So last review I complained about a rich capitalist ruining everything and being the true villain. I went hard on that because it’s absolutely true and I should say it, but also because I was preparing myself for this movie, one where the studio executives were annoyed that Batman Returns didn’t make as much money as they had hoped, and that merchandising was problematic with the Penguin being, you know, a mutant who drools black-green sludge. So here’s something completely different: Batman Forever.
We open the movie with Batman telling Alfred, “I’ll get drive-thru.” Those are Mr. Val Kilmer’s first lines, delivered as flatly as everything else he says. He rushes off to fight Two-Face/Harvey Dent, who sadly is no longer Billy Dee Williams. Also there is Dr. Chase Meridian (Mrs. Nicole Kidman), a psychologist who gets horny for danger. We also meet the Riddler/Edward Nygma (Jim Carrey), a not at all gay man who dives headfirst into supervillainy at the first inconvenience. As Batman struggles with balancing his civilian and romantic life with his caped antics, Two-Face and Riddler team up, deduce Batman’s secret identity, and try to steal the… brainwaves from… everyone? They are up to no good, basically. In the end Batman comes to terms with who he is, Two-Face falls to his death while Batman watches, and the Riddler is insane.
Oh, and at some point 25-year-old Chris O’Donnell gets adopted by Bruce Wayne, does some laundry-fu, and becomes Robin.
There is just so much wrong with this movie, especially watching it so soon after Batman Returns. They’re night and day to each other. Like, almost literally; Burton’s films are dark and gothic, while Schumacher’s are bright, flashy, and… well… comic book-y. This (and Batman & Robin) might be the most comic book-y movies ever made, sorry to steal that title from you Thor: Ragnarok. But my personal problem is that it’s all just a little… too manic. I have a recurring joke that comic book Gotham is the sort of place where a man being told that guacamole costs extra would swear bloody vengeance and become a supervillain on the spot, and that is this movie, basically. And Bruce Wayne’s conflicted personal issues clash with that tone pretty hard. I guess I just didn’t like this movie. Controversial opinion, I know.
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3 thoughts on “Batman Forever (1995)”
I love this movie, and will not defend it as a good movie, but as a fun, wild bizarre ride that is full of ridiculous personality. Is it a good movie? No. Is it a good batman adaptation. Oh god no. But is it absolutely unique and dripping with weird personality? Fuck yeah. And that soundtrack, so good.
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