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USA 1995
Directed by
Joel Schumacher
121 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars

Batman Forever

Having made a complete hash of his magnificent Batman (1989) with a bombastic sequel Batman Returns Tim Burton wisely relinquished the directorial reigns for this third instalment. The result are somewhat more bearable with Joel Schumacher  giving the film a more colourful tongue-in-cheek feel.  Advancing on the previous film, the  script is also better, Val Kilmer is a more appealing Bruce Wayne than Michael Keaton’s unsuitably ineffectual  incarnation and his relationship with psychologist Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman) also has more wit  than that between Batman and Catwoman whilst the Elliot Goldenthal score is a relief from Danny Elfman’s overbearing contribution.  Despite all this there is still no real dramatic substance and the film remains largely two hours of SFX saturation and lavish production design.

Jim Carrey adds plenty of zip as The Riddler but Tommy Lee Jones's Harvey Two-Face amounts to little more than maniac cackling and his endless failed attempts to terminate Batman are tediously noisy exercises whilst the introduction of Robin as the alter ego of young circus acrobat Dick Grayson (Chris O'Donnell) whose parents, like Batman were also killed by thugs is a fairly lame affair seemingly designed to appeal to younger audiences. All up, you've really got to have little worth doing to sit through this.

FYI:  Schumacher helmed a fourth instalment in 1997, Batman & Robin, with George Clooney playing the Caped Crusader which was so comprehensively pilloried that I have not had the fortitude to weather it.




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