26 November 2009

Evolution of the Batman (and Robin) - Batman Forever

After the odd and dark nature of Batman Returns, The Brothers Warner pushed the pendulum back toward light and campy. Enter Jim Carrey, Robin, and lots of neon. The tone of this film was just a hint of what was yet to come.

In 1995, Jim Carrey was all the rage and his addition to the film as the Riddler helped pave the way toward a profitable $184 million box office take. Overall, the film was fairly well received. I don't know, I think people were just happy to get the taste of Batman Returns out of their mouths, they didn't realize how sour this new entry was, nor did they realize that an even sourer course was in the works.

In the movie, The Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder made acquaintance forming the Dynamic Duo. Although Robin's costume consisted of body armor, his comic book outfit was teased with his circus garb. Batman Forever also recast Batman with Val Kilmer. So, not only was the film given a lighter tone, but Batman himself got a new face. In fact, if it weren't for Alfred the Butler's consistent casting, this movie could easily be seen as a different continuity from the Tim Burton Batmen.

While some people complain about "too many villains" in Batman Returns, I think Penguin and Catwoman were balanced a bit better than were Two-Face and Riddler. I guess Riddler has a bit of a character arc, but Two-Face just seems like a stupid Riddler imitator. In fact, Two-Face in Batman Forever was one of the biggest wastes of a super villain in any movie (aside from Bane in Batman and Robin). And to think this was Two-Face's big screen debut. Still, I guess there are some things to like about this movie. First of all, Riddler's Edward Nigma persona is a very interesting mirrored take on Bruce Wayne. In fact, there is a lot about Riddler to like. His performance was over the top, but at least he made riddles, keeping fairly true to his comic book character (as opposed to Two-Face).

Unfortunately, the film also suffered from some last minute edits- scenes that among other thins would explain the movie's title. In the end, I would say this entry was an improvement on Batman Returns, but as over correction often leads to tragic traffic accidents, Batman Forever set the franchise into a frightful free fall.

Up Next: Batman and Robin


  1. Yeah, why was it called Batman Forever?

  2. I think basically Bruce Wayne realized that he couldnt quit being Batman but he would be Batman "forever."