Movie Review

Batman Forever

Courage now, truth always....
Batman Forever Movie Poster

US Release Date: 06-16-1995

Directed by: Joel Schumacher


  • Val Kilmer
  • Batman / Bruce Wayne
  • Tommy Lee Jones
  • Two-Face / Harvey Dent
  • Jim Carrey
  • Riddler / Dr. Edward Nygma
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Dr. Chase Meridian
  • Chris O'Donnell
  • Robin / Dick Grayson
  • Michael Gough
  • Alfred Pennyworth
  • Pat Hingle
  • Commissioner James Gordon
  • Drew Barrymore
  • Sugar
  • Debi Mazar
  • Spice
  • Elizabeth Sanders
  • Gossip Gerty
  • Rene Auberjonois
  • Dr. Burton
  • Ed Begley Jr.
  • Fred Stickley
  • Jon Favreau
  • Assistant
Average Stars:
Reviewed on: January 18th, 2009
Jim Carrey alone makes this movie worth the watch.

Jim Carrey alone makes this movie worth the watch.

My youngest son is a huge Batman fan. He watches the Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher films as much as he does the Nolan ones. He even likes Adam West’s version. My personal favorite of the pre-Bale Batman movies is the all-star packed Batman Forever. It is a complete and utter mess as a serious film but it works well as a comedy.

Played by Kilmer this time around, Batman is pursued by a horny psychologist, Kidman. She uses the Bat signal to try to get him into her bed, “A girl cannot live on psychosis alone.” He also has Two-Face just out and about robbing banks. The movie opens with him robbing a bank and tossing his coin to decide a prison guard's fate,“Ah. Fortune smiles. Another day of wine and roses. Or, in your case, beer and pizza!” As is the tradition in Batman movies, there is a second villain, Riddler, played to the hilt by Jim Carrey, “Riddle me this, riddle me that, who's afraid of the big, black bat?” As if that was not enough for Bruce Wayne, he also becomes the guardian of circus acrobat orphan Dick Grayson, played by Chris O'Donell, who looks far too old to need a guardian.

Kilmer and O’ Donnell play their roles straight. They are seriously out to get the bad guys. “ gotta help me find him. And when we do, I'm the one who kills him.” Dick says to Bruce, who asks, “So, you’re willing to take a life.” “Long as it’s Two-Face.” However, Jim Carrey steals this film and nearly single handedly makes this a good comedy. He enunciates every line to just the right comedic level. I am not sure how many times I have seen this movie, I did not think it was that often, yet I recited nearly every one of his lines as he spoke them. “Someone tell the fat lady, she’s on in five.” “And what a grand pursuit you must be.” “Joygasm!” "I've seen your mind-Freak!." "Does anybody else feel like a fried egg?"

Filled with silly, yet catchy lines and over the top performances, Batman Forever is a superhero movie to enjoy for a laugh. Whereas you laughed at the next film, Batman and Robin, for its utter stupidity, here you actually laugh with Batman Forever.

Reviewed on: January 8th, 2014
Val Kilmer and Chris O'Donnell in Batman Forever.

Val Kilmer and Chris O'Donnell in Batman Forever.

After the disappointing box office performance of Batman Returns, Warner Brothers decided to go in a different direction with this third installment in the Tim Burton Batman franchise. One major change was that Burton produced but didn't direct this time out. Instead Joel Schumacher took over the reins. Gone was the dark, moody atmosphere of the first two installments, replaced by bright neon colors and a much campier sense of humor. It was a throwback to the Batman comics of the 1940s and 50s as well as the 1960's television series. The results were mixed.

Then of course there's the starring role. Michael Keaton was replaced by Val Kilmer, who, in my opinion, makes a much better superhero than Keaton ever did. He certainly looks more heroic at any rate. He seems stiff and awkward in the romantic scenes with Nicole Kidman but this may have been intentional. (Kidman's character, Dr. Chase Meridian, BTW, was invented for this movie. She never appeared in any previous Batman incarnation.)

As Eric wrote, both Val Kilmer and Chris O'Donnell play it completely straight (much as Adam West and Burt Ward had done on TV) while Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey play to the rafters. Jones I found annoying as Two-Face but then I never liked that character much anyway. Carrey provides the movie its biggest spark of entertainment. He knows how to deliver a comic line with the best of them.

This installment is utterly devoid of danger. There really isn't any tension to speak of. The action scenes are as cartoonish as they come, from the opening helicopter sequence to the final climactic battle where all Batman has to do to defeat the villains is throw his bat-hook (or whatever you call it) at the big green power source overhead.

The attempts at drama concerning Robin and the death of his family seem out of place given the silly nature of the movie. Visually, however, it is a step up from the morose look and feel of the previous two films. This just might be the most entertaining of the four Batman movies in this series but like the other three it is still flawed.

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