Awesome / Batman Returns

  • Bruce Wayne sitting in the dark at the beginning (the junior novelization reveals it was one of the many times he was thinking about his parents) and then the bat signal shines in the room. he stands up, gets dressed and kicks ass.
    • And how he uses the Batmobile as a weapon afterwards deserves mention, too— he steamrolls mooks left and right, throws two guys off the hood by stopping suddenly, and sets another mook on fire with the exhaust flames. Bad. Ass.
  • Catwoman's crime spree in the mall and her greeting to Batman and Penguin as it blows up.
    • Especially since Michelle Pfeiffer took out the mannequins in only one take.
  • Catwoman's "debut" rescuing a woman from a rapist in a back alley- then turning on and scaring the crap out of the woman in disgust at her for being so weak. "You make it so easy, don't you? Always waiting for some Batman to save you? I am Catwoman. Hear me roar."
  • More than one film critic has argued that Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman in Batman Returns was the female performance of 1992. Perhaps her Crowning Moment comes when she interrupts a confrontation between Batman and the Penguin, who are outside Shreck's Department Store. She has been in there setting it up to explode (its owner, Max Shreck, tried to kill her and triggered her Start of Darkness) and with a series of acrobatic flips she emerges to the surprise of both men. She has one word for them: "Meow." As if on cue, the building explodes.
    • Penguin and Batman both flinch at the explosion. Catwoman doesn't.
    • But in a close second? "You know, it's... a blur. I-I mean, not complete amnesia. I-I-I - I remember Sister Mary Margaret puking in church and Betsy Riley saying it was morning sickness and I remember the time I forgot to wear my underpants to school and the name of the boy who noticed was Ricky Friedberg." (smile vanishes) "He's dead now. But last night: complete blur. Couldn't you just die?"
    • Another Catwoman Moment of Awesome: As near the end, Shreck tries to shoot her, and she counts off each life she "lost" with every shot in a sing-song voice. "Six! Seven! All Good Girls Go To Heaven!" but still kept on going, until she used a taser and a cut electrical chord to give him a literal Kiss of Death.
    • Shreck himself got one immediately before that, during his confrontation with Catwoman:
      Catwoman: You killed me. The Penguin killed me. Batman killed me. That's three lives down, you got enough in there to finish me off?
      Shreck: One way to find out.
  • Shreck gets another one when he discovers that Bruce Wayne is Batman.
    Shreck: "…Bruce Wayne? Why are you dressed up like Batman?"
    Catwoman: "That's because he is Batman, you moron!"
    Shreck: (with a casual shrug) "Was." BOOM.
  • Shreck attempting to kill Kyle was pretty good; first he's all intimidating, pretends like he's not gonna do it, then does it.
  • The Penguin: After Batman completely ruins his kid-killing plan, he determines the logical step is to destroy the entire city. Using penguins armed with rocket launchers. His insanely hammy yet awesome "motivational" speech he gives to his penguin army has to be seen to be believed.
    Penguin: My dear penguins, we stand on a great threshold. It's okay to be scared - many of you won't be coming back. Thanks to Batman, the time has come to punish ALL of God's children! First, second, third AND fourth born - why be biased?! Male and female! Hell, the sexes are equal with their erogenous zones......BLOWN SKY HIGH! FORWAAAARRDDD MARCH! THE LIBERATION OF GOTHAM HAS BEGUN!!
    • Danny Elfman's score is what makes it really awesome; just as Penguin is about to deliver the last line of that speech, the orchestra shifts to a rapid military-style drum cadence.
    • When he mocked Batman on their first meeting, then instantly turned serious and said "You don't really think you'll win, do you?"
      • Batman himself gets one immediately after that, turning Penguin's words back on him. "Things change." Indeed.
  • How about Batman exposing the Penguin as the lying villain he is simply by playing the recordings of what Penguin gloated to Batman while trying to kill him?
    • As if that wasn't enough, even Alfred knows that Bats' got this one in the bag, sharing a smug little smirk with him as Bruce coyly scratches the CD as though he were a radio DJ broadcasting Gotham's newest #1 single.
    • Penguin cracking into the Batmobile in order to cause carnage and make Batman look like a Card-Carrying Villain gets points for sheer audacity.
      Penguin: Now, just relax! I'll take care of all the squealing, wretched, pinhead puppets of GOTHAM!
  • Batman saving the children at the beginning of the third act. Lightning flashes, his silhouette with cape spread like wings appears in front of the circus train. The driver is so distracted and petrified by fear that he doesn't notice Batman breaking into the cabin until it's too late. Textbook Batman.
  • The opening credits. The title "Batman Returns" appearing as a swarm of bats fly over baby Penguin's carriage floating down the river.
  • When Max is relieved when Batman arrives, thinking he's saved, only for Batman to face-mush him and reply, "Shut up, you're going to jail" as he shoves him aside. Hardcore Bat-fan Kevin Smith points out that this is probably the most quintessential, classic, true Batman moment in the movie.
  • Batman's second fight with the Red Triangle Gang starts out with the Gang causing mayhem in the streets of Gotham while Circus Of Fear-style music plays. Then, the music suddenly shifts with Batman's Leitmotif, showing the audience that the evil clowns are in for a world of hurt.
  • The dialogue has so many clever uses of alliteration it's uncommonly literate for a mainstream blockbuster, and stands as its closest link to the goofier Silver Age and Adam West versions of Batman. "How can you be so mean to someone so meaningless?", "Cobblepot can clean it up", "eagle scouts into crazed clowns and happy homemakers into Catwomen" are a few that come to mind.