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DC has had a pretty rough few years, what with their Extended Universe being a dumpster fire of epic proportions and even their adaptation of Alan Moore’s immortal The Killing Joke containing gratuitous Batman/Batgirl sex, this throwback to the 60s is their last chance to save their 2010s.
Return of the Caped Crusaders marks the animated return of 60s camp style Batman with voice work from Adam West as Batman, Burt Ward as Robin and Julie Newmar as Catwoman.
When I say camp, I mean camp and purely hilarious. I watched with a bunch of friends, some of whom were fans of this period of Bat-history already. This is the best scenario for watching this, sorry to spoil it so soon. We were often in tears of laughter.
Adam West is in full Mayor West from Family Guy mode here. Not necessarily in his delivery which is closer to Batman, but in his timing. Burt Ward plays to the questionable sexuality of his character in sublime fashion.
That’s’ before we get to all of the Deadpool-level fourth-wall-breaking. This really is the year of self-reflection being the best policy in movies and out.
This is the kind of saving grace I want Warner Bros to learn from. I have no idea how they can save their DCEU, but maybe if they go out on this high and focus on that Fantastic Beasts thing, or better yet Warner Bros does something NEW, they can salvage their souls.
The OTT humour is not the only thing taken from 60s Batman. They also borrowed some its awkwardness.
This works wonders for a lot of it. When it cuts to the villains their so bad they’re good puns don’t quite land. I’m somehow OK with this.
What surprised me was how the meta nature wove into the plot so fascinatingly. The strangely dark places the story went were reflective of the dark places that the character of Batman has gone in his near 80-year history.
This is exactly what I wanted from this film.
Recommended Scenario: It’s already out on DVD/Blu-Ray. It’s a great stocking filler.