Written and Edited by Dr. Mike Rickard
WARNING: THIS SITE INCLUDES LOTS OF SPOILERS.
BATMAN: RETURN OF THE CAPED CRUSADERS. REVIEW BY JAMIE ROBINSON.
Copyright 2016 by Jamie Robinson.
Holy box office, Batman! Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, the latest DC animated film, proves to be perhaps the best Batman movie of the year. After the box office success of the controversial Killing Joke movie, Fathom Events decided to give a limited theatrical release for Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. Although not nearly as big of a box office reception as The Killing Joke, I have heard nothing but praise for this movie. The film revives the 1960's Adam West Batman, the pop culture phenomenon that premiered fifty years ago. It ran for three seasons, and had a theatrically-released movie in 1966. West reprises his role as the Caped Crusader alongside his costars Burt Ward (Robin) and Julie Newmar (Catwoman).
In the film, the Dynamic Duo must stop the calamitous quartet of Joker, Riddler, Penguin, and Catwoman, and even chase them into space. Catwoman plays on both sides of the fence this time, being both adversary and ally, which was enjoyable to watch since she was mainly a villain on the TV show. There are other unexpected twists and turns fans will enjoy.
This is a movie that pays a loving tribute to West's Batman and is far from a mock parody. It even includes references to Batmen that followed West's version, such as Michael Keaton, Christian Bale, and The Dark Knight Returns. Despite noticeable age to their voices, West, Ward, and Newmar, all bring their a-game and channel their characters perfectly from when they played them fifty years ago. The other voice actors, doing their best to imitate the deceased actors from the show, play their parts well, the notable standouts being Wally Wingert as the Riddler and Jeff Bergman as the Joker. Wingert does a near-perfect Frank Gorshin Riddler-giggle, and Bergman is excellent at imitating Cesar Romero. Bergman also briefly does a very spot-on impression of William Dozier, the producer of the original TV show and narrator who announced the Dynamic Duo's ghastly fates. I was disappointed that this movie did not have a narrator like in the TV show, but the William Dozier voice was used to announce the "Gotham Palace" show.
I also loved that we got to see a brief cameo from all three Catwomen from the 60's show and movie (longtime fans will recall Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt as the other actresses to take on the role) as well as cameos from other villains in the show. There are many twists in this movie fans might not expect, as well as jokes and references that will be familiar to children of the 1960's. As a fan of the original TV series, I greatly enjoyed this movie. It is a must-see for all fans of Adam West's Batman.
The legacy of the 60's Batman show lives on 50 years later, as DC has published a tie-in comic book series, Batman '66, set in the world of Adam West's Batman. Fans still enjoy the show, as it is a true timeless classic that can be enjoyed by generations. A sequel to this animated movie is expected to come out some time next year featuring the voice of William Shatner as Two-Face.
Jamie Robinson is 24 years old and is a recent graduate of Buffalo State College, with a bachelor's degree in English. He enjoys writing, reading comic books, and is an avid TV watcher and superhero nerd. His favorite comic book hero is Batman. He practices Tae Kwon-do and is currently a 1st degree black belt. He enjoys occasionally going to comic conventions with friends and is very involved with his church, and has a strong faith in God. An aspiring writer, his goal is to write creative fiction. He loves helping others and making people laugh.