5 Reasons Why Batman Forever Isn’t as Bad as You Think
Welcome everyone to the newest feature here at Coming Soon. ‘5 Reasons Why’ is dedicated to featuring and defending a controversial topic that is sure to spark a healthy debate among readers. The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of this writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Comingsoon.net, Mandatory.com, Crave Online or any of its other subsidiaries.
Coming off the heels of Tim Burton’s Batman Returns and all of the “controversy” surrounding it (parents thinking a PG-13 movie was ‘too scary’ for their young children), Batman Forever took everything that was good and bad about the Burton Batman’s and flipped it all on its head. Gone were the gothic visuals and the Shakespearian tragic backstories of the villains, and in their place stood…neon. Lots and lots of neon. Director Joel Schumacher took over the reins for Tim Burton on the third installment in the Batman franchise and his artistic approach could be seen everywhere. The villains were more bombastic, the special effects were bigger, the dialogue was more tongue-in-cheek. Sometimes fans lump Batman Forever together with Batman & Robin when discussing Batman on Film and that’s unfair to the former.
5) Batman is, After All, A Super Hero for Children
Look, as a 30-something-year-old man that has grown up with the Dark Knight, it’s easy to feel some degree of ownership of the character. You’ll hear the phrase “My Batman” thrown around in various discussion boards and social media posts. The fact of the matter is, though, Batman is a comic book superhero created for children. We can bemoan the comic and campy Caped Crusader version of Batman all we want, but kids are the primary audience for Batman. Which is why Batman Forever pulled back a little bit on the adult themes. Batman’s first line in ‘Forever’ was “I’ll get drive-thru.” Now, we roll our eyes at the campiness. But back in 1995, that joke killed. Because it was aimed at kids. This whole movie was aimed at kids. And that’s okay.
4) Batman is Actually Heroic in This Film
Think back to 1992’s Batman Returns. Do you remember Batman actually doing anything, like, heroic? He bantered with Catwoman, went toe-to-toe with Penguin and murdered a bunch of the Red Triangle Gang. But did he actually do anything to help people? In fact, the one time he tried to save somebody, the Ice Princess, he failed miserably and the girl got killed! Granted, he did end up saving the firstborn sons of Gotham towards the end of the movie, but that was like a 30-second scene! In ‘Forever,’ the first thing Batman does is save somebody. We get to actually witness our hero doing something heroic. This Batman saves lives. He was even willing to give up his secret identity to save the lives of those who attended the circus in which the Grayson’s were killed.
3) Jim Carrey as The Riddler
Make no mistake, Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face was awful. Jones is a very capable actor but, instead of acting in this movie, he decided to pretend to be Jack Nicholson’s Joker for 2 hours. Two-Face is one of the most interesting Batman characters to dissect. Instead of dissecting, we got Jones trying to out-Jim Carrey. He can hardly be blamed though. Jim Carrey as The Riddler was an inspired choice. He was loud, obnoxious, animated and….quite flexible. In other words, he was exactly what fans should have expected. In addition to his performance, it’s always fun to see a typically “good guy” be the “bad guy” for a change. Jack Nicholson almost always played a villain of some sort, but Jim Carrey was generally cast as the hero of his movies. He got to be bad in this film and he was oh-so-good at it.
2) We Finally Got Robin
Even as far back as Batman ’89, fans were clamoring for an appearance of Robin. There was a scene written for him in the ’89 film but it was never shot. Then, Robin was a part of the Batman Returns script and Marlon Wayans had actually been cast as the Boy Wonder, which would have been an extremely interesting take on the character. But again, Robin was not meant to be. Finally, Batman Forever allowed for the inclusion of Robin and, story-wise, his introduction was pretty close to the comic version. Bruce Wayne was at the circus in which Dick Grayson’s whole family got murdered. Wayne, seeing something in the youngest Grayson, takes him under his wing (heh.) and the rest is history. Pretty faithful right?
1) It Isn’t Batman & Robin
Batman Forever was different, sure. It was brighter and more family-friendly than Tim Burton’s films. But it was NOT Batman & Robin. That film was cringe-worthy bad. Batman Forever, taken on its own, was not a bad movie. It was different, but it was still an entertaining comic book movie. That’s the way it deserves to be remembered. Batman Forever deserves to be its own movie, not as the ‘prequel’ to Batman & Robin as some fans have made it out to be.
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