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And now for something completely different
7/10 I loved the first two Batman movies, and honestly would have loved to see Burton go on to direct more entries in the series, but Joel Shumacher's Batman Forever is not at all an unwelcome change. I think some people recollect this film and automatically associate it with Shumacher's awful second Batman attempt, Batman & Robin. That is the bad movie. This is not. People also seem to forget how big of a hit it was. Artistically, there were things it got wrong and didn't do as well as the others, but there were things it did so much better, too. For one thing, this is the only 'Batman' with a decent soundtrack to its name (including 2 great songs by U2 and Seal).4 years ago
In some ways you can look at this as a transition from the dark, tortured Batman to a Batman who has finally conquered his personal demons and gone on to be happier in being a man who fights crime in the night dressed up in rubber. For this one it was good, 'cause that's essentially how it ends, but the result of this led to the campy and just plain boring 4th episode.
But I really was surprised at how psychological of a movie Batman Forever is. I'm not saying it's particularly deep, but when you look at Edward Nygma's obsession with Bruce Wayne (stalking him, to imitating him right down to the mole), Harvey Dent's schizophrenia as Two-Face, and the fact that both Bruce Wayne AND Batman end up romancing the same psychologist is all enormously amusing. The romance isn't to be taken that lightly, though. I thought out of all 5 films Chase Meridian was Bruce's best girlfriend. The whole Vicky Vale relationship was pretty stale if you cut out all of the conflict with the Joker, and obviously Selina Kyle didn't work out so well for Bruce. Having this woman who could understand the mind of the tortured Bruce Wayne was a great idea, and I don't need to tell you that the gorgeous and talented Nicole Kidman pulled it off well.
Something I liked (and would have liked to have seen more of) was the competitive relationship between Bruce Wayne and Edward Nygma. They're enemies as Batman and The Riddler but also as regular people in everyday life. Take that scene at the Nygmatec Ball when Edward gloats about how well off he is, but Bruce is totally unflinching. Jim Carrey does a great job with a character that is so obsessed with this person; who idolizes him but hates him at the same time and is generally evil, but still can make us fall on the floor laughing.
This is a rousing and dynamic picture. It's basically the lighter side of being Batman. It was exciting with some great action sequences: I loved the end where both Robin and Chase are dropped and he saves them both. That piece of Elliot Goldenthal music when Batman finally grasps Robin's arm is excellent.
I liked Burton's 2 films and obviously Batman Begins better than Forever, but when you're in the right mood for it, it really is a fantastic movie that, if nothing else, thoroughly entertains.
My rating: 7/10
Hit and miss
5/10 Batman Forever is a big time hit and miss effort. At times it's fast hitting, funny, vivid and interesting and at times the humor and dialogue are beyond hope, the action is too silly and the characters are too shallow. The scenery is also hit and miss, running from nicely colored for a change to completely garish. I love Val Kilmer but he's completely dull as Batman, continuing the trend in the series of making the title character the dullest character in the movie. Jim Carrey as the Riddler is allowed to swing all over the place emotionally and is actually outstanding at times in a role that he's made for. His character is scripted as strangely feminine and there are times when he comes off as being incredibly creepy but he takes the part and runs with it. Tommy Lee Jones as Two Face is a major disappointment, not because of Jones but because his role is shallow, stereotypical and completely uninteresting. The psychopathic edge of Two Faces personality is replaced by a giggling goof who seems to be having just a little too much fun. All the torment that should have gone to his character goes to Carrey's strangely enough. Nicole Kidman as Chase Meridian should also have been interesting as a psychologist paired with Batman should be but she comes off too much as being just a giggling groupie, falling for both Batman and Bruce and calling mentally ill people wackos, something that psychologists never do. Chris O'Donnell as Robin is ok and does a good job of playing his role with whining immaturity. He comes up a little short on the dramatic moments though. The scene where he takes the Batmobile out for a spin is one of the best in the film. The opener is fun, the circus where Robin's parents die is actually done very well and the moments where Bruce opens up to Chase are also interesting. The villains running amok together range from pretty funny to very weird as one starts to question their relationship and the ending is somewhat unfulfilling. Batman Forever is a bridge movie between the dark and good Batman Returns and the horrible Batman and Robin. It's not great, not awful, takes itself much less seriously but entertains pretty well.4 years ago
Not as good as Batman and Batman Returns, but it's still a good movie
8/10 Personally, I just enjoyed the first Batman the best, I think a lot of us did. But that doesn't mean this was a bad installment to the "Batman" series, it's actually very decent worth more than one look. We do have a new but every exceptional Batman, Val Kilmer, who has a tough role to fit into after the great performances Michael Keaton brought. Nicole Kidman plays Chase, a beautiful and intelligent scientist who has the hots for Batman more than Bruce, she does a great job and looks so sexy! Jim Carrey, the master of comedy, takes the role of The Riddler, only he can bring the true comic relief and was a great choice. Tommy Lee Jones, as Two Face, was also great and so believable as a scary villain. Last but not least, Chris O'donnel as the wimsical, but more serious than anything version of Robin. The dynamic duo are finally put together for this masterpiece of a sequel!4 years ago
Batman is now fighting Two Face, or Harvey Dent, who was brutally scarred on one side of his face in a court case of his when he was a lawyer. When he fails one night to successfully capture Two Face, he meets Dr. Chase Meridian, a beautiful scientist and journalist. She is just fascinated with him and it's almost love at first sight for her. Batman of course is falling for her, but is playing hard to get. When Bruce Wayne makes a move on her though, she accepts and they attend a charity circus together, they see the Flying Gracins, a family of flying acrobats, but when the party is interrupted by Two Face and he demands to find out the true identity of Batman otherwise he'll set off a bomb in the circus! When the Gracins try to stop it and Dick Gracin, the youngest flying member goes his separate way to stop it himself, the family is on top of some very high up beams and wire which Two Face stops them by shooting the wires causing the Gracins to fall down to their deaths in front of everyone. When Dick stops the bomb, he is too late to see his family lying dead on the floor.
He comes to live with Bruce and wants revenge on Two Face and promises death and justice! It's not too soon that he discovers that Bruce is Batman and wants to be him at first, but then decides that he shouldn't take over but they should become partners! Batman refuses knowing that it's too dangerous; he continues his affair with Chase. But there is a new problem, an angry employee, Edward Nygmam, at Bruce's business now wants to destroy Batman and become evil! Who better to join up with than Two Face? He also has a machine that can read a person's mind and makes it tell the person's deepest darkest secrets. When Bruce comes to a party after Edward is successful in selling these machines, he tempts Bruce into the biggest machine of all and finds out what Bruce has been hiding for so long. When Batman and Chase are together, she confesses to Batman that she is now falling for Bruce. When she and Bruce have a get together, he wishes to tell her the truth, you know a little bit before this scene he said to Alfred "I've never been in love before", what happened to Vicki Vale and Catwoman? I always wondered that! But anyways, Two Face's gang kidnaps Chase and now Bruce must save her, but his bat cave has been destroyed by The Riddler! With the riddles that Edward sent to Bruce as clues, he and Alfred put everything together and know that it's not going to be easy to defeat this powerful team, that's where Dick comes in, or now known as Robin! Can the dynamic duo save Chase in time and save the world from getting their brains sucked into The Riddler's and can Robin get the revenge he's wanted for so long with Two Face?
Batman Forever is a fantastic installation into the Batman series. I would highly recommend it! It's got action, romance, drama, comedy, and great sets! Among a fantastic soundtrack featuring U2 and Seal's famous "Kiss from a Rose". It's a good movie and should be seen by every Batman fan!
It's Time to Retire, Mr. Schumacher
1/10 Batman Forever is the third installment for Warner Bros. Batman franchise, only Tim Burton and Michael Keaton decided to jump ship, so now we're stuck with Joel Schumacher, Val Kilmer and writing so campy it'll make you want to pitch a tent and make some s'mores. What we see in this film is a systematic destruction of absolutely everything that made the first two Batman films so popular.4 years ago
Kidman and Kilmer have been great in other films like "Moulin Rouge" and "Tombstone," but Joel is simply incapable of getting any good performances out of his actors. Don't believe me? There's a scene where Kidman's character tells Batman to meet her at her place at midnight. Even though she's expecting company, she decides to sleep in the nude before he shows up. I can understand her character trying to seduce Batman, but why go to bed and fall asleep while you're expecting company? Just listen to her character's inner conflict when she says "I can't believe it. I've imagined this moment since I first saw you... and now I have you and... guess a girl has to grow up sometime." I guess I can't blame Kidman on doing the best with the crap she was given. Someone needs to fire Mr. Script Writer.
Joel, in the tradition of Burton's previous Batman film, decided to use two villains at once: the Riddler and Two-Face. Personally, I wonder why the director would want to use two villains when he can't get one character right.
In previous Batman films, the villains were layered characters. The Joker was back-stabbed in a set up, Catwoman was in a mid-life crisis and sick of being taken advantage of, and the Penguin was a social outcast playing the sympathy card so he could get revenge on Gotham. While these character motives are little more than "I want revenge" at least it's something. Joel enjoys making the villains of his Batman films silly cardboard cutouts which don't make any sense at all.
Joel turned Harvey Two-Face, a steely, no-nonsense crime boss, into a laughing idiot that hops up and down whenever he blows something up. There's a quick twenty second explanation of how Harvey Dent had acid thrown on him during a trial, so he swore revenge on Batman... what? Batman didn't throw the acid. Two-Face is pretty much Tommy Lee Jones copying Jack Nicholson's performance as the Joker, except with different makeup, and the Riddler isn't far behind. Jim Carrey was acting like... well... Jim Carrey. As "good" as Carrey's performance might be, there's really no room for non-sequitur dance sequences and goofy voices to be thrown into the middle of a scene-- but that's what Jim is good at doing, I guess. As for Edward Nigma, they briefly explained how he became the Ridler (he was fired from his job, I know that tends to make people become super-villains), but never explained why he likes making riddles. His master plan: become the smartest man alive by reading the minds of Gotham's citizens and then... and then... uh... well, it doesn't matter because we all know Batman will save the day.
As if a poorly done treatment for Two-Face and the Riddler, and a poorly done romance subplot added into the mix weren't enough, we have another poorly done subplot thrown in: Robin! The most hated side-kick in the world. Joel introduce Robin as a character who wants revenge on Two-Face and offers absolutely nothing else significant to the story. There's not much to say about Robin, except that he kicks ass at doing laundry. He's just eye-candy so the ladies (and Joel) have someone to swoon over in this poor excuse for an action film.
The biggest crime in Gotham was how Joel rebuilt the city. He demolished Burton's Gothic atmosphere and added colored lights and large bronze statues to turn the desolate wasteland of a city into a sparkling Las Vegas wonderland. He also introduced the phosperhous gang, a group of guys who glow in the dark and play heavy metal music... drug trafficking never looked so fabulous! Big naked man statues, face-painting gangs, and rubber nipples summarize everything that Joel has added to the franchise.
I've heard some arguments standing up on Joel's defense, claiming that the movie would've been better with the deleted scenes put back in. Namely, two scenes: one which shows TwoFace escaping from Arkham, writing some sort of anti-Bat message in a victim's blood, and other scene where Bruce gets amnesia and has to remember why he's Batman. The first scene was supposedly cut for being too scary for kids, but I can safely say that it was filmed and edited to fit into the rest of this crap fest perfectly. And the amnesia scene was utter crap. Honestly: AMNESIA. As if a bullet grazing Bruce's forehead and causing amnesia isn't far fetched enough, how about the fact that he cures it in under five minutes? That scene wasn't cut for being too dark, or too slow, it was cut for being too stupid.
It could be worse. You could be watching the next installment "Batman and Robin." At least the plot for Batman Forever wasn't as poorly juggled as that movie. The worst you get with this movie is a bunch of cliches, poor acting, nonsensical moments (as in "why would only thirty or so members of the circus audience slowly form a circle to look at the the dead trapeze artists?"), and an undoing everything dark and dramatic that made the first two films good. What we're left with is a campy, kid-friendly movie that anyone with a brain can tell is just a cheap knock off of the first two Batman films.
The beginning of the end
6/10 Batman forever fails to follow in the footsteps of the first 2 movies, after Tim Burton and Michael Keaton were replaced with with Joel Schumacher and Val Kilmer. Schumachers approach is too comical and Gotham has lost the sinister ora that Burton created, Val Kilmer is OK as the bat, and he certainly helps save the film from total disaster.4 years ago
All the other characters are new, Nicole Kidman (Dr. Chase Meridian) brings sex appeal, but her character delivers little more. Chris O'Donnell is introduced as Robin, and his martial arts antics do add something to the film. Tommy Lee Jones plays Two-Face and as usual his performance is decent, but the star of the show is Jim Carrey as the Riddler; his performance is both camp and eccentric, and it hits the mark brilliantly.
The problem with the movie, although i did enjoy it, is the total change in style; the backdrop of Gotham city is no longer dark and Gothic and the series is moving away from Batmans comic roots.
This was the beginning of the end, and it was followed by Batman and Robin. Thank god for Batman Begins.