Jan 20, 2020
Batman Forever (1995) (part 1 of 14)
The Cast of Characters:
Batman/Bruce Wayne (Val Kilmer). Gotham’s somnambulistic Dark Knight. So traumatized was Bruce after his parents’ death, that he created a bat-like persona to fight criminals. The film’s pop psychology would have us believe that he’s mentally incapable of living a normal life until he hangs up his cape to get laid. Seriously!
Robin/Dick Grayson (Chris O’Donnell). The 25 year old “Boy” Wonder, who despite being old enough to know better, churns out more teenage clichés than a Saved by the Bell marathon. Consumed with rage, Dick has vowed to take bloody revenge on the guy who murdered his family. Even though they were pretty much asking for it.
Two Face/Harvey Dent (Tommy Lee Jones). A supposedly violent criminal whose garish wardrobe and vaudevillian prancing make him about as threatening and imposing as Jake Shears. Admittedly, he does actually kill a few people, including Robin’s family, but these deaths are generally an indirect consequence of his own incompetence.
The Riddler/Edward Nygma (Jim Carrey). A geeky, awkward research scientist turned flamboyant, rubber-faced idiot. Nygma invents a machine that absorbs neural energy, somehow making him smarter. Side effects of this procedure include insanity, effeminate swaggering, and dressing like a complete fucktard. His pseudo-sexual obsession with Bruce Wayne compels him to leave brain teasers for Bruce every now and then. Terrifying!
Doctor Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman). The least convincing criminal psychologist ever. Accordingly, uses a lot of ill-conceived technical jargon. Also a cynical sexual predator, as well as a conniving opportunist. A strong, assertive, independent, intellectual woman… in a negligee.
Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Gough). Bruce Wayne’s long suffering butler. Spends the entire film making the best out of being surrounded by complete dickheads. Will let you into the Batcave if you just happen to masquerade as a trick-or-treating eight year old… or Kim Basinger.
Well, it had to happen, didn’t it? The wonderful Agony Booth recap of Batman & Robin has been tempting me for quite a long time. For years, I’ve heard its siren call, daring me, compelling me to recap Joel Schumacher’s previous, neon-saturated opus, Batman Forever.
Interestingly, some Batman fans actually prefer the universally reviled Batman & Robin to its predecessor. Batman & Robin, for all its faults, at least wears its stupidity on its sleeve. Batman Forever manages to cobble together just enough character depth to make a case for itself as a serious film.
Not that the writing is particularly well-executed or informed. On the bonus disc, when uber-hack Akiva Goldsman bleats on about how he was brought onboard to imbue the characters with more pathos and angst, I want to beat his chubby, beady-eyed face in. I’m no Paul Schrader, but if I wanted to convey pathos and angst in a character, I’d write a line slightly more sophisticated than “It’s the car right? Chicks love the car.”