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Batman Forever

So, after spanning two decent Batman movies, the franchise took a turn when the torch was handed over to Joel Schumacher, whose rendition of the masked crusader has got to be the worst installments I have seen. In a few words: it was messy, sloppy, and outrageous. How this garnered a sequel from the same director, I would never know

The movie immediately throws us in the middle of action, introducing the new Batman and the new villain at the same time. For this installment, we get Harvey, or Two-Face, as he is more commonly known. There was also Riddler, who was really more of Bruce Wayne's arch nemesis rather than Batman's. We also get to meet the newest addition to the Batman crew, Robin. The movie dives into bits of Bruce Wayne's sketchy past and why he decided to become Batman.

This was a rather forgettable take on Batman. While Val Kilmer looks better in the suit compared to Keaton, his Batman was rather weak and limited. Besides his past, he didn't have much of a substance. He also seemed detached to the character. His best scenes were when he was just doing the action sequences. No talk, just action. That might have also been his stunt double. He didn't carry the charisma of a Bruce Wayne that Keaton, Clooney (although his Batman flick was also bad) and Bale did. He wasn't an improved choice.

Even the villains were unusual and too unrealistic. First, there's Tommy Lee Jones' over the top performance of Harvey Dent. Harvey was first introduced in the previous Batman movies, but this did not make a connection to that introduction. Dent didn't have a background and a reason why he suddenly turned against his back to Gotham. It was unexplained. Jim Carrey's Riddler was no better. To start, he didn't really have anything against Batman, but with Bruce Wayne. I didn't see the reason for him to fight Batman, unless he deduced that he is Bruce Wayne. To sum them up, both villains were messy, and their performances quite forgettable.

Then there's Chris O'Donnell, playing Batman's sidekick, Robin. He was of no importance in this movie, nor in the next. Besides the history he has, he was also a limited character. He would simply appear out of nowhere after disappearing, without any explanation or indication. He wasn't of help, quality-wise. I think his character would have been better if there was some depth to him, instead of just throwing him on screen and expecting him to be great. Even Batman wasn't of help to him, mentor-wise.

This movie is a mess. I don't think I can pinpoint any good aspect from it. They could have improved on the make-up and set design, as everything seems to be unrealistic and overdecorated. It wasn't consistent. There were some scenes where the area looks plain, yet there are some where the areas look out of this world crazy. It doesn't compliment, but disrupts the structure of the movie. The screenplay was badly written. It lacked depth and content. To be honest, I like the concept of Batman and Robin, but I hoped that there was some relationship established between the two.

Batman Forever was a staggering disappointment to the movie saga that Tim Burton has started. It did not bring anything new or exciting to the Batman table. It was weak and it did have me surprised that this managed to have a sequel. It could have been improved or further developed in order to have solid content. It didn't help that there were on set problems, which could have contributed to the disappointment of this installment. I suggest skipping these, and watch the first two movies instead.

Final Word: Terrible.

Cast: Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey
Director: Joel Schumacher
Year: 1995


  1. Great review. If you think this was bad, and it is, watch the next one. It's a whole new level of terrible. As for why it even exist, thank the box office. Burton's first Batman raked in over $400 mill. Returns was deemed too dark and bizarre for young and mainstream viewers and made $150 million less. Schumacher was brought in to lighten things up and this movie's $336 million haul was taken as proof they did the right thing. In fact, two more Schumacher flicks were approved, but the next one was so bad WB had no choice but to kill the franchise.

    1. I've seen Batman and Robin before I've seen the rest, and it was just silly and worst than this. Good thing they decided to kill the franchise instead of risking it. It's going to be hard to top Nolan's though.

  2. It's odd that I remember liking this quite a lot when I saw it in the theaters. I think it was the spectacle of the whole thing. When I've caught parts of it on TV, I've realized that it's basically unwatchable. Your comments are spot on, though I do think it's better than the next installment.

    1. The next installment was bad indeed; Burton has managed to create a decent Batman track, only to have Schumacher squash it with his versions of the hero.


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