What Don't You Like About "Batman Forever"?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Praetor, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 18, 2004
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    Besides the Bat-nipples. (Yes, everyone hates them.)

    Granted it's not as universally despised as its immediate successor, but I think Forever catches more than its fair share of flack from detractors.

    As I sit here watching it on AMC, it's just as good to me now as it was when I was ten. There are things that I would have done differently, but there are probably as many if not more things I would have done differently in Burton's first two films. I also happen to think Forever has aged better than either of Burton's two films.

    People cite the colorful, cartoony quality of Forever as a detriment, but this is a film based on a comic book, and if you like TAS (and I think most card-carrying Bat-fans do) then I think it's difficult to argue against the cartoonyness. It's a different approach, that in this case IMO works decently.

    I do feel that there was too much going on. I guess after Returns had two villains, it was deemed necessary that Forever have two villains, and add a sidekick. I don't mind Two Face being behind the deaths of the Graysons, but I do hate the way Two Face's origin was so quickly glossed over in favor of the origin for Jim Carrey's spastically different but IMO interesting take on the Riddler. The studio obviously wanted Joker 2.0 with the Riddler, but I think this Riddler distinguished himself nicely from the Joker.

    (And, I might point out, we didn't end up with Marlon Wayans as the Boy Wonder as Tim Burton might have had.)

    So, what don't you like?
  2. MeanJoePhaser

    MeanJoePhaser Admiral

    Aug 21, 2003
    Missile Command
    I might give you that one.

    Nope, flawed argument. Batman:TAS was more rooted in a noir retro 1930's look. It wasn't that colorful, and at its best wasn't that traditionally "cartoony". I'd say TAS was closer to Burton's films than TAS was closer to Batman Forever. But the cartoon really was more its own "animal".

    1. You take Tommy Lee Jones (a decent actor, most of the time) and slathe ugly make-up on half his face and play the ying-yang schtick for silliness (two girl friends), rather than actually create a real character.

    2. Jim Carrey playing Jim Carrey dressed as the Riddler. Either you like him, or you don't. We don't even have the satisfaction of Batman beating the crap out of him.

    3. Nicole Kidman, or BATMAN HAS TO HAVE A LOVE INTEREST. Vicki Vale fit into the first movie...maybe shoe-horned a tad. Catwoman may have stolen the second. Dr. Meridian was just eye candy and the inevitable damsel in distress. Her character is silly and the subplot with Wayne wasn't interesting. Bruce may act the playboy, but Batman isn't James Bond. A new "serious love interest" every movie isn't needed. (FUCK DEMOGRAPHICS, send your girl to see a chick flick).

    4. Corny humor replacing dark humor. The stolen vault slides right back into place. "Holey rusted metal, Batman!" Anything Carrey says. Failed attempts at humor with Two-Face.

    5. The whole deal is far more merchandise friendly than the prievous films, and it shows.

    6. Recycling the Joker's death for Two-Face. WE MAKE HIM FALL TO HIS DOOM; THAT'S NOT THE SAME AS MURDERING HIM. (Minor nitpick...as at least it involved Two-Face acting like the character should.)

    7. Val Kilmer, like Jones is a decent actor...most of the time. I honestly forget he ever played Batman. He doesn't register, not even as Bruce Wayne.

    8. The new theme music is irritating in its own right, and is almost crap compared to Elfman's scores for the Burton films.
  3. Small White Car

    Small White Car Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 3, 2001
    Washington D.C.
    MeanJoePhaser just scratches the surface.

    Let's just put it this way:

    60's Batman is dumb but campy in a self-aware way. They knew what they were doing was silly and were ok with that. It's a perfect for what it was trying to be.

    'Forever' took all the dumb stuff from Adam West's show, ignored the self-aware ironic tone, and basically tried to make it feel important and 'real.'

    It had no idea what it wanted to be and as a result does no one thing well. As one simple example, Tommy Lee Jones is a great choice for a serious Two-Face. But they wanted a goofy Two-Face. Jones is the exact WRONG choice for that role! It's like they changed the script after casting or something! The whole movie is like that...taking things that could be great and doing them exactly wrong.

    The ONLY reason people give it any credit is because the one that followed was somehow worse. Hardly a stunning endorsement.

    Well there's your problem. Remember this: What you liked at 10 is never a good thing. This is true for everyone, and we never quite outgrow it.

    It's why I still love Mr. Bean but I'm not going to try and defend myself there.
  4. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2001
    Kansas City
    Batman Forever: Better known as "Batman In Hindsight a Sign of Terrible Things to Come."

    Everything in this movie is just a precursor to the fail and nonsense of B&R. The over-the-top acting, the goofy production designs, and they just handled Two-Face really, really poorly. Not to mention Val Kilmer has all the screen-presence of a block of wood.
  5. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

    Apr 14, 2000
    QC, IL, USA
    Aw, I love "Batman Forever."

    "Batman and Robin," on the other hand, is a different story.
  6. Zachary Smith

    Zachary Smith Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 29, 2001
    Lost somewhere in space
    I hate the fact that Jim Carrey made MORE money for that one role than Frank Gorshin earned in his entire career--and GORSHIN was a MUCH better Riddler.
  7. Galactus

    Galactus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Aug 25, 2002
    The High Father
    Batman Forever is awesome. I remember the joy and relief everyone felt after Returns which nobody liked. If it was not for the internet I would not even know a person that liked Returns. The only thing wrong with Forever is Two-Face and Robin is too old. Would have worked better if it was just the Riddler. Carey did an awesome job.

    Only thing wrong with Forever for some people is that Batman was not shown to be the out of control crazy nutjob whacko that Batfans of today just can't live without. I think there are just so many issues there.
  8. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 9, 2007
    I liked Empire Strikes Back when I was 10. It was new then. Does that suddenly make it a bad thing?
  9. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 9, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    Carrey's Riddler had some OK moments (and I still like that he had a personal jealousy of Bruce Wayne) but was overall too hyper, whacky, and so not much of a threat. Two-Face, on the other hand, was a really waste of the character. Most of Bruce's interactions with Chase and his decision to quit felt half-hearted.
  10. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

    May 26, 2001
    Two Face was awful and Carrey's Riddler was big and loud enough that they didn't actually need a second villain.

    O'Donnell was too old for Robin - he looked like a young man, able to lead his own life, not someone who had to be a ward of court. Having said that, his performance is quite good.

    The humour is silly - not quite brave enough to go out and out wacky like the 60s show but out of place in a 1990s Batman movie. And worst of all, mostly unfunny.

    The Riddler's plan is pretty much a re-hash of anything that's gone before in previous movies.

    Too much marketing and toy manufacturing behind the outfits and vehicles. Also, I'm not keen on the neon look of Gotham, which is better suited to a Dick Tracy movie. But it's a legitimate choice for the movie-makers to have made.

    The movie is probably too long.

    Besides that - I actually quite like a lot of this movie. I'm in the minority that prefers Kilmer to Clooney or Keaton, the action scenes are way better than anything in the first two movies and I like Carrey's Riddler. Michael Gough is as good as always.
  11. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

    Sep 15, 2006
    Italy, EU
    Then you should get better friends. :p
  12. FluffyUnbound

    FluffyUnbound Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jan 31, 2005
    It's just too cartoony and there's no way around that. Carrey and Jones ham it up big time. It reminds me of Dick Tracy, which also tried to make a virtue of its cartoonyness by just accepting it and running with it - but which also failed.
  13. darthraidr

    darthraidr Commodore Commodore

    Aug 28, 2001
    Fremont , ca, usa
    i've forgotten how most of the movie goes... but i do remember thinking that Tommy Lee Jones would make an awesome Two-Face. His performance in that movie blew me away! it was horrible. he was acting crazy because he didnt want to be upstaged by Jim Carrey. and Carrey seemed to be trying to out do the Joker.

    everything in that movie was trying to be bigger and louder than what came before it. it worked. trainwrecks aren't known for their subtlety.
  14. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

    Apr 14, 2000
    QC, IL, USA
    This might be why I like it so much. It's just so over-the-top.
  15. Shazam!

    Shazam! Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 22, 2006
    I don't think it's aged better than Batman but certainly better than the massively overrated Batman Returns.

    I actually quite like Batman Forever. Unfortunately Chris 'Charisms-Bypass' O'Donnell turns up an I'm-actually-older-than-Nighwing-but-I'm-gonna-play-Robin-anyway Dick Grayson, and Jim Carey and Tommy Lee Jones ham it up waaaaaay too much and it's clear that the only people getting any joy from that are those two.
  16. Spiderpope

    Spiderpope Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jul 14, 2009
    Grimsby, England
    Before i start, i have to admit i am no expert on the Batman comics, ive only ever read one Annual and Bruce spent most of that pretending to be Matches Malone whilst Robin ran around in an inflatable muscle suit (!?!). So my perception of his rogues gallery is very much based on various wikipedia summaries and the previous filmed works.

    But with that caveat i think the main problem with Batman Forever is that its creative team made the incorrect assumption that if something is based on a comic, it cannot be played seriously.

    Which is why they took a villain like Two-Face, and turned him into The Joker Mk.II. The Dark Knight has proven that Two-Face can be an effective and intimidating villain. Instead we got a rehash of The Joker sans any of the darkness and menace.

    The Riddler on the other hand didnt even appear in Batman Forever. Instead we got the Cable Guy in lycra. Carrey can be a very good dramatic actor, but all we got in Forever was a mix of Ace Ventura and The Mask in an outfit that left very little to the imagination.

    We ended up with a Robin that goes on the pull in the Batmobile a few days after watching his entire family die.

    We got a Batman that spends his spare time stalking a woman with a rubber fetish. And then gives up being Batman altogether when said female decides she doesnt like rubber as much as she thought, and would rather date a dull guy in a turtleneck.

    As a kid i loved Batman Forever, as an adult i find it almost unwatchable. About the only positive i can say is that its not as bad as Batman and Robin.
  17. ToddKent

    ToddKent Captain Captain

    Mar 4, 2008
    Dallas, TX
    It can be a fun movie if you turn your brain off when you watch it.

    And yeah Robin seemed way to old to be "adopted" by Bruce Wayne. I don't care if the circus was halfway to Metropolis, there was no reason he couldn't have just hopped on a bus and rejoined it.

    Someone above said that Jim Carrey was just doing Jack Nicholson's Joker. Personally I think that's what Tommy Lee Jones was doing. TwoFace just didn't seem to have a clear motivation.

    And Jim Carrey was just doing Ace Ventura: Riddler. He can be a very good actor when he wants to be. I would have like to see him do a more serious, darker exploration of that character's psyche.

    The love interest was pointless and forgettable. And I agree with the poster who mentioned the complete lack of any self awareness.

    Alfred was good though.
  18. Bad Bishop

    Bad Bishop Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 23, 2001
    The Land of Fruits and Nuts
    Let me say this--Batman's double rescue of Robin and Chase (Nicole Kidman) at the end of the film was a truly great feat. Batman had almost zero time to think when he dived after them. It was as heroic as anything ever done by a superhero in any film.
  19. barnaclelapse

    barnaclelapse Commodore Commodore

    May 10, 2009
    Waverly, VA.
    I still like some of the set designs, some of the soundtrack (I'm a child of the 90's, after all) and Tommy Lee Jones rocking the house as Two-Face. The rest is a god-awful piece of crap that has proven over the years to be inferior to Batman/Returns, The Dark Knight and even Batman Begins (which I'll never be particularly crazy about).
  20. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 6, 2001
    Sac, Ca
    Same here. I must have been distracted by all the flash and color as a kid, but when I watch it now, all I notice is just how incredibly cheesy and awful the writing is.

    Say what you will about Burton's films, but they were FULL of witty, delicious dialogue and great character interaction. That's the main thing that keeps me coming back all the time (and, come to think of it, another reason I prefer them over Nolan's films).

    Schumacher's on the other hand are nothing but cheesy one-liners, bad puns, and lots of hyper over-acting. There's nothing in there that comes CLOSE to those great scenes between Batman and the Joker, or between Penguin and Catwoman.