Yes, I know, loving this movie isn't a popular opinion, but I'm going to go against the grain and speak out for this guilty pleasure of mine, particularly after seeing the 2-disc special edition dvd recently...
Batman Forever and its' very different tone from the first two, Tim Burton-driven films, was made to appeal to a far wider audience than those very dark films, while keeping the spirit of the Batman mythos intact. I believe the film accomplished this. There were plenty of bright lights, new bat-gizmos and bat-gadgets, exciting action-fight scenes, and even a young, edgy, heart-throb in Chris O'Donnell's Robin to appeal to kids without worrying their parents too much, and at the same time, Batman/Bruce Wayne's tortured psyche, duality and isolation was presented respectfully. Batman's darkness was still there, just shown more subltely, less graphically, yet no less tragically because we don't actually SEE people dying horribly left and right.
The story had substance and was a worthy addition to the Batman mythos. Backstories not previously touched upon were explored to my satisfaction, and the added deleted scenes in this version of the dvd flesh things out even further and make me wish that time restrictions on theatrical releases weren't quite so stringent.
Bob Kane, the creator of the Batman comic character, has said that of all the actors who have played Batman over the years, he thought blond Val Kilmer was the best and I agree. Kilmer is statuesque and stoic in the cowl and cape, using his eyes and lips to formidable effectiveness; his jaw and mouth are strong and perfectly suited for the confines of the costume. He moved well in it, even doing some of his own martial arts (such as in the opening sequence, at the bank). The stuntmen, when they took over for him, were well matched to his body type, effective and visually exciting. And Kilmer's Bruce Wayne is suave, debonair, totally believable as the lonely billionare turned Dark Knight, comfortable with his wealth but still compassionate and aware of others' plight, just as Bob Kane intended this character.
Also, I want to put to rest the insistance of some reviewers here that several of the actors involved with the project didn't want to be. That is nonsense; no one forced them to do the movie, and Kilmer very much wanted to do the sequel, Batman and Robin, but was under contractual obligation to do the movie The Saint. (This fact documented on IMBD). He may have driven the director to distraction with his attention to minute detail and insistance on getting everything just so, but there was no bad blood between them and Schumaker still maintains that he respects Kilmer as an actor and performer. Kilmer took the role seriously (as he does everything) and doesn't need to make any apologies for his performance. How I wish they could have worked something out so that Kilmer could have reprised the role again, rather than bringing in the forever-smirking, abominable Clooney...
My favorite character always, Alfred, was back, played by the delightful Michael Gough, who can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. And everyone else is well-cast too.
Director Joel Schumaker offers interesting commentary in this dvd, and made a comment at the very beginning which I wish all the fans up in arms over the nipples in the costumes would take to heart: "Those people need to get out more." He also makes another point about whose codpiece is bigger...let's not take things so seriously, hmm?
Overall, this extended version and extras are well worth the higher price for anyone who enjoyed the movie or likes to know what goes on while making a film. Great extras, including shorts on costuming, scoring, special effects, stunts, and the actors/character, added to the overall positive experience. This is a lighter but no less legitimate incarnation of these characters.
on August 15, 1999
The Batman series entered its third addition to the series. And I have to admit it has some very plus moments, but it has so very few. I don't believe that Val Kilmer was the source of the problem here. I believe the burdon should be with Joel Schumacher and the script writers. The movie will undoubtably appeal to a younger audiance for the next couple of year's. But that is as far as it will ever go. It will be as forgotten as the last Chevy Chase movie. Batman and Batman Returns are both timeless masterpieces of modern film.The problem ( wich started with this very movie ) is that the series became way too campy. This reflects the very first Batman movie with Adam West. Though, that was far more entertaining because it was very good natured.This is a combination of goth and futuristic apocalypse. The outcome is a below average waste of a moviegoer's time. Tommy Lee Jones is extremely talented. But his talent is misused here. The same goes for Jim Carrey. His timing and actions are so crisp, yet the dialogue he is given falls short. Now I am not out to insult any body who enjoys this movie. I'm glad you do. Its just that, in my opinion, the first two work on such higher levels.
on December 5, 2000
I think Batman Forever is a very fun movie.It's not as good as the first Batman movie,but I liked it better than Batman Returns,which I thought was too dark and dreary.(although you have to love Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman)In Batman Forever Val Kilmer takes over the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman and does an outstanding job,although Michael Keaton is still the best Batman.Tommy Lee Jones as Two Face(formerly Gotham District Attorney Harvey Dent,who was played by Billy Dee Williams in the first Batman)and Jim Carrey as The Riddler are the films villains,and they both are very good.Nicole Kidman is very good and incredibly gorgeous as Dr.Chase Meridian,Bruce/Batman's love interest in this film.Chris O'Donnell plays Dick Grayson/Robin and isn't too bad.The special effects are excellent,and the soundtrack is good.Overall,while a lot of people might disagree with me,I really like Batman Forever.
on September 30, 2005
Okay okay,. everyone agrees that Tim Burton is the master of the Gothic, when it comes to films. Just look at some of the films he has done and that's proof enough. And everyone knows that Joel Schumacher isn't, plain and simple, neither does he have the impressive back-catalogue that Sir Burton has. (the only other film I have viewed by Schumacher is "The Lost Boys", which is actually a very good film. But it was the 80s, come on.)
However, that does not deter this film from being a fantastic one. I like the way he mouled Gotham into a really cool, bright-coloured and still dark and gothic city, with amazing glowing clothes and buildings. It seems like a real party city, one you'd definitely want to swing by.
In my opinion, Val Kilmer is a far better Batman than Micheal Keaton. To be Batman, you have to have the Bruce Wayne lips, as they are the only things you can really see with the mask on. And sure, Micheal Keaton had those. But take the mask off, and he just wasn't CONVINCING as Bruce Wayne. Not at all. However, Val Kilmer portrays Bruce Wayne perfectly; smooth and suave, and gorgeously serious. And then, as he steps into the suit, he is instantly the strong, tough Batman that we know and love. George Clooney was horrifying in this role, and I haven't yet seen Christian Bale's performance, but Val Kilmer is the winner, hands-down.
The two bad guys in this outing are Two-Face (played by a demented Tommy Lee Jones) and The Riddler (played by an absolutely amazingly freaky Jim Carrey). It is extremely unusual seeing Tommy Lee Jones in a role like this. I have no idea why he took it, but I'm glad he did, as he shows Harvey Dent's split-personality monster man with a certain flair. Plus he looks fantastic in that costume.
But Jim Carrey. Just wow. He is the most entertaining baddie I have ever seen in any movie, and that is a fact. His portrayal of Edward Nygma and his alter-ego is so hilariously silly and disturbing all at the same time, you sometimes wonder if he could possibly be two different people in the one body! He is an absolute joy to watch.
Nicole Kidman is suitably sexy as Chase Meridian, and does a good job as the girl. There's is nothing oustanding about her performance, but she is enjoyable to watch.
And Chris O'Donnell is extremely likeable in his role as the young cheeky orphan Dick Grayson, who becomes Robin, Batman's side-kick. The circus scene is one of the most dramatic and tragic scenes in the film, and is amazing to watch.
Plus, the songs in the credits are absolutely AMAZING. Two of my favourite songs of all-time now, "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" by U2 and "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal are two gorgeously authentic songs. Amazing.
This film is absolutely fantastic. I seriously recommend it, it is in my opinion the best one.
on October 21, 2012
If you are at all interested, I would get the 2-disc special edition of Batman Forever. Like the similar sets for each of the other Burton/Schumacher Batman films, it packs a terrific array of special features. The most thought provoking part of those features, for me, is the documentary segment that discusses how some of the deleted scenes were cut in order to keep the film from being too dark. (Understandable in the wake of Batman Returns.) The thing is that these scenes were the emotional heart of the screenplay, giving psychological insight into Bruce Wayne in a way that tied many of the other parts of the film together. A true pity that the theatrical cut neglected some of the deepest moments of storytelling.
Anyway, in general, I think that Batman Forever is much, much better than its sequel, Batman & Robin. The main difference is that this one has a very good story, and for the most part sticks to telling it. In my opinion, Val Kilmer is a terrific Bruce Wayne/Batman, and Chris O'Donnell's portrayal of Robin is perfect; in fact, the Robin backstory is incredibly good, arguably the best part of the film. Nichole Kidman is great playing a psychologist, and if her character is a bit underdeveloped, Dr. Chase Meridian fits perfectly into the storyline. My personal biggest gripe with Batman Forever is that the villains are portrayed way over the top. In the case of Jim Carrey as the Riddler, that can nearly be forgiven, as he is ridiculously entertaining. However, Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face was just too much, a waste of a great character. (The role played by Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight was so much better.)
Some people did not like the aesthetic design of Batman Forever. It is a visual spectacle, often overloading the senses, and I agree that nipples on the costumes was unecessary. However, I think that many of the stylistic touches, including the more futuristic Batmobile, the gang of punks with lightsticks and day-glo grafitti, and the use of some techno music in the soundtrack, were actually good, timely touches. If this film had stuck to those guns a bit more, it could have almost verged into a genuinely edgy cyberpunk territory.
Ultimately, this is not a bad film. I wish that it had been more serious, but it does have its moments. It was a huge success upon its release, and although it has suffered quite a bit by being associated with Joel Schumacher's next outing, Batman & Robin, it is still worth giving a chance, especially if you are a longtime Batman fan and, like me, you remember how incredibly cool this was back in 1995.
on May 27, 2005
I know I'm one of the few to say this, but to me...this was the best Batman movie and I'll tell you why. First, I'll give a short account of the story. Batman is out to save Gotham City from 2 villains now, Two-Face and the Riddler. A new psychologist is in town, and of course falls for Batman, and Robin is introduced in the Batman series...the story ensues.
I have to say, I really enjoyed this movie. I experienced what I could say was somewhat of a guilty pleasure. This was largely due to the acting and the introduction of 2 of my favourite villains in the Batman comic series. Val Kilmer is a talented but often misused actor in Hollywood. Given certain roles, he really shines and I thought he made a wonderful Batman. I liked the first 2 Batman movies as well, but the main problem I had was that Michael Keaton did not look the part of a vigilante caped crusader kicking a$$ in the streets of Gotham and protecting the people. Kilmer looks much more cooler and pulls of Batman very well. Another thing I liked about Kilmer was he played Batman as a tormented man, a man haunted by his past. That is after all why he chose to be Batman, to use the bat as a symbol to fight crime. I thought this was a good angle for Bruce Wayne/Batman.
After Jack Nicholson so superbly defined Joker in Batman...he brought Batman villains to a whole new level. And here, we have Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face and Jim Carrey as Riddler. I thought they were both very fun to watch. Tommy Lee Jones was obviously having a great time playing his character. This is after all a comic book movie, and he outdoes himself with all the over-the-top acting as well as that evil laugh. Fantastic! And Jim Carrey basically plays himself. That whole wacky persona he gives Riddler goes very well and the things he says and does brings a smile to me everytime. Chris O'Donnell plays the role of a rebellious teen quite well and manages to pull off Robin with as much enthusiasm as anyone could have. Nicole Kidman (her pre-Oscar days) brings a lot of sexiness and female power to her role of Dr. Chase Meridien. The first time I watched this movie, I was 13 and I remember I had a crush on her for days.
Much has been said about director Joel Schumacher's take on this movie and while it is definitely different from Burton's style of directing, I thought it was really good. Heck, Tim Burton was co-producer so I guess he was okay with it as well. Where Burton's Batman was darker and more gothic, Schumacher's is an attack on your sensors. A no holds barred splash of colors and sounds without being annoying or irritating and I thoroughly enjoyed that.
Finally I just want to say that, this is a very entertaining movie to watch. Just sit back and enjoy it for what it is, don't over-analyze it...I mean, it's a comic book movie after all, and things are supposed to be over-the-top and crazy at times. That's why it's fun to watch. A little known fact, this movie is actually the 2nd highest grossing Batman in the U.S. and worldwide for that matter, after the first Batman. So, believe me...this is far from terrible, and as I said...it's the best Batman for me. Hope you found my review helpful and if you haven't watched this movie, please do!
on June 25, 2007
I must tell you, for quite some time I did not like this movie. I have been a big fan of the Micheal Keaton movies, as well as the Animated Series of the 90's. This film marked Joel Schumakers first step into the Batman universe, and needless to say, it wasn't nearly as good as either of the Tim Burton films. However, as I watched this a few more times, and got past the "Its Schumaker!" I realized that even though Schumaker had made some really poor directors choices, there were not nearly as many as in his next Bat film, the one credited with single handedly ruining the franchise, Batman and Robin. Batman Forever, though riddled with campy moments, especially after the appearance of Robin, is still as a whole, a good Batman film. Val Kilmers performance as both Bruce Wayne and Batman actually surpasses Micheal Keatons, due to Val's very intense persona and tragedy stricken Bruce Wayne.
I would say that the worst part of this movie is how Schumaker portrayed the two main villians, Two-Face and the Riddler. The Riddler, who, in the comics was genius, thinking up crimes so sophisticated, he thought it only fair to leave behind riddles for the Batman to follow, was portrayed here by Jim Carrey, a lukewarm choice in my opinion. The character came off very much more like a Joker than a Riddler, and you'll see what I mean if you watch the film. Nowhere is the intelligent, calm and composed villian I expected.
Secondly (ha, a pun worthy of Schumaker) Two-Face, possibly one of the most tragic and deadly of Batman's Rogues Gallery, is portrayed marginally by Tommy Lee Jones. Now, Jones was indeed the perfect person to play this character, and it is really too bad that his performance was limited to nothing more than hired muscle for the Riddler. Schumaker made his biggest mistake there, by not only cramming two villians of large scale like these into one film, but not taking the time to really use Two Face as he should have been done.
Nonetheless, Batman still manages to pull of some very good "Bat moments" ones that you have no choice but to look at and say "Wow.", in spite of his badly portrayed nemesis's.
In short, it isn't as good as Batman(1989), but it is definitely worth the watch, because even through Schumaker's mistakes, you can still see a definite veneer of Batman, pulling through the puns and neon lights.
on February 25, 2015
Neon... Neon lights everywhere...
The styling for this movie was much different than the past 2 films, taking on more of a night club look than the rainy, Gothic city of Gotham in the past. Not to say I didn't like the change, but it was almost like looking into a whole new world.
The cast was talented and the writing was very good, in my opinion, it was just the little things that bothered me.
Jim as The Riddler was an amazing casting choice, and he played the part better than anybody else I could think of for it.
Great introduction to Dick Greyson as well, finally having given a decent background story to "The Boy Wonder" himself.
All in all, "it is what it is". This time period was a dark age for movies anyway and I'll take what I can get. I think it had much more RIGHT than wrong, but others will tend to disagree
on February 23, 2015
Third movie in the original Batman film series that started with the 1989 film. This time Val Kilmer takes over for Michael Keaton in the title role, as Chris O'Donnell as Robin, Jim Carrey as The Riddler, and Tommy Lee Jones as Two face come along for what is a lighter Batman film than the two previous entries.
A bit more toy-friendly, the caped crusader is forced to team up as Gotham's newest bad guy, The Riddler, is stealing the city of it's intelligence through his crazy new invention that beams TV signals directly into the viewers brain. Two-Face teams up with the Riddler in his quest to control the city of Gotham.
Sad to see Director Tim Burton depart from the franchise (here he is only active in an exective producer role. The departure of Keaton is also felt, Tommy Lee Jones taking over for what was meant to be a role for Billy Dee Williams (he was Harvey Dent in the 1989 prequel) is a bit awkward as well.
on March 11, 2016
This movie wasn't bad but ok. This movie was not as dark as Batman and Batman Returns but it was in the middle of being Dark and Light. The actors were good, my favorite was Jim Carry. The lines in the movie were good. The plot was nothing special but it doesn't fail. I like this movie for what it is but I didn't know what to expect from it