Batman Returns might not be very good as a Batman movie, because it violates many of the central rules that makes Batman who he is at his very core, but it’s one hell of a Tim Burton movie.
I also like 1989’s Batman, but its sequel, Batman Returns, is something that speaks to me on a very personal level, and I feel like it subliminally implanted in me the essentials of German Expressionism and Filmmaking 101. Tim Burton seemed to have taken every complaint he had about the first movie and doubled down on it. What we’re left with is this dark, depressing Christmas movie about alienation, freaks and shadows crawling up walls in dimly-lit gothic buildings and sewers. In fact, I think it gives Die Hard a run for its money in terms of all-time best nontraditional Christmas movies. Does Die Hard have Danny DeVito biting someone on the nose, causing a jet a blood to spray everywhere? No, it doesn’t.