Batman Forever

Batman Forever ★★★

A complete 180 from Burton's dark freak show, I would say it's like a cartoon but honestly I think this is more cartoonish than any of the actual Batman cartoons. And I'm totally okay with that. It appeals to my most likely misguided love for stupid shit especially in ott 90s blockbusters and Joel Schumacher's seems totally game for all this insanity. The problems mostly seem to come from that pesky script from actual worst writer in Hollywood Akiva Goldsman (who is apparently attached to both the new Star Trek, and Live Action Teen Titans shows, fucking kill me), though unlike The Dark Tower this at least has a director who knows how absolutely idiotic this whole thing is.

The performances are appropriate for the tone as well. Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey ham it up the entire movie, constantly shouting, dancing or generally overacting. Subtlety isn't the name of the game for sure, and while I do enjoy their performances I couldn't help but think how much better Billy Dee Williams or the late Robin Williams would have been in these roles.

The heroes aren't really as interesting. Val Kilmer is... Fine, but that's really all. He's not a great or terrible Bat, he's just there. Nicole Kidman mostly just wants to fuck Batman and doesn't have much else to her character. And then there's Chris O'donnell as Robin. I don't follow the comics as much but it seems to me that DC just doesn't know what to do with Robin anymore, they seem to either ignore or write out the character (see the DCEU, where the character is dead before the movies even start), play up his perceived "lameness" or try too hard to make the character "cool". This Robin feels kind of like the latter, stealing the Batmobile and blasting the latest "music the kids listen to (for 1995), refering to Alfred as "Al", going on about revenge, he just feels so focus tested to apeal to the kids. I know I bring up the show a lot but the Teen Titans show Robin seemed to do a much better job at being "cool" without pandering than any other recent interpretation I've seen.

Regardless of it's issues I still find this an interesting effort, a neon cartoon bouncing between psychoanalyzing the Bat to just plain being bat shit crazy (heh). It actually does kind of feel like a natural progression, as these keep getting nuttier and nuttier with each installment, going from the relatively straightforward first film to the still dark but also featuring mind controlled penguins, now dumping any pretense of seriousness and having Jim Carrey's VR mind reading machine with shitty green cg lasers, and we haven't even reached full camp yet.

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