The Dark Knight of Gotham City confronts a dastardly duo: Two-Face and the Riddler. Formerly District Attorney Harvey Dent, Two-Face incorrectly believes Batman caused the courtroom accident which left him disfigured on one side; he has unleashed a reign of terror on the good people of Gotham. Edward Nygma, computer-genius and former employee of millionaire Bruce Wayne, is out to get the philanthropist; as The Riddler he perfects a device for draining information from all the brains in Gotham, including Bruce Wayne's knowledge of his other identity. Batman/Wayne is/are the love focus of Dr. Chase Meridan. Former circus acrobat Dick Grayson, his family killed by Two-Face, becomes Wayne's ward and Batman's new partner Robin the Boy Wonder. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In Canada, the French version of the Riddler's name is Le Sphinx. See more »
When The Riddler breaks into Two-Face's hideout, he only has his cane with him, but a few minutes later, when he demonstrates how "the box" works, the two green receivers that it uses are already there. See more »
Flawed but ultimately enjoyable Chapter in the series.
After "Batman" and "Batman Returns" made over half a billion dollars combined at the box office, it was clear it wouldn't be long before Warner Bros. green lit a third installment to the Batman franchise. After Tim Burton was released as director...due to the sexuality and violence of "Returns" not being marketable enough for big sponsors like McDonalds, Joel Schumacher of "The Client" and "The Lost Boys" was given a shot at the directors chair. Schumacher was hired primarily for his unique style and ability to balance the light and dark in a film. Michael Keaton decided not to take the reigns as star for a 3rd time around, so he was replaced by Val "Iceman" Kilmer. And Robin finally gets his first appearance as batman's sidekick. Here played by Chris O'Donnell, respectively. While the film may be flawed in terms of a few plot holes and a bit of overacting, it stresses a larger point to the Batman legacy, as did "Batman Begins". "Begins" teaches us why Batman is, and "Forever" teaches why Batman will always be.
The film begins with our hero (Val Kilmer) hunting after his prison-escaped nemesis, Harvey Two-Face (Academy Award Winner Tommy Lee Jones), the once crime fighting D.A. Harvey Dent. After failing to bring Two-Face to justice, Batman faces another challenge in the forms of Dr. Chase Meridian, a psychiatrist who is week in the knees for bad boys, and Edward Nygma, a maniacal employee of Wayne Enterprises. After Nygma proposes a new device that can allow the viewer of any television program to become one with the show, Wayne refuses, denouncing the idea of mind manipulation. Nygma, now rejected, vows vengeance. After receiving several disturbing letters in the form of riddles, Bruce Wayne engages the help of Dr. Meridian. Bruce, infatuated by Chase, asks her to join him at a Grand Circus, featuring all of Gotham's "well-to-do". Whilst there, Two-Face crashes the party, armed with 200 sticks of TNT. Threatening to leave the place in ruins unless Batman's identity is given up, the acrobatic stars of the circus, the Graysons, attempt to stop the bomb. In their gallant attempt, Two-Face executes them. The only surviving son, Dick Grayson, managed to escape that very fate to dismantle the T.N.T. Dick, now alone and orphaned, is taken in by Bruce. Having gone through a similar situation with the murder of his parents, Bruce takes Dick under his wing (forgive the pun). Eventually, Nygma transforms into an alter ego known as The Riddler, and joins forces with Two-Face. After establishing himself as a brilliant tycoon as Edward Nygma with the release of his 3-D Box, he takes advantage of all the images and information being sucked out of Gotham's brainwaves. He would eventually devise a way to read men's minds. Between the Riddler and Two-Face discovering his identity, Chase's infatuation with Batman, Bruce's true love for Chase, and Dick Grayson's wanting to exact vengeance on Two-Face, Batman has his hands full. These conflicts all culminate in a raid on Wayne Manor and then a final battle on the Riddler's Claw island fortress, in which Robin makes his first venture in heroism.
Between the dazzling special effects, the newly written musical score by Elliott Goldenthal (no where near as effective as Danny Elfman's haunting score, but still damn good), and the new and fresh performance as the Dark Knight/Bruce Wayne by Val Kilmer, this film is sure to please anyone who was disappointed with "Batman & Robin" or "Batman Returns". My final comments will go to the cast. While Kilmer was effective as Batman, giving us something both new and something we have seen in Michael Keaton's portrayal, I was surprised to see how well he fit into the role. His voice, his body movements, and especially his billionaire, corporate C.E.O. version of Bruce Wayne that Keaton had not shown us, are all pluses for his performance. Tommy Lee Jones was only given one side of the personality of Two-Face. Thus giving us a wildly over the top, hot headed, but ultimately cool Two-Face. From the first shot we see him to the final confrontation between he and the dynamic duo; Jones gives to Two-Face what Nicholson gave to the Joker, an unrelenting dose of delicious evil. Jim Carrey was the ultimate choice for the Riddler. His tall, thin structure and extraordinarily comical body movements gave the Riddler what Frank Gorshin had done in the 60s with the same character. From the twirling of his golden , question-mark-topped-cane, and the skin tight green suit encumbered with jet black question marks, Carrey proves one of the best of Batman's on screen adversaries. Kidman was sexy and refreshing. But, if people think Two-Face is over the top, try a criminal psychiatrist who is turned on by "the wrong kind of man". I kind of buy it, but over all I thought the best part of her character was when she decided to grow up and fall for a normal man (if you consider Bruce normal). Chris O'Donnell did hear what he should have followed up in "Batman & Robin". And that is to keep the bad boy image going, and abandon any Burt Ward impersonation. Luckily enough, Burt Ward is no where to be found in this film. This film shows us why Batman will always be, as "Batman Begins" showed us why he is. Wayne in "Begins" confronts what he must become, as Wayne in this, must confront why he must continue. Overall a good chapter in the series.
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