Batman Forever (1995)

Courage now, truth always...

The Dark Knight of Gotham City confronts a dastardly duo: Two-Face and the Riddler. Formerly District Attorney Harvey Dent, Two-Face believes Batman caused the courtroom accident which left him disfigured on one side. And Edward Nygma, computer-genius and former employee of millionaire Bruce Wayne, is out to get the philanthropist; as The Riddler. Former circus acrobat Dick Grayson, his family killed by Two-Face, becomes Wayne's ward and Batman's new partner Robin.

A different direction brings differing results.
Batman takes on a new side kick as he fights to keep Gotham City out of the clutches of Two-Face and The Riddler.
"No thanks, I'll get drive-thru"
Thus these be the first words out of Val Kilmer's incarnation of Batman and thus setting the standard for what Joel Schumacher's two Batman movies would be like. Gone is the dark undertone from Tim Burton's visions, and the tight action sequences that marked Burton's debut out as a genuine genre piece of work, in their place comes sexy campery and ropey action set pieces. The casting of both Val Kilmer as Batman and Chris O'Donnell as Robin is a big mistake, Kilmer easily being the most boring actor to don the suit out of all of them, whilst O'Donnell simply can't act outside of Robin's cartoonery bravado. Nicole Kidman looks positively gorgeous as Chase Meridian, but that's all that is brought to the party, it's a waste of the very talented Kidman's ability and a waste of the audience's time.
It's not all bad though, a comic book adaptation is only as good as its villains, and here we get a perfectly cast Jim Carrey as The Riddler, and a wildly over the top Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face. Carrey steals every scene he is in, it's almost too much, but as maniacal and exuberant as it is, it is the film's highlight and actually the film's saving grace (Tommy Lee Jones was reportedly unhappy from having his thunder stolen in the movie by Carrey). The script does work enough to make the story accessible to all ages, and there are enough crash bangs and wallops to entertain in that brain left at the door kind of way.
This was the biggest hit of 1995, so the paying public lapped it up and paved the way for another Schumacher film in the franchise, but with all that star power wasted, and nipples on the rubber suits, it's hard to see now why it was so popular back then. 5/10

DC Comics, Warner Bros. Pictures, DC Entertainment, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment by Joel Schumacher, Bob Kane, Lee Batchler, Janet Scott Batchler, Akiva Goldsman.
Stars: Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman.

Genres: Action, Adventure

Keywords: riddle dc comics rose partner superhero robin broken neck psychologist violence criminal district attorney millionaire super power falling down stairs tied up tommy gun beretta knocked out disfigurement father figure

06/16/1995

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