After Batman Returns, Warner Brothers wanted something more ‘family-friendly’, and boy they got it. Now in the directing chair was Joel Schumacher (I spelt that right… right?) and instead of the dark, developing plot and complex characters… we got… Batman Forever. Which was MORE than kid-friendly, it was so stupid it might as well be a Batman spoof. The darkness was gone, and a brighter, colorful world was what Warner Brothers wanted. They got more than they bargained for, they got The Riddler, Two-Face.. and Val Kilmer.
The plot is umm…. Two-Face is wrecking havoc and killing people and laughing manically and generally being awful. Bruce Wayne is being emo and having nightmares, there’s a guy at Waynetech called Edward Nigma (E.NIGMA LOL SEE WHUT I DID THER?) who invents a machine that can control minds. Oh and there’s also Robin, who’s parents are murdered by Two-Face and he vows to kill the two..faced… villain once and for all! Thus becoming Batman! Wait… I mean Robin! Oh and together as Batman and Robin, they must save the day blah.
The plot is messy, there’s no relatable characters, everybody is dull as stone. Two-Face is either laughing, laughing, giggling or (dead honest) dry humping the Riddler. The Riddler himself, is actually a nice characterized person, but his transition from Edward to Batman villain is a little out of reach. One minute he’s a nice, hard working scientist and the next he’s an insane, EVIL MAN WHO WANTS TO EAT BABIES HAHAHA. Robin is a whiny… thing, Batman is now an emo so he doesn’t do anything oh and there’s a love interest who doesn’t know what she’s doing. Just sort of stands around yelling “Save me Batman.”.
For starters, it’s everywhere and nowhere. Two-Face wants to wreck havoc because… he does. The Riddler wants revenge on Gotham city because they rejected his ideas… actually that’s OK. Batman is being emo because… he’s having nightmares (sissy), Robin’s parents died so he has a cliche ‘revenge!’ motivation, Alfred is in the background just dancing at one point… oh and the love interest is always useless. Just there for eye candy, not very tasty eye candy I might add. It’s a mess, a mass marketable mess, not for the Batman fans or the real appreciators, it’s for a wider audience. Batman has sold himself out!
Performances. Val Kilmer as Batman? A stone-faced, boring, drab, slab, lazy, boring performance. Worst actor who ever played Batman. I blame the script actually, Kilmer was given mixed directions on where to take his character and he didn’t know which way to play ball. Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face. Not a performance, just a mess around, you can see the glee in his eyes, the glee where he’s enjoying his job but not doing it. Chris O’Donnell as Batman. The most annoying chipmunk in the world. Jim Carrey as Riddler. Nice, clean, often funny performance BUT it just comes across to me as Jim Carrey being Jim Carrey. Even his catchphrases are in it.
Summary? Taking Batman places he doesn’t deserve to be. Or need to be. It’s like putting Batman in Disneyland, he just doesn’t belong there. Dark, edgy stories like the Burton films, they were great (maybe not Returns as much) but if Warner Brothers wants to sell out our hero, let them do so. Now that I think about it, it’s more of a return to the campy 60’s Batman with Adam West, a more colorful and vibrant world of Batman. In other words, more appealing, but that’s the way the world works. Money makes the world goes round… or is that gravity…