Sunday, November 23, 2014

Batman Forever (1995) Review

How can you not trust a guy with faces like that?

Batman Forever is a film that feels like it's either high or clinically insane. That's the best I can come up with.

Replacing Tim Burton is Joel Schumacher and his presence is keenly felt throughout the film. As the movie starts, it screams UPDATES!!
The Batcave is new and high-tech, the Batmobile is jazzed up, the Batsuit is tougher, the music is quirkier, Gotham City is a Technicolor marvel and "Over The Top" is the name of the game.
While Burton imbued his two Batman movies with a dark, Halloween/A Christmas Carol atmosphere, Joel Schumacher is best described as a showman of a director, with a fast-paced, colorful style. Indeed, the film is positively dripping with arrogance and pompousness, with each moment only existing to outdo the previous one.

In Batman Forever, the sky's the limit. That's about the only rule. It sucks you in with an intro that can only be described as badass and welcoming and then does every cliche in film history without flinching. All the dumb oneliners and over-the-top roles are here. Nothing is left out and it just goes wackier and wackier and wackier... but I digress.

The film stars Val Kilmer as Batman, a downgrade from Michael Keaton(and somewhat creepy), but not a bad performance, per se. I just think Keaton became Batman while Kilmer just acts like it.

He is joined by Chris O'Donnell as Robin, whom I actually liked(then again, I'm one of the few people who didn't complain about Jar Jar Binks) as Bat's sidekick. I thought the way his 1960s costume made an appearance was brilliant.

They go up against Jim Carrey as the underwritten Riddler(who can best be described as over over the top. He has to be seen to be believed) and Tommy Lee Jones as Harvey Dent the Two-Face(who seems to have a split personality, but doesn't act much like it.).

For Batman's love interest, we have Nicole Kidman as Dr. Hot. Her motivation is to just randomly seduce Batman and it actually works. Wow. Just wow. Can't believe it was that easy.

The Riddler plans to suck everyone's IQ into his own head and Two-Face is trying to kill Batman for some never explained reason. I have issues with both of their backstories. First, we do kinda see how E. Nygma(ha ha) went nuts, even if one wonders how he even got hired, but his connection to riddles is left untouched.

Secondly and most funnily, the Riddler gets much more focus than Two-Face, but the themes in this film are all about duality. The Riddler really has no reason to be here and the film wouldn't lose anything if he wasn't. But then again, it'd be a normal film then, not the insanity we see.

Overall, Batman Forever is the very first movie I've seen that I'd recommend watching only if you're drunk.

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