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Monday, June 23, 2014

Movie Review:Batman Forever

Premise:Bruce Wayne falls hard for a woman, while two villains plot to destroy both the Bat and Bruce Wayne.

Cast:Val Kilmer as Batman, Jim Carrey as Edward Nigma/the Riddler, Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face, Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridan, Chris O'Donnell as Dick Grayson/Robin, Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth

Director:Joel Schumacher

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for strong stylized action


Notes:Supposed to be a continuation of Time Burton's Batman films. Poster taken from IMP Awards and belongs to Warner Brothers.

Pros:Interesting plot. A couple of cool/funny moments.

Cons:Really cheesy. Several characters are annoying. Over-the-top villains. The romantic subplot.

Another attack on Gotham. Another crazed supervillain. Another ordinary day for the Dark Knight.

If you prefer dark Batman, then it's unlikely you'll enjoy this film. In trying to tone down the darkness in Batman Returns, they went too far in the other direction. It's basically a live-action cartoon, and not a very good one. The story could have been awesome, but the cheesy tone ruins this.

Also, there's Robin. He's so abrasive that it makes it hard to like him. In fact, the movie would have been better off without him. And Alfred decides he'd make a good sidekick by watching him do laundry.

The acting on the villains is so over-the-top cheesy, it's like they thought this was a parody. They're not the kind you like or wish get their comeuppance; they're just not that good. Jim Carrey's style is good for comedies and might have worked for someone like the Joker, but not here. And Edward Nygma's character is established right before they decide to have him turn entirely against the same guy he idolized literally 15 seconds before.

Bruce Wayne was okay, except where his love life and Robin are involved. Once again, he falls hard for a woman he just met. And I don't really like Chase. Vicki Vale might have been a damsel-in-distress, but she wasn't obnoxious. And Catwoman was Catwoman. But Chase is just kind of annoying.

Ultimately, go for if you love cheesy Batman. Otherwise, skip it.

Sex:We get close-ups of Batman's crotch and butt for some reason. Guys appear either shirtless or in costumes that look like muscles. Women show cleavage. Bruce appears without a shirt. Couples kiss several times.
Riddler makes suggestive quips like "Spank me!" and "Joy-gasm!" When listing the things the people of Gotham are unwittingly giving to him, he adds sexual fantasies. He briefly wears a tiara. He reports Robin secretly hopes to end up naked with a girl.
Chase confesses a weakness for bad boys and wonders if she needs skintight vinyl and a whip (referencing Catwoman) to keep Batman's attention. He asks if she's trying to get under his cape; she replies a girl can't live on just psychological study. He wonders if it's the car because "chicks love the car." She rubs his chest; he backs off and tells her to date a fireman because they have less to take off. She takes off her jacket showing a tight, low-cut sleeveless top.
Batman calls Chase direct; she tells him she knows he likes strong women. She says "My place. Midnight." The two later kiss while she's wearing only a sheet. She stops and says she's in love with someone else. Bruce says he needs to get her out of those clothes ("Excuse me?") and into a black dress.
A girl is held hostage by a gang, with some sexual undertones. Where she's saved by Dick (pretending to be Batman), she says "Doesn't Batman ever kiss the girl?" Then they do kiss. Other women lose interest in Dick when they see he isn't Batman.
Edward has a bit of a crush on Chase. When she introduces herself, he says she must be quite a pursuit and kisses her hand. He dances with her, because of his infatuation and as a distraction. As the Riddler, he calls her "my sweet." Two-Face has two girlfriends, one for each personality. One of these women flirts with Bruce Wayne.

Violence:Two-Face tries to blow up a circus. He also shoots a family, sends a wrecking ball through a window, shoots rocket at Batman, tries to burn someone alive, and shows Riddler how to punch someone. People are sent to die by crashing into water and rocks. Batman saves a man from a vat filling up with acid. Guys shoot at Batman, who beats them up. Dick fights a gang. Moving spikes threaten to kill a person.
A helicopter crashes into a statue and another aircraft is shot down. A hideout is blow up. A news program shows footage of Harvey Dent becoming Two-Face. A man is knocked out. He's then murdered, which is made to look like a suicide. A song mentions imagining blowing your boss's head off. Bruce is shot at and falls down a flight of stairs. Dick talks about finding and killing the man responsible for murdering his family.
Bruce breaks the door down when he thinks Chase is in trouble; it turns out she's just hitting a punching bag. Two-Face wonders if Riddler bleeds green. He also says he should crush his bones for breaking into the lair and tells him if the coin toss goes wrong, he'll get his head blown off.

Drugs/Alcohol:Two-Face's girlfriends offer him dinner complete with his respective personalities' drinks. They also each give him something to smoke. He also says "Another day of wine and roses. Or in your case, beer and pizza", and drinks two glasses of fine wine at the same time. Chase offers to bring wine to a date. Dick sarcastically asks Bruce if he spends a lot of time at biker bars.

Language:"G*d", "h*ll", "freaking", "d**n", "bas**rd", and "screw you".

Spiritual:Two-Face asks a victim if he's counting on "the winged avenger" to deliver him from evil. He also says holy men are martyred while junkies become legion and his coin is like the touch of God. He also uses a twisted yin and yang symbol. Riddler says "If knowledge is power, then a god .... am .... IIIII."
Nygma calls Bruce his idol. Chase has a doll that's a Malaysian dream warden, which some believe provides protection against bad dreams. She asks if Bruce thinks it's silly or if he needs one. Dick tells Bruce to spare him the sermons. There's a flashback of a funeral where a priest reads a prayer. Chase wonders what crime someone would have to commit in order to find the kind of penance Batman does.

So what did you think of it?

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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