Batman Forever (1995)

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5.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 5/10

Still better than Batman & Robin

Massive step down from previous Batman films

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Batman Forever

Studio:  Warner Bros.

Genre(s):  Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  June 16, 1995

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

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Seriously, Two-Face…if you just want to leave, that would be cool with me.

Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) is menacing Gotham, and Batman (Val Kilmer) must stop him!  Bruce Wayne is also facing a challenge from an insane employee named Edward Nygma (Jim Carrey) whose plans for a mind manipulating TV series have led to him taking of the guise of the Riddler.  As Bruce Wayne tries to come to terms with his past with the help of Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman), he finds himself with a new ward named Dick Grayson (Chris O’Donnell) who has also found his life shattered by Two-Face.  Two-Face and the Riddler have just formed a pact to destroy the Batman…can Batman survive?

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That’s right, I know how to strike a pose

Directed by Joel Schumacher, Batman Forever followed Tim Burton’s Batman Returns in 1992.  The movie switched tones from Burton’s darker style to a more family friendly version which was closer to the TV series and had Val Kilmer taking over for Michael Keaton.  The movie was met with mixed reviews but a strong box office.  It received Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Sound, and Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing. U2’s “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” received a Razzie Nomination for Worst Original Song.

I was a big fan of Batman and less so of Batman Returns (but I still liked it).  I really looked forward to the next installment despite the change of directors.  I will say that Batman Forever isn’t awful…that title still goes to Batman & Robin, but Batman Forever is a huge step down.

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Just call me Pinky with the Brain

Batman Returns was already a pretty crowded movie with too many threads and characters, but it feels like they didn’t even try to incorporate all the plotlines of Batman Forever into a very coherent story.  It is busy, dull, and all over the place.  Two-Face adds little to the story and the whole Meridian storyline seems like a weak Vicki Vale/Catwoman replacement.

Val Kilmer has never been one of my favorite actors and he continues to sleep his way through this movie (Keaton dropped out when Burton didn’t return and the movie was decided to go lighter).  I actually am ok with Jim Carrey as the Riddler (who he plays more like the Flash’s Trickster however).  Tommy Lee Jones didn’t seem to know what he was doing with the Two-Face character and Warner Bros. actually had to buy out Billy Dee Williams who originated the Harvey Dent role in Batman (he also feuded with Carrey on the set).  Chris O’Donnell’s Robin is pretty irritating and is more Jason Todd than Dick Grayson.  The movie also has returning actors Pat Hingle and Michael Gough plus an early Drew Barrymore role in her attempt to reinvent herself after her meltdown in the ’80s.

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Batman and Robin will be back (unfortunately)!

The real change is the visuals.  Schumacher went for a candy-coated Gotham instead of the dark brooding Gotham of Burton’s films.  The movie is a crazy “in-your-face” display of colors and scenery.  Somehow Burton made the absurd work, but it is just sickening and nauseating in Batman Forever from the sets to the costumes.  All I really had to say was “nipples on the Batsuit and Robin suit” and everyone would understand the problem.

Batman Forever shows a huge downgrade.  There are elements that work, but I would have loved to have seen some of the original concepts for the film.  If you were disappointed by Batman Forever, Batman & Robin which was released in 1997 shows another huge drop…just when you thought it couldn’t get worse.

Related Links:

Batman (1989)

Batman Returns (1992)

Batman & Robin (1997)

Get it on Amazon.com or stream it now:

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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