NYCC Review: Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders Is Pure Fun
Title: Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders
Director: Rick Morales
Summary: Batman and Robin are back in action to take down their fiendish foes once again with original actors Adam West voicing Batman, Burt Ward voicing Robin, and Julie Newmar voicing Catwoman.
The original 60’s Batman series was a bit beyond my time. I’ve watched it but I never fell that in love with it either. However, the series was a fundamental part of some childrens introduction to Batman. That means that this animated return was going to be important to a certain demographic, no matter what. Batman, despite what decades of fanboys have been telling us, is not the grim and gritty hero all the time. There is room for many different versions of the Batman, and now that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has given us a Batman willing to kill Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is here to to bring us the mirror opposite.
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is the return of the “cheese” and one liners that made so many people fall in love with Adam West and Burt Ward.
This movie, as described by a series of interviews with some of the cast crew that will be up soon, was built from the ground up to feel as if it was a part of the 60’s Batman series. However, what the movie does well is take the line of ‘rip off’ and walk it easily into the world of ‘homage’. So while it feels a lot like the original show it also feels like its own movie. The jokes are exactly what you would expect from this sort of movie and even better when the movie takes a dig at the final Christopher Nolan film. It is hard to bring something like this back without feeling like a rip off, but the crew of Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders walk that line nearly flawlessly.
The script is funny without feeling like it is trying too hard. I want to give writers James Tucker and Michael Jelenic props simply for having more alliteration in a movie than I have ever heard to hilarious degrees. In the same way that I respected Dante’s Inferno even more after I realized it rhymed, I was more impressed than annoyed by the sheer amount of unique and funny alliteration that was on display. It made everything feel fun and light without diminishing the fact that these four supervillains were teamed up so that they were looking for ways to screw the other over.
The same people that refuse to accept that the Adam West Batman show was part of the character’s history are not going to have their minds changed by this movie. However, those same people are the same ones that won’t seek this out on principle alone. The movie seems to acknowledge that and doesn’t go out of it’s way to try and convert those that would dismiss its existence. It knows why it is and what it is trying to accomplish no matter how cheesy all of that might get. The returning cast does a great job even if the dissonance between the various voices of the cast sounding much older than the animated characters they are depicting sometimes made things seem a little off. That is something that you get used to fairly quickly within the first bit of the movie.
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is exactly what the trailers and promo material have been presenting. It has all of the cheese and charm of the original without the budget limitation hindered by real actors and sets. It’s as if the show got a fourth season that instead of being stretched out over a season is actually a movie. The target audience will likely enjoy it as it brings back the days of a Batman series that had a sense of humor about itself.