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Riddle me this, riddle me that, you'll adventure on the wings of bat! Brace for excitement as Val Kilmer (Batman), Tommy Lee Jones (Two-Face), Jim Carrey (the Riddler), Nicole Kidman (Dr. Chase Meridian) and Chris O'Donnell (Robin) star in the third spectacular film in Warner Bros.' Batman series. Joel Schumacher (The Client) directs and Tim Burton co-produces this thrill-ride of a movie that thunders along on Batmobile, Batwing, Batboat, Batsub and bold heroics. Hang on!
When Tim Burton and Michael Keaton announced that they'd had enough of the Batman franchise, director Joel Schumacher stepped in (with Burton as coproducer) to make this action-packed extravaganza starring Val Kilmer as the caped crusader. Batman is up against two of Gotham City's most colorful criminals, the Riddler (a role tailor-made for funnyman Jim Carrey) and the diabolical Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones), who join forces to conquer Gotham's population with a brain-draining device. Nicole Kidman plays the seductive psychologist who wants to know what makes Batman tick. Boasting a redesigned Batmobile and plenty of new Bat hardware, Batman Forever also introduces Robin the Boy Wonder (Chris O'Donnell) whose close alliance with Batman led more than a few critics to ponder the series' homoerotic subtext. No matter how you interpret it, Schumacher's take on the Batman legacy is simultaneously amusing, lavishly epic, and prone to chronic sensory overload. --Jeff Shannon
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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.
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