Originally Posted by BatLobsterRises
But see, that's partially the problem. I know BF is considered a loose sequel to Burton's movies, but if we're discussing Burton you can't go and use BF to inform the character arc of Burton's films when we have no idea what Burton's third movie would have actually looked like. Maybe it would have been close to what BF is...but we don't know. If Burton had been allowed to finish his story, perhaps we'd have a more complete character arc for Batman. As it stands we were left with an unfinished story and I still have no reason to believe Keaton's Batman has ultimately changed in any lasting way as a result of the events of Batman Returns.
Is he going to be any less obsessed with killing goons and thugs in the future as a result of his flirtation with hope with Selina? I have no idea. I can't use Batman Forever to come to any conclusions because that movie was a deliberate attempt by the studio to lighten up the franchise.
Again though, I loved the subtle, inward approach of Burton. I have a similar reading of BR as you do, I just feel a lot of it is ultimately ambiguous because that's how Burton viewed Batman as a character. I just also loved the more pronounced arc we got with Nolan. It's okay to enjoy both.
Burton's vision aside, I think BF was still a decent end to Bruce's arc (that could have been better if it wasn't for WB/Schumacher) and it enhances BR in my eyes because I think the three movies together says a lot about revenge, the road you take when you fulfill it, and afterwards. After B89, in BR Batman was even more violent, and the events of BR clearly did have an effect on Bruce and BR was referenced once or twice in it.
I agree with CConn on the arc of the character.