Batman Forever 1995

Batman Forever (1995)

Batman Forever (1995)

Batman Forever 1995Starring: Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman, Chris O’Donnell, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, Drew Barrymore

Directed By: Joel Schumacher

Written By: Lee Batchler, Janet Scott Batchler, Akiva Goldsman

Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 1 min

Two Cents:

Technically this is the 3rd installment in the Tim Burton produced series for the caped crusader, but holy over the top movies Batman, this sure doesn’t feel like it! Continuing a trend started in Batman Returns, this movie raids the Gotham library for classic bat villains, and proceeds to cast huge names to play them.

Let’s see, we already did The Joker, Catwoman and Penguin, who’s left? Ah, Two face, The Riddler and wow, how have we not included Robin all this time? That’s awesome, that’s fresh, that’s money in the bank! Cast someone young and hot for the teenage girls to drool over. Crap, we’ve got no love interest for Bruce Wayne (a.k.a – no eye candy for the fellas!) Oh, Nicole Kidman is available? Awesome, build her a part, I don’t care who or what she is, and let’s get this production started!

 

I have given a name to my pain, and it is Joel Schumacher!”

 

I can just picture greedy studio executives rubbing their hands together over a copy of Private Yacht monthly. They didn’t even need Michael Keaton to return as the titular character for this to do mega-bucks at the box office. It seems people will march into the theaters to see Batman no matter what, even if his suit has bat-nipples!

Painfully trying to combine 60’s TV camp, with dark knight grit, Joel Schumacher clearly had an idea of what he wanted to accomplish with this series. It’s just a shame he couldn’t be more selective. Play it camp, or play it gritty Joel, because the combination in this film makes my brain hurt.

Pretty much everything about this production doesn’t work. It’s not bad enough to be entertaining, and the casting of Tommy Lee Jones just boggles the mind. Playing the former Gotham district attorney with all the panache of a bobble head doll, Tommy Two Face constantly reminded me of The Joker in the 60’s TV show, played with considerable energy by the great Cesar Romero. Which was right for The Joker, but wrong for a man supposedly battling duality.

Jim Carrey as The Riddler

“If you look at the numbers on my face you won’t find 13 anyplace.”

Val Kilmer does okay, but only seemed half connected to the role. Doing just enough amidst the crazy Schumacher laser light show to not get canned, while he made plans to fire his agent. I mean come on, they shot a close up of his Bat-butt for crying out loud!

The only thing that makes Batman Forever watchable, is Jim Carrey as The Riddler. Was there any other choice to play this part? His manic energy, physical build and acting style were made for this role. Certainly seems to be channeling Frank Gorshin (from the 60’s TV show), but he also brings an interesting dangerous edge to the part. This Riddler’s laughin’ but you’re certainly not going to find anything funny about his plans!

A failed experiment? A blatant cash grab? Whatever it was, for me it was the beginning of the end of a promising series of films about The Dark Knight. And by some freakish miracle, actually wasn’t the worst one! *cough*Batman & Robin *cough*

Movie Prep:

None of the Gothic style and brooding tone of the first two installments has survived. This is Joel Schumacher’s freaky Gotham laser light show! They even replaced the Bat-mobile! Which now looks like a cheese grater stuffed with neon lights. If you’re a Jim Carey fan however, this is worth watching.

Best Format:

It’s certainly bright and colorful, but an obnoxiously over the top blend of UV effects, laser disco and in your face lighting. A HD viewing at home on your TV will do. This might be fun to watch with drinking age friends and a few choice brews!

Best Element:

As much as I dislike this film, I still think Jim Carey is worth watching. I loved his line near the end of the film when he skips up to Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman) in a bright green suit decorated with glowing LED lights arranged into question marks.

Like the jacket? It keeps me safe when I’m… jogging at night!”

 

References: IMDB

Linked To:

Batman (1989)
Batman Returns (1992)
Batman & Robin (1997)

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