Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
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I’ve always been amazed how far the opposite direction Joel Schumacher took the Batman franchise. Hot off the press from doing gritty and grungy stuff like Falling Down (great movie by the way), Schumacher decided to literally flip a 180 with the Batman’s and turn it into a goofy spectacle. I personally would have LOVED to see him do a really dark and harsh take on the caped crusader, but instead he delivered the goofiness of the 90s in one big cheesy bite. Casting Val Kilmer may also have been a bit of a mistake, because he plays a good Bruce Wayne, but one of the worst Batman’s I’ve ever seen. The movie isn’t a train wreck by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s pure 90s cheese and was the first step to almost killing the Batman world on film for good, only to be revitalized by Christopher Nolan in the 2000s.
Batman (Val Kilmer) now has to deal with two new deadly foes. This time it’s the crazed Two -Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and his maniacal goons, as well as a disgruntled ex Wayne Enterprises inventor named Edward Nigma (Jim Carrey) who has taken his brain sucking device public and is using it to siphon off the brain power of Gotham City. Not to mention Bruce Wayne actually has to act as a sort of father figure when he takes in Dick Grayson (Chris O’Donnell) who has been orphaned by Two-Face. Dick figures out Bruce’s dirty secret (of being the Batman) and begs the master to teach him how to be a super hero too so that he can avenge his family. After Bruce pulls his typical moody teacher routine, Dick uses Alfred to help him suit up and fight crime with a rubber suit as well, forcing Batman to utter cheesy lines like “Who’s your tailor?” before heading off to beat up Two-Face and Riddler (Edward Nigma’s chosen nomenclature).
Batman Forever is loud, brash, completely 90s stupid, and honestly worse than Batman & Robin. I know, I know, how can that be? Batman & Robin is the worst movie of all times? Well, I’d say they’re both equally poorly written and acted, but It’s due to the fact that Batman & Robin handles the darker elements of the story better, and has more cheesy fun with its villains. Two-Face is trying to be a poor man’s joker and really can’t sell the darkness of Harvey Dent’s soul, and while Jim Carrey is fantastic, it’s not enough to really sell the grimness of the tale. At least with Batman & Robin we get Arnold as Mr. Freeze.
Rated PG-13 for strong stylized action
4K Video: Video:
As with the others, the remastered Blu-ray is a big improvement over the old Anthology set Blu-ray as well. Colors are brighter, more intense, and the detail of the new AVC encoding is light years ahead of the beaten up and older VC-1 encode that we’ve had to deal with over a decade. If you don’t have 4K at the moment, the Blu-rays will more than tide you over until upgraditis sets in.
• Riddle Me This? Why is Batman Forever?
• Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight Pt. 5 - Reinventing a Hero
• Batman Forever: The Heroes
• Batman Forever: The Villains
• Beyond Batman
• Deleted Scenes
• Music Video: "Kiss From a Rose" by Seal.
• Theatrical Trailer
Remembering back to when I was a kid I used to really enjoy Batman Forever and actually thought it was superior to Batman & Robin. However, as time goes by the film hasn’t aged very gracefully at all, and I actually think Batman & Robin handles the darker elements of the story better than Forever does. The saving grace to the film happens to be Jim Carrey, who is so gloriously over the top and fun with his portrayal of The Riddler. He was king of comedy back then and his zany antics was perfect for a crazy genius. Like always, the extras are a port from the Anthology set, and the new audio and video (for both the Blu-ray AND the 4K UHD disc) are leaps and bounds better than the old Blu-ray by a country mile. I know I can’t recommend the movie as a blind buy as it’s pretty wince worthy, but I’m a glutton for punishment and have to have it to complete my Batman collection, so it’s still recommended for Batman fans as the tech specs are worth it alone.
Starring: Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman, Chris O'Donnell, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, Drew Barrymore, Debi Mazar
Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Written by: Lee Batchler, Janet Scott Batchler, Akiva Goldsman
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 HEVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), English, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Spanish (Castilian) French DD 5.1, Chinese, Spanish, Chinese, Czech, Thai DD 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Spanish, Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hungarian, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Swedish, Thai
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 122 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: Own Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack on June 4. Own the Four Film Collection on September 17.
Recommendation: Decent Watch