Batman Forever

Batman Forever ★★★★

part of a retrospective written on my blog

Batman Forever might be one of the most definitively 90s films ever made, from the aesthetic to the soundtrack to of course the cast, including Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey in his prime as the villains. Both actors play their roles, Two-Face and The Riddler respectively, extremely over the top, almost constantly shouting and moving their faces or bodies. Most of your enjoyment of the film will depend on if you can vibe with this. Carrey’s shtick will be familiar to anyone who has seen his 90s films such as Ace Ventura or his recent turn as Dr. Eggman in Sonic the Hedgehog. He perhaps would have been more fitting as a character like the Joker, but within the film itself it works well enough, particularly when he has Jones or someone else to bounce off of.

When the villains aren’t on screen the rest of the film feels surprisingly restrained by comparison. Val Kilmer’s Batman gets an interesting dynamic with Nicole Kidman’s Dr. Chase which allows the film to literally psychoanalyze the character of Batman. It’s interesting seeing the film go from these moments to the ones where it fully lets loose, at one moment examinging Bruce Wayne’s trauma, and the next seeing the neon city scapes and the Riddler’s bright green VR machine hideout. It’s an interesting relic of its time, but perhaps not much more.

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