Batman Forever (1995)
Batman Forever Review
Review # 159
Director – Joel Schumacher
Cast – Val Kilmer, Nicole Kidman, Chris O’Donnell, Jim Carrey, Tommy Lee Jones, Drew Barrymore, Michael Gough
– follows Batman Returns
– followed by Batman and Robin
Batman Forever is a movie of twos. Bruce Wayne struggles with his dual identity of playboy and crime fighter, and he takes on a partner, Robin. There are two villains up against our heroes, The Riddler and, of course, Two-Face (self-explanatory). In a way, it is the start of the second major Batman series. While it technically furthers the continuity of the Burton series, it has a different look and a different Batman. It is also (if you’ll excuse the near-pun) too much, too long, and too garish.
After the Burton movies (Batman and Batman Returns) Warner Brothers wanted to brighten things up a bit, and Schumacher sure gives us that. Kilmer is quite different from Keaton, but surprisingly he is less humorous. And that’s the thing with the movie… the whole thing is largely humorless. It has none of the charm and off-beat weirdness of Burton’s movies, it’s brighter and more pop-oriented; as a result, the movie feels like just another ’90’s action flick. Visually, it is both gaudy and dull (though granted, Batman and Robin makes this one look quiet and restrained).
Plotwise, we follow Robin’s attempt to join Batman, and Bruce Wayne/Batman’s inner turmoil. He feels guilty about his parents death, and is, well… just plain mopey. This concept doesn’t work as the heart of the movie, especially as it was already done in Batman. It is never really resolved either. There’s no heart here. They attempt to make Robin interesting, but his story (dead parents, must kill the villain for revenge) is also just a retread of Batman. Combined with the cookie cutter feel of the film, we get a very dull movie here indeed.
It just makes me all the more anxious to see The Dark Knight Rises, a movie that looks like it will be one of the few great franchise three-quels. I know it’ll be better than this!
Batman Forever is a surprisingly dull movie. It is overlong and under-stuffed. Visually it is a pale imitation of Burton’s world, and there’s little to no meat in the story. Not really recommended.
NOTE: This review is part of a series called Superheroes: Bottom to Top, wherein I review every super-hero movie I own, from the lowest rated to the highest (according to Rotten Tomatoes). Next I will be watching Daredevil.
“Batman Forever” on other websites:
IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia
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