Justin Peterson’s review published on Letterboxd:
UGHHHH... I can't believe I defended this movie for so long!
"Holey rusted metal, Batman! ... Huh? The ground, it's all metal. It's full of holes. You know, holey."
I remember really enjoying Batman Forever growing up, and thinking the franchise did get pretty silly when its sequel 'Batman and Robin' came around. But watching 'Batman Returns' back to back with this really highlighted how Joel Schumacher's WB mandated attempt to make Batman more family-friendly and campier just fails in so many ways.
"Riddle me this, riddle me that, who's afraid of the big, black bat?"
I think one of the reasons I did enjoy this movie so much as a kid was because I was a fan of Jim Carrey, and the Riddler was one of my favorite Batman villains. I still enjoyed his ridiculously over the top performance this time, but it was a bit much at times with how he throws so many unnecessary one-liners at us. Also to an extent, I thought Elliot Goldenthal took the score in an interesting direction, but of course it pales in comparison to Danny Elfman's original theme.
Alright here are some quick hits on why Batman Forever sucks:
- Val Kilmer is awful as both Bruce Wayne and Batman. As Bruce he is straight-up bland, and his Batman can be summed up by his awful one-liners and that cringe-inducing smile he gives after he turns away from Nicole Kidman
"Can I persuade you to take a sandwich with you, sir? ... I'll get drive-thru."
"Chicks dig the car."
- Speaking of Nicole Kidman, she also comes off bland and the scenes of her and Kilmer together looked like a Soap opera. They do have interesting conversations about the duality of Batman, but that theme was done better in the previous movie
- Burton gave Gotham a believable look, but at times the CGI of Schumacher's Gotham looked like a bad PC game
- The scene where I thought to myself 'this movie is just straight-up bad', was when Batman is in a safe that gets pulled out of a building. So Batman is in there with this security guard who yells there is boiling acid ... as if regular acid would not be deadly enough. On top of that, the whole scene is flooded with this obnoxious red color so you can barely tell what is going on. Then at the end of the scene, the safe just happens to fling right back to into place
- Chris O'Donnell as Robin is fine, but the scene where he steals the batmobile was pretty corny. But they did do a solid job of capturing how Robin wants to seek revenge on Two-Face, while Batman explains to him how that will not help the pain
- I liked all the production design around The Riddler, except that his mind control gizmo looked like a blender
- The Batmobile has a flasher look, that also made it a bit cheap looking
- Why does Two-Face's gang have neon lights in their guns? And why are there so many neon lights and black lights in this movie period?
- I just remembered how my sister and I would jam out to this soundtrack in her car, which featured 'Kiss from a Rose' by Seal
- Tommy Lee Jones is alright as Two-Face despite being a little all over the place. But how can you blame him when he has dueling personalities. It is kind of funny that each half of him has a girlfriend, and Drew Barrymore is the one for his lighter side
- Riddler reminded me of my 5-year-old with how much he loved spinning that cane around
- The Batwing looks cool hanging upside down ... but it makes no sense why he would park it like that ... and it even has its own spotlight to help it look awesome
- Why the batsuit butt shot???
I think that about sums up why my opinion on this movie has completely changed. It is still mostly watchable, but so cheesy and dumb. I guess it would be wise for me to have a few drinks before watching 'Batman and Robin'.
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Thanks for reading.
Happy movie watching ... Skål!