Batman might have one of the most unique filmography of all of the superheroes. The only other one that can really compete with the Batman franchise’s timeline might be Superman, but the man in red and blue tights has been somewhat absent in the past few years. Batman has gone from the kooky television series to the Tim Burton directed fantasies to Clooney to dark and gritty. Batman Forever? Still kooky.
Batman Forever kind of just throws you right into the action. Which is funny, since it was 3 years since the previous Batman Returns, Joel Schumacher was in the directors chair replacing Tim Burton, and there was even a new Batman (Val Kilmer replacing Michael Keaton). So when we do find ourself oriented, we find that Two Face (Tommy Lee Jones) is trying to kill Batman, but to no avail. Fortunately for him, a scientist who has been recently fired by Bruce Wayne has become the Riddler (Jim Carrey) and wants to team up to disgrace Batman. Their classic 90’s plan? Install a machine on every tv that turns the viewer to pretty much zombies. Along the way they end up killing a family of acrobats, leaving their son all alone (Chris O’Donnell).
I knew this wasn’t going to be the ultra realistic, dark Batman of the Nolan era, and I was looking forward to it. And come to think of it Batman Forever is at times entertaining. But other times, it’s filled with cringe worthy dialog, out-dated references (anyone still have a beeper?), and some gaudy sets (blacklights everywhere!). My biggest problem is not with Jim Carrey (as most peoples is), but rather Nicole Kidman. This is a quality actress, capable of some amazing work. But here, she just seems horrible. There is no chemistry between her and Kilmer, and she just seems out of place. While I have my gripes with it, and it still falls short of both Burton’s and Nolan’s Batmen, it is still a fun ride.