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I liked the first two batman movies, they were very, very dark, broodish
more in line to the actual dark comic book style. Burton is an amazing
director and brought the best out of Keaton(when batman was out he became
the coolest man around - and now he's not even given an
So what went wrong with this film. Was is Schumacher? Apparantly Keaton had doubts over wanting to do another Batman movie and after meeting Schumacher dropped out. It is amazing that such an actor can be put off a film such as this. But after seeing the film I can see why.
The film starts off pretty well, a helicopter crash into a statue of libery look-a-like - with Batman trapped inside, struggling to get outside before it crashed and blew up - it kinda took me back to old James Bond movies. The background song "Kiss from a Rose" provided by Seal is romantically well placed - but it isn't in the same OTT style as the film - unlike the U2 version.
The film lacks anything other than a flimsy plot of revenge. Batman (played by a boring, Val Kilmer) plays master to a vengeful Robin who wants revenge on a flat villan, Two-Face (underplayed by Tommy Lee Jones), who is working with the Riddler - played by an OTT Jim Carrey (I personally would have gone for Robin Williams, but I guess Williams is too old - he's probably fits "the Mad Hatter" rather than the Riddler).
I know Carrey was payed MegaBucks to carry this flimsy film, but this is no reason to make him the only star of this film. Why, when Carrey gets all the minds off tv-zombies, doesn't realize Batman's true identity sooner is beyond me.
Carrey's character is never explained properly, why is eccentric? OK - he never got praise for his work, but if you didn't get praise for your job you don't come crazy and wear green spandex overnight do you?
This film is pretty poor compared to the previous versions, Nicole Kidman although looking pretty - figures out Batman's true identity far too quickly. She's supposed to be head strong, but instead comes across as a dasmel in distress.
Overall I suggest you return to the old versions. And I would suggest avoiding the PAINFUL Clooney version: Batman and Robin.
Batman Forever is a good Batman movie maybe not the best. Val Kilmer does a good job as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Chris O'Donnell does a good job as Robin, Jim Carrey does a good job as The Riddler, Tommy Lee Jones does a good job as Two-Face, and Nicole Kidman does a good job too. This film got nominated for Best Cinematography and it deserves it. This movie was well directed by Joel Shumacher. This movie has great action and humor. This film is a ride to watch. This movie also has great sound and visual effects. The first time I saw this movie I hated it and then it grew on me. This movie had a lot of bad reviews but I liked it any way. I thought this movie was better than Batman Returns.
While the Batman franchise has been much maligned in recent years due to the disappointing performance of the last live-action film, Forever was second in quality only to the first Bat-film. It added color back into a Gotham that had gotten way too claustrophobic, and brought the tone back to something resembling the comics. Jim Carrey is a scene-stealer and dead on as The Riddler, and Val Kilmer is the perfect Bruce Wayne and Batman. Tommy Lee Jones does a great turn as Two-Face, unfortunately he isn't given enough to do and therefore comes across too cartoony, minus the angst of the character in the comics. One other big complaint is the new score - gone are Danny Elfman's orchestrations. Elliot Goldenthal's music would have been fine if not for his predecessor. Most people tend to lump this one in the 'lousy' section, it seems, but it was one of the biggest movies of '95 and a very faithful adaption overall. Now if they'd only release the director's cut
I found this third feature in the series the most exciting. Mainly
because of the way the characters are all integrated into the story
with just about even screen time (it appears anyway). Val Kilmer's
Batman/ Bruce Wayne is very serious and major steps above George
Kilmer is believable. The origin of Robin is handled well and the introduction of Two Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and the Riddler (Jim Carrey) is well done. Both actors are well over the top in their performances and are aided by very explosive special effects. Finally to round out the quintet is the lovely Nicole Kidman as a renowned pyschologist (psychiatrist?) who is this movie's love interest.
The battle scenes are exciting and the movie doesn't have any dull moments. There definitely is not a "Tim Burton" feel to the movie, outside of the psyches of the characters. The humor his the right tempo and doesn't go totally on the stupid side as in the later BATMAN AND ROBIN. It is one movie that has a great opening and a great ending, like those good old James Bond films.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't know about you, but I truly enjoyed this movie. It actually
made me more excited than the previous two. It was very silly, and it
was quite a surprise to see Drew Barrymore on the set, but not Jim
Carrey seeing how he was on the actual cover of the movie.
After a circus accident, Robin wants revenge for Two-face for killing his whole family, and he happens to stay with Bruce Wayne and break into his bat lair and steals his car. Amazing. He now has to convince Batman or Bruce Wayne to let him join him.. or them. Same people, you know.
I have to say that this is a very underrated film, but then again, I can see how people can hate it. It can be a little bit too silly, the idea of the heroic and epic Batman having a silly sidekick is kind of ridiculous, but who cares? Try it out, check it out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Many critics have bashed Val Kilmer's portrayal of Batman, but I found
him delightful and well-suited to the part. While there was enough camp
for a complete plethora of girl scouts, I found his portrayal dark and
convincing. It was the direction, again, which was lacking.
More camp and reversion to the old 60's-70's comedic-styled Batman practically killed this movie for me. Nicole Kiddman's presence did absolutely nothing for it, either in my opinion. Her work was extremely plastic, predictable and downright amateurish. I normally greatly enjoy her performances. I loved her in "Practical Magic," and "Moulin Rouge," but this is about seven light-years away from even touching on those performances.
Chris O'Donnel as Robin...? *winces* I would have chosen someone else for the part, but he does make a valiant attempt.
Moreover, they did stick to the original story of the death of Robin's family member and how he came to be Bruce Wayne's ward. That was nicely refreshing after the erroneous change of Bruce Wayne's parents being killed by the Joker in the first installment.
Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face was hilarious and almost vertiginous in his portrayal, sadly that was one of the main elements of camp. He should have been much more serious and foreboding if he wished to avoid lending that old "oh gods how lame" feeling we all got from the old TV series.
Jim Carrey's performance as the Riddler was...classic Jim Carrey. I found he was acting less than he was just playing on camera. His performance did not carry enough Riddler. His personality severely overrode his performance and we got Jim Carrey in a skintight green leotard, instead of the Riddler. I love Jim Carrey's style, so that was not so much a problem for me, but for some others, it was a serious detriment to the film.
Still absent, were the wonderful Gothic architectures, the darkling sinister feel to the whole movie. This was simply pandemonium and mayhem with seemingly no direction whatsoever after the first thirty minutes of the movie.
While this is not, I repeat "NOT" a bad movie, it did far less to capture and inspire the imagination than the first of its spawn. The effects were very reminiscent of the now degraded "Lawnmower Man," and the body armor was ridiculous. Batman doesn't HAVE body armor, and if he DID, it certainly would never have had nipples pressed into the frigging thing! Ludicrous. I'm all for technology and its marvelous advances, but this was not a good example of its proper use in a film. I felt the nippled body armor was just another demonstration of the bad direction and yet another reversion to the camp of the old TV series.
"Holy rusted metal, Batman!" Robin. *lol* Wow. You don't get any lamer than that. Call it an homage if you must, but in my opinion, it sorely cheapened the already low quality of dialog in this movie. With dialog like that, how can you help but laugh?
Therefore, I have to say that this movie did make me laugh from time to time (although it was AT it, rather than WITH it), and there were some interesting ideas which I will not detail here (see the movie for yourself if you're interested in seeing them).
That having been said, I miss the darkling Gothic/punk quality Tim Burton captured in the first. The first was not perfection, but it was much, much nearer that goal than this one, or "Batman Returns."
I understand Arnold Schwarzenegger is in the next installment as Mr. Freeze. I can only hope he does not fall into the giddy, preposterous scenarios and cheap lame campy dialog they forced on Tommy Lee Jones. And George Clooney as Batman?! What ARE they thinking!? I have little hope that the next installment will surpass this one.
The bright spots of this movie? Jim Carey's wardrobe, Val Kilmer's performance, Drew Barrymore's portrayal as "Sugar," and the addition of Robin's character. As I already stated, they were not faithless in the story line of his history and how he came to be with Bruce Wayne. It was the one thing I admired about this movie, that the character development was quite deep and actually very good.
It gets a 7.1/10 from...
the Fiend :.
Batman Forever is a hoot of a sequel!. There are so many colorful
characters, and wonderfully entertaining action sequences, I couldn't
help but enjoy myself. Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey play fantastic
villains, and often play off one another, beautifully. I also thought
Val Kilmer did a very adequate job as Batman. While he's no Bale or
even Keatman, Kilmer did a commendable job as Batman, despite his
criticism. I also liked the playful tone it had a lot of the time, it
was a refreshing departure from the very dark 1st two. I think die hard
fans were angry at the time, because Keaton wasn't cast, therefore
there mind had already been made up on this film, because I really
don't see what there isn't too enjoy about this film. It has an above
average batman, tremendous action, a good love story, and most
importantly it has the smarts it needs to succeed.
Performances. I'm not Val Kilmer's biggest fan, but he is a steady Batman in my opinion. He had a bold task, by playing the famous crusader. Val surprisingly has the charisma to succeed as Batman, which really surprised me, believe me. His chemistry with Kidman was very good, as well. Tommy Lee Jones&Jim Carrey are terrific, hammy villains. They play off one another wonderfully, and gave an entertaining show. Nicole Kidman is very sexy, and played her mysterious, yet classy role as the Dr. well. Chris O'Donnell is a big annoyance, and hampered the film somewhat as Robin, I wanted to slap him one. Michael Gough is once again Class as Alfred, but by now he can do this in his sleep. Barrymore and Mazar do well in there respective roles.
Bottom line. Batman Forever is an immensely entertaining sequel. I loved every minute of it, and rank it as one of the more underrated sequels in the series. Ignore the 5.4 rating, and give this one a chance, you might love it like I did!.
8 1/2 10
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.
First one essential thing: this film is not really a sequel to any franchise. Actually, the only thing that links it to the Tim Burton works are the basic characters (like Batman, Alfred, Gordon and Gotham) and the fact that this is a Batman movie. But one thing should be once more told: one shall not start comparing. Because this is going to influence everything that ensues our analysis. People say that this movie is bad because Batman is a dark and Gothic character. But doesn't anyone remember the comic book which inspired the COLORFUL and HUMORISTIC series? That's right, this movie is actually an incredible powerhouse remake of the camp 50's series: Robin's circus clothes, the Riddler's green, etc. And the movie is a reformulation, a new deal, which faces the whole Batman concept in a whole new way. What has been done here was experimenting. A "what if" situation. "What if Batman lived in a colorful neon-filled city, with giant statues and colorful thugs in the alleys? What if his car and his boat and his plane were slicker, faster and more beautifully designed? What if Batman was younger, stronger and sexier? And what if the movie had humor?" One has to face the truth: there is nothing in the Batman series like its gift to inspire our awe. The film starts in a way that never stops. And I never saw villains like the ones depicted here. First and really important: they make a great chemistry, an essential fact which didn't work between Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy. Second, they are GREAT actors. Third, they create characters with charisma which make us decide between loving them or hating them. All the set design ideas are 100% effective, 100% inspiring and 100% passionating. My favorite is the scene where Riddler's sign uses the Batsign as part of the question mark. This Gotham is a city where we actually wanna live in. There are enormous statues, car overpasses, artistic graffitis and neon lights. And this is the most spectacular thing in Batman Forever: its atmosphere. This could be a movie where the characters ignored their surroundings, but here helicopters fly through eye-wash signs, and the Batmobile climbs up a wall (what a spectacular shot). This is the shake the Batman movies always wanted to have. And this one rendered the action of the first two positively arthritic. We had two movies centered around a Gothic city, with dark settings all Tim Burton's own. This movie said "now let's try something completely different". And the fact that it is the highest grossing movie of 1995 isn't casual. It has a reason. Its novelty was the reason. Unfortunately, this would be also the last time Batman would reach such novelty. Batman & Robin proved the volatility of the concept.... or maybe the director... or maybe even the characters... fact is that Batman Forever is a very special movie. It combines amazing action sequences with dream-like surroundings (just check out that circus) and charismatic leads. It is without a doubt the best movie by Joel Schumacher and it is without a doubt one of the best movies of the Batman series.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
No wonder Batman did not resurface for 8 years. Batman Forever and
Batman and Robin are so bad it's laughable.
The worst thing about Forever is that Tim Burton was producing. Batman and Returns are fine films with good acting, action and real story that connect with the audience. As for this rubbish there is nothing. Joel Schumacher directed tight and tense movies like Falling Down and Phonebooth so where did it go wrong? Lets begin...
For starters Val Kilmer. Why? Terrible feminine jaw and lips, no mystery or darkness whatsoever. Michael Keaton and Christian Bale wipe the floor with him. He has no charisma and is totally miscast. As for Michael Gough (Alfred) lets just say Michael Caine is preferable. It gets worse though, Jim Carrey is okay at first as the Riddler but then descends into OTT syndrome. As does Tommy Lee Jones as Two Face. Both become laughable and moronic as they try to out-do each other in overacting. They fall into caricatures after awhile and the strange homoerotic tension between them only adds to the farce.
I assume they are meant to strike fear into the viewer but they just irritate. Plus Two Face is just one face as he seems to lack any sort of good in him. Keep an eye out for the comical altercation which caused his facial disfigurement. Oh and the costumes are just awful, tight green lycra covered in question marks? Wrong, wrong wrong!
Nicole Kidman sexes things up a little (surprisingly). She sizzles and is the only thing good about this movie. Drew Barrymore embarrasses herself by playing a pointless role.
The real reason for the 1 rating though, is...Robin...yes...Robin! Why? Chris O'Donnell will be hated forever and well he deserves it for agreeing to bring back the worst character in Batman. The Dark Knight works alone not with some acrobatic moron. And to add to the mess they give Robin a suit and symbol similar to Batman.
What's more is the terrible depiction of Gotham. Batman and Returns have Gotham as a city like any other but more Gothic and darker. Joel Schumacher decided to create a freakish city full of clowns, fluorescent colours juxtaposed with Wayne manor in the lovely countryside yet is close to the city. Nothing is realistic. Batman Forever destroys the previous two Burton films by creating a comic book horror show without any sort of danger, mystery or intrigue.
The plot is pretty dull and predictable, villains team up and fight Batman and Loser Robin in an overlong and poorly done action finale. Jim Carrey is unwatchable and Lee Jones must weep when he replays this disaster.
Well that sums it up, a horrible mess which nearly destroyed a legend. Well Shumacher did that in the sequel. Thank god for Christopher Nolan!
One more thing. I challenge you to watch Kidman and Kilmer in one scene and not laugh (it's in the bedroom and Kilmer does the most cringe inducing smile ever seen on camera!).
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