Batman Forever (1995) (part 10 of 14)
Meanwhile, Bruce is visiting Chase at her ridiculously large and plush apartment. I have no idea why he’s here. Perhaps to pick up some leaflets on how to get into criminal psychology, seeing as how it pays ridiculously well.
It turns out Chase has bought Bruce one of those Malaysian dream dolls that he saw in her office. That’s sweet. Maybe she feels guilty about being alternately rude, then dismissive to him.
And then, out of nowhere, Bruce just blurts out how his parents were murdered in front of him when he was a kid. Dude, you’re well into your thirties. Trying to milk that incident for a sympathy lay at this point is just pathetic.
He goes on to describe his dreams, and then mentions the red book from his daydream. Does he mean the one related to a soon-to-be-abandoned plot thread? Well, if the movie’s too lazy to follow up on it, I see no point in describing it here. The point is, Bruce has a repressed memory that never really amounts to anything.
Chase goes into the kitchen to make some tea, leaving Bruce to have a good old nosy around. He spies some pictures of Batman, which look suspiciously like publicity stills. He decides to throw a petulant tantrum at Chase, admonishing her for her unhealthy interest in Batman. Y’know, Bruce, most men would be happy to find out that they constitute two-thirds of a love triangle, but whatever.
Chase insists that her fascination with Batman is purely clinical, and nothing at all to do with his rippling muscular torso. So she’s a liar, as well as a slut. This woman is even more off-putting than Kate Bosworth’s Lois Lane.
Bruce implies that he has a hidden dark side, and Chase—who’s all about the bad boys, remember?—is suddenly into him. And just as it looks like Bruce is on the brink of getting some, Alfred contacts him on his phone-watch. Bruce is all “Dude, you’re stepping on my mojo”, but Alfred’s like, “Ick-day has jacked the Atmobile-day”.
Cut to the neon! lit streets of Gotham, and Dick is having a bit of a tete-à-tete with Mr. Clutch Control. The Batmobile’s kangarooing all over the streets, and somehow the fin on the back has been bisected.
What’s Dick doing with the Batmobile? The same thing any self-respecting twentysomething with access to an armed super car would do. He’s trawling for booty. He pulls up at a curb and invites several ladies of ill repute to “take a ride in his lurve machine”. I do hope that car is stocked with Bat-Penicillin.
Hilariously, these hookers are being played by defunct girl group En Vogue, who (according to Wikipedia, which never lies) have recently reunited. Always good to see another act jumping on the ’90s revival bandwagon. Or maybe they were waiting for enough time to pass since the release of this film to show their faces in public again.
While Dick Grayson is doing his best to catch gonorrhea, a gang of nearby street toughs kidnap a young girl. And let me tell you, these guys are bad ass. Their day-glo face paint and themed leather costumes make them even more intimidating than the Jets and the Sharks put together.
And the gang leader is played by none other than the Chuck Norris of the ’90s, world kickboxing champion Don “The Dragon” Wilson. I can only imagine the lump that’s forming in his throat at the start of this scene, as he realizes he’s about to get his ass handed to him by Chris O’Donnell.
Big Bad Don sees the Batmobile curb crawling, and orders his gang to stop doing what they’re doing and just be cool. But then he realizes that it’s not Batman in the car, just some punk out for a blowjob, so they all relax. The young girl they’ve kidnapped sees her moment and slips out of Don’s grip, so they chase after her with neon chains and glow sticks. Terrifying!
Dick decides he’s got plenty of time to park his pink station wagon later; this girl needs saving! So, with a push of the omni-lever, he’s heading roughly in the girl’s direction. Sorry to digress here, but isn’t it sad that the only women who are even remotely credible in Joel Schumacher’s Bat-films are one note damsels in distress?
Dick chases the gang into an alley, which for God-alone-knows-what-reason is black-lit and painted with fluorescent, day-glo graffiti. I know, black lighting just screams urban decay, doesn’t it?
Dick demands that the gang let the girl go, and they quite rightly laugh in his face. To muster up some credibility, he insists that he’s Batman, and he just forgot to wear his suit. That’s right, he’s not a fraud. He’s just incompetent!
Don orders his gang to advance menacingly with their glow sticks, and the most improbable fight scene in film history breaks out. Dick takes down the entire gang using gymnastic maneuvers, because punching bad guys in the face just isn’t exxxtreme! enough for the youth of the 1990s.
He beats all the thugs off (oh, stop it!) and even gets a kiss from the girl, who he sends on her merry way. Dick decides that he “could definitely get into the superhero gig”. Well, Dick, you’d need to get some superpowers first. May I recommend getting struck by lightning? That usually does the trick. Failing that, try catching an experimental bomb in the face. Ooh, or irradiate some animals and persuade them to bite you! Any of the above will do!
Dick has no time to savor his victory, because a host of gaudily-clad gangbangers appear out of nowhere, and Dick realizes he’s about to get knucklefucked. But have no fear, Dick! Batman comes swooping in, and all the gang members (who still outnumber the pair 10:1) make themselves scarce.
Dick lays into Batman, fists flailing, blaming him for his parents’ death, because he didn’t give himself up to Two Face at the circus. Batman explains that “if Bruce Wayne could have given his life for your family, he would have”. Amazingly, both actors are on form, and this scene might have qualified as real human drama, if it weren’t bathed in neon!
Back at the Batcave, Dick is telling Bruce about how angry, angst-riddled, and alone he feels. He shows him some poetry he wrote on the subject that he’s about to post on his MySpace page. Okay, okay, so I’m stretching the teenage cliché here, but not all that much. Let’s put it this way: His dialogue is clearly not that of a 25 year old.
Dick demands that Bruce train him to be a crime fighter, so that he can give Two Face a damned good murdering. Bruce warns him that killing supervillains can be surprisingly addictive, and that being a superhero isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, you get to drive around in a wicked cool car, hot chicks throw themselves at you, and you can take out all your life’s frustrations on scumbags with your fists. But you miss a lot of TV.
Dick reminds Bruce that he’s “a part of this” now, whether Bruce likes it or not. He then storms off to go post some OC slash fiction.