Movie Plot – Batman Forever: Batman has to take on former prosecutor Harvey Dent, who is now Two-Face, but also has to face Edward Nygma. During that period, he also adopts Richard Grayson, who becomes his partner against crime.
Director: Joel Schumacher
Writers: Lee Batchler, Janet Scott Batchler, Akiva Goldsman
Stars: Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman, Chris O’Donnell, Michael Gough
Welcome to the Joel Schumacher universe
In the eyes of Warner Bros, Batman Returns (1992) did not live up to the expectations the studio had hoped for. In addition, thanks to Tim Burton‘s creative freedom, the film was perhaps a bit too creepy for the young viewers. If you want to know the full story behind it, click here. That’s why they chose to go in a completely different (child-friendly) direction for the third part. Joel Schumacher gets into the director’s chair this time and also Michael Keaton was replaced by Val Kilmer for the role of Batman.
Batman Forever (1995) therefore immediately feels like a different universe when it comes to tone, sets, and designs. Gone is Burton’s Gothic influence and dark approach, instead we get bright neon lights throughout Gotham City. However, it’s still pretty dark for a kids’ movie if you ask me. Sure the lights, give it a different tone, but many people still get killed.
And that’s not all! We get a Batman costume with nipples, cartoonish acting, and an overdose of limp humor. The film is full of bizarre choices and hilariously exaggerated extras. In its own unique way, Batman Forever offers a form of entertainment, although your more making fun of the actual movie then laughing with the jokes. Sometimes we can be entertained by the movie’s awful mistakes.
Val Kilmer as Batman.
Luckily there are also some positive points to mention. For example, Val Kilmer as Bruce Wayne/Batman is quite a reasonable choice, and it can be seen that he does his best with the material presented to him.
Would I rather have Michael Keaton as Batman? Yes, that’s for sure! But I’m already glad he will be back in the next Flash movie. And also, he actually declined the role because he wasn’t happy about the script. Who can blame him for that?
I know some people hated Kilmer for the role, but I really thought he was fine. For me it feels as if they have tried to give him more depth. You can tell his character is complex. Although his acting sometimes feels stiff compared to Keaton. He was still the troubled man/child we all know as Batman.
“Riddle me this, riddle me that, who’s afraid of the big, black bat?”
The villains are all very “cartoony” and over-the-top and all of them have such a typical common laugh. Tommy Lee Jones’ Two-Face is the most interesting villain but he’s as two-dimensional as a piece of cardboard. A little more background or depth would have been nice. Thankfully, Nolan did that with “the Dark Knight.”
Now he doesn’t do much more than laugh and jump, which is a real bummer. Tommy Lee Jones is great actor, but he’s like a joke in this movie. It looks like he’s trying to play the Joker, instead of Two-Face. There is so much you can do with him, so many possibilities.
But let’s face it, the villain that gets the most spotlight is Jim Carrey’s Riddler.
Some say this is Carrey’s most over-the-top performance ever. Those hard fans of Carrey’s antics will probably enjoy this (like me) and it’s certainly entertaining on a regular basis; lively anyway. However most will agree that it could have been a little less. Even if it would only have been to give Two-Face more space, which is now reduced to a joker-type sidekick. They form a somewhat tiresome “comic” duo after all.
What’s funny is that the outfits and make-up are great and extravagant, and that Carrey wears a tight green suit, and full of question marks, just like the Riddler suit from the TV series. And he does this with flair. Like a ballet dancer on steroids he dances through the movie.
The action and tempo are smooth and brainless in Batman Forever. On top of that, he film often doesn’t take itself too seriously. Now there’s enough to say about ‘Batman Forever’, and it’s certainly not a good film, but it’s not as bad as Schumacher’s reputation suggests. For some like me, it will still give you a good time!