Road to The Batman - Batman Forever (Quick Review)

Half a face and a riddle ain't nothing for the knight.

Batman Forever is a 1995 superhero film directed by Joel Schumacher, written by Lee Batchler, Janet Scott Batchler, and Akiva Goldsman, and distributed by Warner Bros.. The film is based off of various Batman comics by Bill Finger and Bob Kane. It stars Val Kilmer and Jim Carrey. It was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Sound, and Best Sound Editing, but did not win any of those. This is the fourth film in the Batman franchise, but the third in the Burton/Schumacher quadrilogy. It was preceded by Batman Returns and followed by Batman & Robin.


"Riddle me this. Riddle me that. Who's afraid of the big, black bat?" - The Riddler

Plot


When Two-Face and the Riddler team up to steal all of Gotham's knowledge, the Dark Knight must suit up once again, this time alongside his sidekick Robin, to save the city.


My Favorite Part of Batman Forever


I think my favorite part of this movie is the relationship between Batman and Robin. I think Val Kilmer is a wildly underrated Batman. And Chris O'Donnell is good as Robin (in this movie at least). We understand why Batman's character flaws cause him to have conflicts with Robin and we understand why Robin wants to go ahead and kill Two-Face. It's an interesting dynamic that would've been much more powerful if this movie was actually darker and more serious.


My Least Favorite Part of Batman Forever


Most of this movie is a complete mess, but I cannot stand the villains in this film. Jim Carrey's Riddler can be entertaining at times but I find him generally annoying. Tommy Lee Jones' take on Two-Face is downright insufferable. I don't know what Schumacher and Jones were thinking, but that sure as hell is not Two-Face from the comics. The villains are so awful and so distracting. If you make them grounded and less cartoonish, Batman Forever could absolutely be a good movie.


Why Batman Forever Doesn't Work


Batman is a serious character. Since Tim Burton's Batman, the character has been serious. But for some reason, Joel Schumacher decided to ramp up the insanity and goofiness in both this film and Batman & Robin. I don't know why. But it doesn't fit at all. You have all these stupid jokes. The first lines in the movie are Alfred telling Batman he should take a sandwich with him and Batman saying "I'll get drive-thru.". What??? The tone is just terrible. There are elements of greatness here, but they are mostly overshadowed by hot garbage.


Final Score


Batman Forever has a lot of wasted potential. It's a stupid movie that has an underrated Batman and hints of greatness, and, compared to it's successor, it looks like The Dark Knight.


I'm going Sour here. Age range is 6+.


SWEET N' SOUR SCALE

Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)


"Batman Forever"


Fun Factor: 5.5/10

Acting: 5/10

Characters: 5/10

Story: 3.5/10

Quality: 4/10


Directed by Joel Schumacher


Rated PG-13 for superhero violence and action, sexual content, language, thematic elements


Released on June 16, 1995


2 hours


Val Kilmer as Bruce Wayne / Batman

Jim Carrey as Edward Nygma / The Riddler

Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridian

Tommy Lee Jones as Harvey Dent / Two-Face

Chris O'Donnell as Dick Grayson / Robin

Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth

Pat Hingle as Commissioner James Gordon

Drew Barrymore as Sugar

Debi Mazar as Spice