Despite Burton’s hang-ups with plot, pacing and remote-controlled penguins the director helped catapult Batman into the mainstream consciousness as a serious comic book icon, a badass, kind of psychotic, and relevant, because nothing is relevant unless it’s rendered in live-action cinema. When Joel “Lost Boys” Schumacher took the franchise reins from Burton, who held on as a “producer” (whatever that means), Batman’s newfound reputation as a fearsome crusader was dashed to the rocks, replaced by an insufferable neon-lit homo eroticism. How WB allowed this to happen to their superhero cash cow is nothing short of bewildering. Obviously no one gave a damn. The only thing that mattered at this point were the Burger King tie-ins, the action figures and toys and the shitty Super Nintendo game. Clearly, across the board, no one was attempting a modicum of quality control because no one gave a shit. And we allowed it to happen! Batman Forever made a ton of money in 1995 yet even as a kid I knew something was wrong. Mainly I was embarrassed by Jim Carrey’s canoodling. And all that neon rubber? The stupid new theme music?! What, was Danny Elfman’s too good?
I won’t go into a full-detail analysis because I just don’t have it in me to put every codpiece-covered inch of Batman Forever under the grumposcope. It is exactly the type of 1990s clueless studio manipulated trash that deserves to be mocked and shamed, useful for only the occasional ironic laugh. Instead I’ve provided my unedited notes I took while watching the movie, and there are the usual screenshots.
Pat Hingle is decaying more and more.
Nicole Kidman HOOOT. Introduced for some reason. Abnormal psychology bullshit.
Opening credits = awful and cheesy and bad. Then after the title they just continue on throughout the opening scene with Two-Face. Gay biker henchmen.
Action is zoom-in close-ups of feet and fists hitting stuff. Hardly discernible. Fucking awful camerawork.
Fucking awful soundtrack.
Finish each other’s sentences.
Bright and gaudy Gotham.
Jesus Christ it’s difficult to keep up with how awful it is. Guy gets electrocuted and makes weird warbling noises.
TWO FACE- How does he have to laugh after every sentence?
Batman has to save a gay guard who won’t shut up. NO. YES. MY SHOES ARE MEEEELTING. BOILING ACIIIID! THAT’s MY HEARING AID!! I LOVE DIIICKS.
Gotham is even shittier than before. More Big Naked Men than ever. Gotham Statue of Liberty. Uses a club on the helicopter thing. Tommy Lee Jones is awwwwful. BLOODY YIN-YANG CRAP.
CG!! Helicopter. Gotham City. Men everywhere.
Jim Carrey’s place is plastered with Bruce Wayne ads. Can’t let go of his hand. Orgasmic dialogue delivery. Bruce wears glasses! YAY
Jim Carrey’s invention is a blender combined with chicken wiring and egg beaters. continuing Tim Burton’s tradition of shitty props. Jim Carrey is just weird.
MEN!! STATUES!!! Makes no sense. A tube runs from the middle of Gotham City to the outskirts to wayne manor to batcave then he drives back to the city.
OH HEY Nicole Kidman is in nighties and wants to fuck the hell out of Batman. What a WHORE. Why is Batman TALKING to her?!
MEN and TIMEPIECES. Neon colors everywhere.
JIM CARREY captures Ed Begly Jr. to try out the blender and fish. Fucking surreal. FISHERMAN. GREEN. Jim Carrey just talks bullshit – a flock of freakin’ Freuds!!! FISH flapping everywhere and Ed Begley. Screaming and moaning like they just had the steamiest buttsex. 3D TV. Neuralized BRAIN ENERGY to grow smarter?! What’s with the Riddler?!? Crazy and rubbery. Just stretches face around and makes Cable Guy-esque one-liners quoting TV constantly.
Two Face’s origin: Sal Maroni throws acid in his face. OK, that sounds about right. So what’s Batman doing sitting in court in full costume? GNN. Like CNN/ GET IT?!
Gordon’s a moron. “YUP. DEFINITELY SUICIDE.” I’ll go take a nap.
Bruce goes to visit Kidman – Twisted camera angles!! Talk about crap.
CIRCUS. Naked men. Joel’s boyfriend. REPORTER. Bruce and Kidman share stupid clunky romantic dialogue about Batman. FLYING GRASONS. Look like RObin. Yay. Camerawork is focused squarely on their BUTTS.
The whole first hour could’ve been CUT. OUT. Open with the circus. Would’ve been slightly less painful.
Robin moves in. Weird for a grown man to adopt another grown man. Robin’s like screw you man but then Bruce and Alfred seduce him with motorcycles and lunch.
Bruce remembers his parent’s for the 10000000th time. Blames himself for Robin’s parents death for some reason?! JESUS, BRUCE. “Take care of the kid, Alfred.” The KID?
dumbest looking batmobile.
chase, MEEEEN. DRIVES UP WALLS.
faces. FACES. TWO FACE HIDEOUT. DREW AND AWFUL GIRL JUST DO SHIT. Riddler comes in somehow and convinces two-Face to help him kill Batman by wanting to FELLATE HIS GUN. Then the Riddler goes on and on about Two-Face’s hideout in case it wasn’t clear enough to anybody. Then he goes ON AND ON some more about his mind control TV devices that make WB cartoons show up somehow. AUUUGHHHHH OLD LADIES
“Hey Two-Face! Show me how to puncha guy!” MONTAGE. Of FUUUUN. WEEEEE. Bruce and Alfred try to figure out Riddler’s riddles. Robin asks about a locked door and Alfreed wants to eat him. MONTAGE about people buying Riddle’s awful box. No one notices the BIG GREEN LIFESTREAM OUTSIDE?! Jim Carrey sitting down and going nuts. Kinda funny silly hahaha uggghhhh.
Bruce and Kidman shit. Why the hell does he fuckin’ insist on getting involved with women?
ROBIN DRIVES BATMOBILEEEE with mcDonald’s and MEEEEN in the city. NEON NEON NEON NEEEOOON. Fight scene so obviously not Chris O’Donnell doing anything., WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA. LIKE A POWER RANGERS EPISODE. Robin wants to kill Two-Face but Bruce is all “So you’re willing to take a life” like it’s a bad idea. But Batman’s been killing people for three movies, you dipshit. All things considered, Robin takes the fact Bruce Wayne is Batman pretty well.
Some party thing happens then the best/greatest character ever in the movie shows up – some batshit reporter. “OOHHH BRUUUCIE!!” “OOOUGGHHHHHHH!!!!!” “GOTHAM MUST KNOOOW.” The first really hilarious thing in the movie. A death metal growl to rival Corpsegrinder Fisher.
Val Kilmer is just wooden. Sounds like he’s a robot reciting lines. Checks out retarded box thing. Batman does smash in through ceiling window thing. Another shaky flippy moron gets punched. Nicole kisses Batman. BABY-FACED BATMAN. Jumps and shit. Falls into a tube. FIRE. Looks drunk and stupid. Two-Face won’t fuckin’ stop laughing and the soundtrack is loud and terrible. Dick Grayson just looks stoned and gay.
Bruce and Alfred talk about he should go fuck Nicole. He agrees so he breaches a ton of ethics and brings his Bat Boner over her place, where she sleeps nude and without a pillow. Then Nicole’s like LOL I LIKE SOMEONE ELSE NOW so Batman takes his bat Blue balls out and gives a goofy smile.
Then Two-Face and Riddler look at Bruce Wayne’s brainfile and sees a bat. Uhh, you’re in Gotham, wouldn’t EVERYONE have bats on the brain, FAGGOT?
Bruce decides to quit because he’s a moron. “I don’t need a friend right now, I need a partner.” A gay partner. Bruce decides to tell Nicole everything because he’s a dumb asshole. Tries telling Nicole his secret but she fucks up and knocks over some roses which immediately triggers memories of his parent’s death. He’s NUTS. “I have something to tell you, something I’ve never told anyone.” Except in a big circus earlier. Fucking asshole.
It’s also Halloween. I love Halloween in movies because it’s always fucking bullshit. No kid is this creative with costumes.
Fucking TONESHIFT. Bruce goes into huge monologue mode and reveals he’s fuckin’ afraid of a huge giant bat in a cave. It doesn’t really gel with the previous scene of Riddler and Two-Face sucking face outside Wayne Manor. They break in because Alfred’s a moron and Riddler uses a magic hacking wand to find his way to to the Batcave. Riddler destroys everything while his package is in full glorious view. Meanwhile Two-Face flips his coin over and over because who cares.
God, this is getting tiresome. Jim Carrey, why won’t you shut up?! Riddler draws on the sky. WOW. UGGH. Robin costume. New Bat costume too sans nipples but GRATUTIUTUTIUS BUTT SHOT. BATBOAT AND BATWING TIME WEEEEE. Riddler and two-face play battleship and it’s jokey and dumb and makes no sense. Like, these aren’t jokes. Get on blender island and Robin makes a holey rusted metal joke. Batman clearly doesn’t give a shit. This sure is green.
Robin beats up Two-Face. Yeah, way to go. You beat up an old man.
Riddler shows up dressed in white and has retarded hair. Lots of gay close-ups. Riddler talks forever Why does Batman let him talk for so long? Especially when he’s so painful to watch and to listen to? So. BAD. Bruce destroys green thing above Riddler which means he destroys everything! Sure. Cue bad blue screen falling sequence.
Two-Face calls Batman Bruce even though Nicole is right there. Batman defeats him by throwing coins up even though it doesn’t matter because Two-face doesn’t care about the coin. Riddler appears all melted-like. ENDS. THERE. DONE. RUN IN FRONT OF BAT SIGNAL LIKE JACKASSES.
U2 AND SEAL WOOOWWW
Additional remarks: In senior year of high school the Seal song came back into my life and I couldn’t stop laughing at it. It has become a staple in my music listening diet whenever I need to smile.
I suppose Schumacher’s movies could be seen the same way. Batman Forever, dumb as it is, is an updated take on the campy Adam West version. This scene is a good example of what a huge joke it is. It’s Batman Forever in a nutshell. Or a quail egg. Kind of amusing, kind of boring, kind of sad. Why it has to be two long hours of unbearable eye-winking and nudge-nudging is a fucking mystery. I think people forget how bad Batman Forever is, like it’s nestled safely in the middle between Burton’s quirky sequel and one of the most epic cinematic abortions to ever grace the planet so it somehow escapes ridicule. It shouldn’t. I won’t decry the entertainment of it, you’ve seen the pictures. Some of the stuff in this movie is unreal. Ed Begley Jr.’s fish orgasm scene and the Gossip Gertie character are creations from some unknown font of twisted, bizarre imagination, a place creative men and women don’t normally dare to tread.
Because they have dignity, I guess.