Batman Forever-Sounds Like Hell To Me
Alright folks, lets not spend too much time on this bat turd okay? Batman Forever is another example of Hollywood taking beloved properties, such as Batman, Superman or Star Trek and wiping their collective butts with it because they don't respect the material and they don't respect the fan base. Batman Forever definitely falls into the category of, “here you go, eat up stupid animals.” And unfortunately, due to the fact that people enjoyed the 1989 Batman movie, people did turn out and they did help Batman Forever, God help us, to a box-office take of over $300 million dollars.
Part of the problem rests in Akiva Goldman's wildly inconsistent lap. Here is a guy who was penned the very problematic Lost in Space, but also adapted A Beautiful Mind. It would seem that when Goldman is challenged with being creative he falls painfully short and we all have to pay the price. Yet he does not share the blame alone, for as with most of these Hollywood blockbuster it takes 50 other creative minds to crank out one lousy script. Go figure lots of paychecks on a cash cow like a Batman movie, huh?
Perhaps I am being too hard on Goldman, oh wait, he also wrote Batman & Robin, which is one of the worst scripts for a big budget Hollywood release we have seen in a very, very long time. A further worrisome indicator is that Goldman was a producer on two of the worse films in recent memory, the horribly conceived Mr and Mrs. Smith and the dreadful, dreadful, dreadful Poseidon. That said, Goldman has done some decent work, such as A Beautiful Mind, a job he should have never been given based on his past performances by the way, and he had a hand in the I, Robot script which he co-wrote. Again, I, Robot is based upon the creative work of Asimov, thus if you are asking Goldman to crank out something original, well brace yourself, but he seems to be competent when adapting the work of others. Bottom line Goldman is part of the problem with Batman Forever.
I will not bore you with the “plot” except to say that it introduces Robin and we get to see Jim Carey go completely over the top as Riddler. The film is a confused mess, but Val Kimler is actually a very good Batman, much better than Keaton or Clooney and it is a shame that he did not have a chance to develop the part.
Goldman combined with the lackluster directing from Joel Schumacher, who simply should not be directing films, combine to make Batman Forever, feel like it is forever. The title itself indicates how unfocused the entire film happens to be. Batman Forever, what the hell does that mean? Schumacher was given somewhere in the ballpark of $100-$120 million dollars in 1995 to make this steaming pile, which in today's Hollywood play money would probably be more like $200 million dollars-and this is what he comes up with? Pretty scary stuff folks. Batman Forever is seriously one of those flicks that leaves you scratching your head and asking, “how were these people allowed to waste all this money and get by with it?”
Acting C+ (A few fun acting performances are wasted in this mess.)
Enjoyability Grade D
Home Theater/HD Factor B- (There are better films to show off what a good home theater can do.)
Overall Grade D- (In general, if you look for the Schumacher or Goldman label you will probably know to either avoid altogether or wait for video.)