Is this the Batman film we deserve, or the one we need right now?
Batman Forever is Property of Warner Bros.
Ugh, does every reviewer need to have fictional character invade their reviews? Whatever, at least it wasn’t Seltzerberg this time.
Hello, Spongey here.
Back in December of 2012, I reviewed 1992′s Batman Returns, the sequel to Tim Burton’s 1989 hit. The film was pretty divisive, as some thought it was the amazing sequel we deserve, but not the one we need right now. Others, thought it was a good example of why complete control is not a good thing.’
If you read my review, you’ll know I didn’t like it because the plot was a mess, the characters were even messier, and Batman didn’t really do a whole lot. But I also said it was a fun bad movie for the crazy acting and weird parts.
A lot of people (read: Grumpy Parents) thought the film was too dark and this made it less of a hit. Of course, if they actually saw the movie, they wouldn’t say that once they saw the penguins with rockets.
Because of the reaction from parents, the studio had no choice but to boot Burton off the series and replaced him acclaimed director Joel Schumacher. Well, he was acclaimed until he made the infamous 4th installment that people hated so much, they forget he made other movies.
So in 1995, we got this film, which as we all know, was much lighter in tone, and closer to the Adam West series than the Burton films. Infact, I consider this one a reboot rather than an actual sequel because of how different it is.
The reaction was….mixed, to say the least. Some though it a fun ride, while others called it the beginning of the end for the Batman films. Now, the latter is the response you see. As for me…..well, prior to this review, I watched the first hour of the film and while I planned to finish it, I just didn’t get around to it.
I….liked that first hour, so you could say I like this movie. Infact, I think it’s superior to Batman Returns.
I know that isn’t exactly a popular opinion, but I stand by it. Unlike Returns, this movie is focused and has an actual story. Of course, I can’t say that after only watching half of it, but I think I can say that here.
I certainly understood why people don’t accept this….lighter version, for reasons I’ll get into later, but you can count my among it’s fans for now. So why exactly are people so mixed on this one?
Well, let’s shut up and find out.
This, is Batman Forever
The movie opens with the caped crusader himself suiting up in the bat cave, and getting ready to head out in the bat mobile, all while some badass music plays.
ALFRED: May I persuade you to take a sandwich, sir?
“I’ll get drive thru”
And the tone has been set.
I love that the opening almost fools you into thinking this is the “dark” Batman until it plays a late April Fools joke on you. I kind of dig it, as dumb as it is. So Batman heads off into Gotham City, and it’s here where I have to talk about the….look of the film.
Since this is a lighter version, the dark and Gothic look of Gotham has been changed to bright, and flashy. The entire movie is like this too, with the music being the only possible dark element.
The Batmobile looks especially goofy, kind of like a toy rather than an actual badass car. However, I can’t say they go all out with the kid friendly tone, as there are dark elements here and there.
Though this does lead to an issue I have with the film. This movie seems to be the polar opposite of Batman Returns, at least for me. Returns weakness was it’s story, while it’s strength was the acting, and visuals.
Here, the effects and visuals just like kind of fake at times. Not so much the whole Bright and flashy thing, but the fact that there is lots of obvious CG, and way it’s short at times, makes it look cheaper than it is.
As for the acting and story, I’ll get to that as we go along. We cut to the bank as Two Face, played by Tommy Lee Jones, is being all with some scared citizen.
Okay, I’ll talk about one performance here. I’ll say it now: Tommy Lee Jones is a great actor, and he was the perfect choice to play Two Face….BUT, it seems like he forgot that a good Two Face should be subtle and threatening. Instead, he chews the scenery like it’s a 5 star meal.
Now, to be fair, at times it does kind of work, and he can be fun. But at other times, he’s just a really bad Two Face. All he does is flip a coin, talk about luck, and laugh a lot. It seems like they only got parts of his character right.
Also, the make up kind of sucks. That’s not a horrible scare, that’s obviously bad make up. And it’s not like you didn’t have great make up back then, they could have tried harder! So anyway, Batman shows up on the scene and he meets a girl named Chase, played by Nicole Kidman, who is is a doctor that specials in multiple personality stuff.
“Let’s just say I could write a full paper on a grown man who dressed like a flying rodent”
“Bats aren’t rodents.”
And now we must talk about our new Batman, Val Kilmer. Keaton dropped out because he didn’t like the new direction, and after go through many choices, including Johnny Depp (Did I mention Tim Burton is still a producer?), they settle on Val.
He’s alright. He’s not the best, but he makes a passable Bruce Wayne/Batman. I like that they still make him a smart guy, since he is THE WORLD’S GREATEST DECTIVIE. We got some of that during that banter.
So they still try to infuse some Batman into him. Instead of making him….well…….Okay, I won’t make any actual Batman and Robin jokes/slams, but just in case…
Batman And Robin Jokes I could have made: 1
Besides, we all know the best Batman is Lego Batman.
“DARKNESS! NO PARENTS!”
Batman goes in to fight Two Face’s goons, and like all great action scenes, it’s shot in such a fast way that I can’t make out what is going on! It’s not the worst shaky cam ever, but yeah, it’s kind of dumb.
Two Face jumps in a Helicopter thingy and uses a thing to lift up the safe that Batman and the hostage are in.
“For your dying pleasure, I serve you the very acid that made us the men we are today!”
In the first hour at least, this is one of the few references to Two Face’s backstory and all that. You know how in the animated series, The Dark Knight, they really dive into his character and how Batman kind of made hm the way he is?
Yeah, this movie doesn’t do that. And that is one aspect of the story that needed work.
We then get an escape scene, that would be suspenseful if the hostage wasn’t so damn annoying. He keeps shouting crap all the way through, and I just want that acid to reach him already!
Eventually, the hostage is saved but Batman attacks the helicopter thing and Two Face shoots the guy flying it….for some reason. I guess it’s to prove it’s not too kid friendly.
Long story short, Two Face gets away and Batman loses this round. We then cut to the city and-
Oh god, what the hell is that? They seriously thought that look good? This isn’t from a bad Nintendo 64 game, this is an actual establishing shot from the movie! I’ve seen some bad CG in my time but….wow.
The next day, Bruce meets with some guys at Wayne Enterprises, as he is approached by a scientific named Edward Nigma. Subtle. Oh, and he’s played by Jim Carey. Just in case you wanted more proof this is a lighter take on Batman.
“Your my idol and some people have been trying to keep us apart”
As far as Jim goes, he’s perfectly fine as The Riddler (spoiler if you don’t see the poster up there). Unlike Two Face, he fits the part well and while some find him annoying, he is decent/funny enough. He kind of reminds me of the Riddler from the 60′s show, which was probably intentional.
Edward shows them this thing he was working on: a Device that sends TV signal to the brain.
“This device makes people feel like they’re inside the show!”
Who says TV doesn’t rot your brain?
Bruce just tells him to give the full plans to his Secretary, and Edward does not like this. Eventually, Bruce just tells him no, because tampering with brain waves is a no-no.
“It just raises too many question”
And thus, a Linkara gag was born.
“You were supposed to understand….I’ll make you understand”
Okay, this is why slash fics exist.
Bruce leaves, and that night, he dons the cape and cowl and ends up bumping into Chase on a roof. I suppose now is a good time to discuss….the bat nipples.
Yeah, see them? For some reason, the costume designer thought the bat suit needed nipples and needless to say, this caused quite a stir. A bit too much of a sir, honestly. I mean, Joel himself said he had no idea putting nipples on the suit would make headlines. Yes, it’s stupid and makes no sense, but it’s not THAT big of a deal.
Anyway, so where were we?
…Oh yeah.. That counts as the “She’s nice” joke, by the way.
Bats is here because she set off the bat signal, to tell him what we already know: The coin is Two Face’s Achilles heel. …Okay, she just wanted to get in his bat pants.
“You trying to get under my cape, doctor?”
“It’s the car right? Chicks love the car”
….I’ll just ignore that.
“Try firemen, less to take off”
Okay, that was funny.
I’m not sure why she’s randomly hot for him but hey, as James Rolfe, we all want girls to be going all over us while we’re dressed as a bat. But really, why should Batman, the guy who went through two lovers already, go for he-
“Direct, aren’t you?”
This banter is odd. It’s equal parts stupid, and self aware in it’s stupid-ness.
“You like tough women. I’ve done my homework. Or do I need skin tight vinyl and a whip?”
….This movie is weird.
Before things can go further, some guy interrupts them and Batman leaves. I’m not sure how to feel about this love interests. She’s certainly sultry, but perhaps a bit too….direct, you know? I mean, his previous love was a literal crazy cat lady and she had a better reason to jump his bones!
Meanwhile, Edward is still at his workplace working his crazy device, when this guy who was bitching at him earlier shows up.
“What the HELL is going on here?!”
You can’t hear it but….I AM ACTNG!
Edward responds by knocking him out with a coffee can.
“Caffeine’ will kill ya!”
When he wakes up, he’s strapped to Edward’s device, which he turns on. Edward has one on too, so they take have a mugging contest. You can imagine who wins. He successful turns the guy into a brain dead vegetable-
insert your own joke about a show you dislike here-
and Edward becomes a super genius somehow.
“Riddle me this! What is everything to someone and nothing to everyone else? Your mind, baby!”
The process makes Jim Carey mug and dance some more, because we haven’t had enough of that yet. After it’s done, Fred is normal-ish while Edward is still a genius So how does that even work? You couldn’t do that and still have Fred be….un-stupid!
Fred tells him Edward is going to jail, and he is thrown out the window. Note to to anyone who faces a bad guy: Never tell him he’s going to jail because that usually gets you killed.
We cut to Bruce at home as he is watching some Plot Convenience News, as they are covering Two Face’s backstory: District Attorney Harvey Dent was horrible disfigured by some bad guy and Batman failed to save him so now he blames Batman for his horrible fate. Since this is still supposed to be a sequel to the Burton films, I think that accident turned Billy Dee Williams into Tommy Lee jones, somehow.
Also, this one of those other times they directly refer to the whole “Two Face complexity” thing. Again, more of this would have been nice. Later on, the cops find Fred’s body and Edward puts on a sad act for everyone, and he even wrote a fake letter saying Fred killed himself. He also tampered with the security footage so it looks like this.
Hey, most criminals don’t remember the cameras! This guy is way smarter than most villains I’ve seen lately.
Bruce is called in to help and they find our first classic Riddler clue thingy on his desk.
“If you look at the numbers on my face, you won’t find 13 anyplace”
A clock. Give me a hard one!
“Who would send you a riddle?”
“That, is the riddle”
Bruce finds another riddle at his house, and he brings it to Chase.
“Tear one off and scratch my head, what once was red is black instead”
I knew that!
Chase tells Bruce that this riddle guy is a total whacko which is the technical term for being cuckoo for coca puffs. She determines that this guy is obsessed with Bruce and wants him dead.
I must say, the whole idea of The Riddle being driven to evil because of his obsession with Bruce, is fairly interesting. So he’s at least an interesting villain, and not just because of the ideas, but the execution as well. Unlike..
Batman and Robin Jokes I could have made: 2
“We need to get you on those clothes”
“and into a black dress”
That isn’t helping.
Then they go to the circus because….romantic? Well, it figures this movie would end up a circus, which is just as flashy as the rest of the movie. Chase tells Bruce she’s met someone (not thinking that the guy she was kind of flirting with, may be pissed) and yeah, that someone is Batman.
We see a performance by the “flying Grayson” and the one known as Richard Grayson, age 12-i mean age….older, goes up.
“Without the safety of a net!”
If you guess this will go wrong, once a villain (in this case, Two Face) shows up, then ….yay. Two Face sets up a bomb or something and The Graysons try to stop, while Bruce attempts to do the same without revealing he is Batman.
Dick (played by Chris O Donnel) is able to stop the bomb, but Two Face gets away and his parents kid of die while trying to stop him. So in this “dumbed down” film, we have had 3 death scenes so far. Granted, only two were important but this pretty much drives the rest of the plot.
This scene is actually pulled well, as it shown in a serious light, and you see how this has effected Dick. This starts off the reason I like this film as much as I do you may wondering why I like cuz we’re over hour an half in and nothing seems to stand out as amazing. But I’ll get to that in a sec.
Bruce takes Dick in, right in the very next scene because we gotta get this 1 hour 50-something minute movie done! Then Richard stays true to his nickname by telling Bruce he’s leaving, and he only told everyone he’s staying here to avoid a bunch of drama.
Did I mention he has a jacket and motorcycle, and he’s gonna go kill Two face as revenge? Yeah, he’s a walking cliché but….the last part makes him a bit more interesting. Bruce notices Dick’s bike is almost out of gas so he has to stay to fill it up.
After helping him out, Bruce goes to his room to think for a bit and we get an extended flashback of the big moment where his parents die. Even though the one in the ’89 film was good enough. I mean, are they gonna dedicate a whole half of a movie to his backstory? Who would watch that?
This one adds a bit from Thomas and Maratha’s funereal, showing some more of Bruce’s grief. Jokes aside, this well done. It’s another stab at being a more serious film, as Bruce realizes Dick’s backstory is very much like his. And since Batman failing to stop Two Face allowed them to die, Bruce feels personally responsible.
And that is where my reason for liking this film comes in. The entire relationship of Bruce and Dick is done very well. Through this, Dick will become his partner, Robin (spoilers for those who don’t know basic comic stuff) and as the movie progresses, Batman will grow to accept the idea of having a sidekick.
It’s surprisingly deep, and complex for a film with Jim Carey making funny faces. Despite this movie’s reputation, it actually tries to tell an interesting story, not unlike the more serious Batman films. Though I will go into the balance of the tones in the final thoughts, assuming it keeps going this way.
Dick decides to stay for a bit and he talks to Alfred, who notices that Richard’s helmet has a robin on it.
Finally brought this back.
Also, his whole circus outfit is almost exactly like the classic Robin costume we all know. That’s actually kind of a clever way to fit it in while also making a MUCH cooler costume that we’ll see later on.
“One day, Robin will fly again”
After an extended car chase with Two Face that night, we cut to his evil liar with his two, for lack of a better word, whores. One has a white outfit, one has a black outfit. They both prepare his “favorite” meal. One of white, fluffy themed, and the other is black, dark themed.
Okay, that’s incredibly stupid.
Thankfully, this interception by our 50 minute late interdiction of The Riddler. Naturally, he wants to team up with Two Face so they can kill the bat. Two Face accepts his offer pretty quickly. You know, Tommy Lee Jones isn’t really acting in this scene. He’s just kind of nodding and letting Jim Carey eat the scenery.
He started out trying to out mug Carey but I think Jones realized that is a battle no one can win so he just kind of gave up. I see why , but it’s at this point where Two Face just becomes boring, showing off why we didn’t really need him.
Speaking of mugging, Jim really lets loose her as looks around Two Face’s place.
“It’s so dark, and Gothic!”
No, it’s bright and not Gothic at all.
“Has anyone ever told you, you have a SERIOUS IMPULSE CONTROL PROBLEM?!”
Riddler tells Two Face his plan to control everyone’s mind with his machine and all that. Two Face is like “Okay” and they go on an epic crime spree. Bruce finds out from PCN that
Riddler is setting up riddles over town and the citizens are calling him the Riddler.
It’s a good thing they name they gave him happens to be his real name or things would be awkward.
Bruce gets another Riddle.
“The eight of us go forth, not back. To protect our king from a foe’s attack”
….I’m sure they will explain later so I can claim I knew it along.
Meanwhile, Edward sells his device, called the Box, to everyone and it’s an instant hit. At least, that is what Plot Convenience News tells me.
“Critics say it turns gothamites into zombies. But that’s what they said when TV was invented”
Still better than Reality TV.
While The Riddler gets smarter thanks to the device, Dick discovers the bat cave, because one old butler makes for terrible security. One abrupt cut later, Bruce talks to Chase, who I have forgotten about by this point.
“My parents were murdered in front of me”
Bruce Wayne: He knows what gets the ladies going.
After some talking, Chase tells Bruce that she finds Batman fascinating….clinically, of course.
“Why does a man do this? It’s as if he’s cursed to pay some great penance.”
I don’t think anyone expected, going into this thing, that stuff like this would pop up. It’s pretty fascinating, even if it would be better explored in Batman Begins. Thankfully, it’s kind of brushed off so we can have some romance.
It’s kind of neat but it’s also a little awkward. I’m not sure how to describe, but it does feel kind of forced. I think it’s because Kidman has the same expression on her face all throughout the film and the way she talks is just odd and it kind of makes lees….genuine, I guess. A bit overly sultry, I think.
Thankfully, Alfred calls up to tell Bruce that Dick has taken the Batmobile for a joy ride. Oh, and at one point he tries to pick women who are on a …street corner. Uh….i thought this movie was kid friendly.
Robin gets out to face some bad guys are doing bad guy things.
“Who the hell are you?”
Nice try, but it only works with the Christian Bale voice. He tries to stop what can only be described as Neon clowns, but they over power him. But thankfully, Batman shows up to save him.
He’s still a bit upset over the whole “Batman didn’t save his parents” thing and when Bats take him home, Dick talks about how he really wants to take down Two Face. He even says that if they take him down, he wants to kill him
Bruce rightfully tells him that Dick’s pain will only grow if he takes a life.
“You don’t understand, your family wasn’t killed by a maniac”
“Yes, they were”
The fact that they acknowledge the events of the 89 films makes the entire tone shift even weirder. Dick says he wants to be Batman’s sidekick, but he is shot down.
We abruptly cut to later, as Bruce, Chase, and Dick attend a gala hosted by Edward, which means this will end well. Edward brags about how he has outdone Bruce in every way with his new found success.
This plot point would work better if the whole “Edward gets rich” thing wasn’t so rushed. Seriously, it went just as fast as I described it earlier. He presents an upgraded version of his device, which is a virtual reality thingy.
“How do you create these images?”
He’s god. Wait, wrong Jim Carey movie. Wait, Morgan Freeman is in Bruce Almighty, and he’s also in another Batman film. ….Weird.
Bruce asks this lady Edward is with how the machine is turned off, and she pulls some green dildo out of it which shuts it down. Bruce then goes backstage to so if he can study it a bit, and then the lady puts the green thing back in.
Truly, he is the THE WORLD’S GREATEST DETECTIVE.
The thing starts to control Bruce, but it is interrupted when Two Face comes in with his goons to cause havoc. Wait, so is Two Face not aware that Edward=Riddler? Cuz that would have been a good thing to tell him so this doesn’t happen!
Oh, he is because they talk and Two Face says he’s sick of waiting for Riddler to get Batman. Who knew a villain could be such a dick?
“Least you could have done was let me in on the caper”
Thankfully, Bruce has super speed, because he is able to go home, put on the bat suit, and come here as Batman by the time their conversation is over. One decent enough action scene later, Batman is saved by none other than Dick in that circus outfit.
A bit later in the bat cave, Bruce is pissed though Dick is just worried about his sidekick name.
“Batboy, nightwing, anything”
Okay, that was a cute reference.
“How about Dick Grayson, College student?”
He technically just called him a dick. Bruce can’t accept the idea of having a sidekick, so Dick storms off. Then the conversation with Alfred turns to one about Chase.
“I’ve never been in love before”
Well, the fans of the previous pairings are pissed now.
That night, Batman shows up at Chase’s place, and she is so happy that she forgot to ask Batman how he knew where she lived! Instead, she shoots him down because she found someone else.
Wow, a hot chick just turned down Batman. Now I’ve seen everything.
Batman leaves and we cut to him and Dick in the bat-cave, as Bruce tells him that Batman is no more. There quite a few reasons for this, but the important thing is that he tries to tell Dick just why this vigilantism/revenge is a bad idea, but Dick still wants to kill Two Face.
Riddle me this Batman Returns fans: Did it ever have actual story lines and themes like this? Or at least an actual story?
Bruce has Chase over for dinner that night, so he can tell her that he is Batman. Also, it’s Halloween so now I can add this my list of Halloween movies to watch., Hey, if Returns can be a Christmas movie…
Suddenly, Bruce has more flashbacks about his parents death He finally comes clean to Chase about his repressed memories. During the funereal, he saw this journal his father wrote in and then ran outside to escape the pain and he somehow fell into a cave.
In the dark cave, he saw a bat.
“I was scared at first, but only at first”
It’s there where he got the idea to become Batman, getting revenge so what happened to him will never happen again. Now this is pretty interesting. We really get a look into why he does what he does, and again, we see the whole “Revenge” theme, as well as the Dual identities theme.
Again, no one ever talks about THIS stuff, only the bat nipples.
In a scene I skipped, Riddler uses the bit from Bruce’s mind he got from the machine to find out he is Batman. So he and Two Face storm Wayne Manor because again, one butler is not good security.
Riddler trashes the bat cave, and there’s a bit where he grabs his crotch, complete with a cartoon sound effect. I mention this because it’s another infamous moment people remember instead of the good parts.
I did not need to hear that.
Because Bruce now suddenly sucks, they knock him out. He wakes up later only for Alfred to inform him that the bad guys took Chase, Dick ran away, and the bat cave is destroyed. Two Face almost killed Bruce, but Riddler said he if does they won’t “learn nothing”, whatever that means.
With the “strong women suddenly becomes a damsel” cliché now in place, Bruce tries to figure out a riddle that Riddler left him.
“We’re five items of an everyday sort. You’ll find us all in a Tennis court.”
…It makes sense in contest, but I still knew that!
.Bruce figures out that all the riddles had a number: 13, 1, 8, 5. They connect it to letters of the Alphabet: MAHE. They think and 1 and 8 are 18 so that would be r. So that would be MR E.
“Another name for mystery?”
“Mr e nigma. Edward Nigma”
Ding ding ding!
This is actually pretty clever. I like this one adds more of the detective element that the other films were missing. That’s part of why I like the Riddler, and I wish we had more of these riddles.
So with that, Bruce dons the only bat suit left, which is a weird un-tested prototype. Sadly, this is the silly, dumb, bulky outfit you know from B&R. Complete with a..
Bat ass. Yeah, this is understandably infamous. .Speaking of outfits, Dick finally shows up as Robin, but in a new outfit.
Eh, even though it follows the dumb style of Batman’s suit (down to the nipples), I kind of like it. The actor does kind of make it badass and it’s much easier to take seriously than the old Robin outfit. So yeah, I like it.
With nothing left to lose, Bruce finally accepts Dick as his partner. It was a tad rushed but it’s still done well. So the two head off on a water jet thingy because I guess they felt it like. Two Face and Riddler use an amusing battleship set up to take them down.
“You sunk my battleship!”
Still more faithful than the actual Battleship movie. Speaking of references…
“Holy rusted metal, Batman”
Eh, it was kind of cute.
By the way, he said that because they ended crash landing and I think their metal jet thingy started rusting. Oh, and it has holes it and thus it is Wholey, and that is what he meant. Okay, it’s still cute.
The two reach the baddies and Robin finally gets to take down Two Face. He even starts to fall off his cliff. Sorry I skipped the whole “they are on a high thingy” part but for some reason there’s a bunch of green fog and stuff combined with dark lighting, so I have no idea what is going on.
Robin has the perfect chance to kill him….but ultimately he doesn’t take it and he lifts Two Face up instead. Then Two Face pulls a gun on hi. Okay, maybe killing him would have been a better idea.
A bit after that, Batman faces Riddler and Two Face, as the former has gotten so smart from the wave thingys, that he can read minds, because no one said this film was realistic.
“If knowledge is power, than a god am I!”
He says the I in a very deep, odd manner.
“Was that over the top?”
Riddler says he read Batman’s read, which is the “greatest riddle of all”
“Can Batman and Robin truly coexist? We’ll find out today!”
Same Batman, same Bat-…wait…
He reveals he has both Chase and Robin captured. He’s gonna put them both in danger, and Batman can only save one. However, Batman has a riddle for him.
“I see without seeing. To me, darkness is as clear as daylight. What am I?”
“Please, you’re as blind as a bat!”
Hah, I got it that time!
Batman takes down Riddler’s machine and to make one long action scene short, he saves Robin and Chase. They encounter Two Face, who falls down some pit and dies. Well, Robin didn’t kill him so there is that.
Riddler looks at all this damage, wondering how the hell Batman does it. Batman tells him that he is Bruce Wayne and Batman, because he chooses to be, not because he has to be. Edward starts screaming and he is taken to none other than Arkahm Asylum.
We cut to the place later on, as Chase is told by Dr Burton (SUBTLE) that Edward has been screaming about how he knows Batman’s identity. Chase asks him who he but it turns out Edward is just crazy, saying he’s Batman.
Chase goes outside and tells Bruce that his secret is safe, since Edward is crazy. Then the two finally kiss and Alfred watches like a old perv. And so we end on an epic shot of Batman and Robin running towards the screen with the bat signal behind them.
Yeah, even a 1 Hour 52 minute movie can have an abrupt ending. The climax still worked….fine I guess, and they wrapped up a couple things okay but I’ll address that….now. Also, the credits say one of Two Face’s whores was played by Drew Barrymore. Huh.
Now that I’ve seen the entire film, I can safely say this is the most underrated Batman film ever. Even Sub Zero is getting more attention now. It’s not nearly as good as the ’89 film or the Nolan trilogy, but it has it’s own charm,.
For one, I really like the story, because, it’s actually a story. At times, it can be a bit silly and simple (See Riddler’s plan) but the entire dilemma with Batman is well done. Both he and Robin have to deal with their past, and how it effects them. This film provides some interesting themes.
Part of it is a story about revenge, and how it’s not always the best choice. The other part is a story about identities. Two Face has …well two faces now, he and took the wrong choice, to get revenge on Batman, and look what happened. Batman has a s3ecret identity, and he has to think about how it effects other and all that.
Chase’s entire deal with being a psychiatrist and loving Batman for his mental issues, tie into this fairly well. The themes are very interesting and it makes for a mostly riveting story. And through this we get some decent characters.
Batman is done well, and like I said, he has some interesting things to go through and I think this one was the better interpretations of the character in a light hearted take. Val Kilmer proves to be an underrated Batman, showing off the detective aspect especially well.
Robin has always been kind of a goofy, stereotypical sidekick who always needs to be saved, but this film changes that. He has a tragic backstory that leads him to wanting revenge, and wanting to be a hero like Batman. At times he can seem a bit too “hip” and whiny but he overall stands as a decent character, and Chris manages to help make him good. He even makes the costume work!
Yeah, he has to get saved in the end but….eh, I can roll with that. The villains are bit of a mix. The Riddler is a lot of fun at times and I like his backstory, as it, once again fuels the whole revenge theme. Though he could have been written a better in some spots.
Two Face, however, is kind of lame. Some of the themes with him work but the character itself is just weak. Poor Tommy Lee Jones is upstaged by Jim Carey so he’s forced to do nothing for most of the film. I don’t know, he just fell flat for me.
I’m a little mixed on Chase, and the romance itself. It gives us some interesting themes, making her more interesting than some other love interests. But she herself ends up being kind of boring in the end. The romance itself just kind of felt pointless and the film would have been better with out it.
On the bright side, she is hot.
Now for the more substantial negatives. The story can a bit messy at times, with a few pointless moments and all that. Some people say this film is mess, and there are minor points where it feels like that but overall, it makes way more sense than Batman Returns. (I’ll get to that in a sec)
The look of the film doesn’t do much for me. The action scenes are shot too close so it’s hard to make out what is going on, and the lighting sometimes makes the film look cheap. The CG is awful and the props look like toys at times.
This film has a reputation for being “dumbed down” and silly. As you saw with the themes, it’s far from “Dumb” but it it is silly with the look and the villains performances. I think the writers were trying to find a decent balance, to make it appeal to both crowds.
However, it didn’t work for some because the look and all that overshadowed everything for them. I think that is unfair as it only comes distracted me. Though it does show why this film would have worked better with a darker tone.
As it stands though, it’s a flawed but decent Batman flick. I know some people love Batman Returns but I still feel it was a disjointed, confusing, mess with no story, while this actually interesting themes and story arcs going on.
On top of that, Batman actually does things in this movie and it feels like his story. Thus, it’s a BATMAN movie. Returns didn’t do that until the 3rd act and even then it was messy. Now, I still don’t hate Returns as it’s incredibly entertaining for how odd it it and I actually recommend you watch it if you haven’t.
At least that film looked great and has great acting all around. But I still think this movie is a better overall film and it is vastly underrated. If you still hate it, that’s perfectly fine. At least we can all agree Batman and Robin sucks, right?
….Okay, I’ve never seen B&R but maybe I will change that once I’m done here. I’m pretty curious about it. Either that, this is a decent film with a solid story, even if it is flawed. It’s the film we deserve, AND the one we need right now.
So that’s for this movie. Next time, we’re jumping ahead a few years to go on a trip to a country known for bad rip offs, but perhaps you’ll see that it has more to offer.