YMMV / Batman Forever

  • Author's Saving Throw: Though held to higher esteem, the Burton movies were criticized over how loose Batman was about not killing his enemies. One of the things this movie was praised for was showing Batman being more thoughtful about that, as he found himself becoming what he hated.
  • Awesome Music: Two particularly memorable singles from the movie, "Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me" by U2 and "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal (which won him four Grammys, including Song of the Year). Elliot Goldenthal's score was not too shabby either, but your mileage may vary as to whether or not it was up to snuff with Danny Elfman's music.
    • The soundtrack is top-notch, including covers of "The Passenger" and "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game", "Smash It Up", "8", and one that's totally appropriate for The Riddler: "Bad Days".
  • Base Breaker: Two-Face. See Ham and Cheese and The Scrappy. The general consensus is that Tommy Lee Jones' performance is great, but the way the character was written is not.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Dick Grayson's kung-fu laundry.
    • Alfred had the same reaction the audience did.
  • Contested Sequel: These days, many consider it rather disgraceful, partly because it established trends that led to the next movie and hurt superhero movies overall. On the other hand, some people still prefer it over its predecessor for giving Batman more screentime & treating him more like a hero rather than the borderline sociopath he can be in some other adaptations, and also for the film itself at least having a very consistent tone and identity (whereas Returns often had trouble with the darkness and camp clashing and leaving the film feeling like it didn't know what it wanted to be).
    • Val Kilmer as Batman is considered either a travesty of casting, or the first and so far only time an actor has really gotten and portrayed the modern version of the character (he's Batman all the time, whether in or out of the suit, and Bruce Wayne is the costume he wears). To Kilmer's credit, Bob Kane stated that Kilmer's take was his favorite big-screen version of Batman, of the ones Kane saw while he still lived.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Bruce spends much of the film trying to dissuade Dick from getting involved in the vigilante lifestyle.
    • The film as a whole could be seen as an early attempt at deconstructing the character of Batman/Bruce Wayne by showing that despite how heroic and downright awesome he can be, he is still a lonely, troubled man who wishes he could have a peaceful life.
      • He finally gets a happy ending at the end of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, made a little more than a decade later.
  • Ear Worm: "Nygma Variations (Ode to Science)", especially the last part of it which utilizes One-Woman Wail.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Even people who aren't fans of the film still enjoy its version of The Riddler. It certainly helps that Jim Carrey portrayed him and that he had even more airtime than Batman himself. The Carrey Riddler has had some influence on damn near every portrayal of the character since, particularly Wally Wingert's take in the Arkham games.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: The Riddler in spades. Two-Face's penchant for pink also qualifies.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The movie adds a lot more humor, big-scale action sequences, memorable architecture along with a more form-fitting Batsuit that looked (and was, for the actor) more mobile. These elements worked in its favor for being somewhat truer to the comics, but retrospectively Batman & Robin was criticized for all those things (campy humor, gratuitously grandiose action, outright Bizarrchitecture and the nipples on the batsuit) such that it was distracting rather than immersive.
  • Fridge Horror: Sure Batman wins in the end, but there's still a handful of thugs out there who may or may not know that he's really Bruce Wayne behind the mask.
  • Ham and Cheese: Downside; the first movie in the franchise to have Bat-Nipples™. Upside; Jim Carrey babbling about "brainwave manipulation", stating that his neon wardrobe keeps him "safe while jogging at night." Ham and cheese on rye.
    • Tommy Lee Jones, who seemed to have a rip-roaring good time playing Two-Face.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The movie, while not up to the Burton/Keaton standard, was really not that bad on its own merits, and Jim Carrey's Riddler was actually quite well received. Unfortunately Batman & Robin was so bad it actually made this movie look worse by association.
    • The Riddler's plan to market a device that would allow him access to a person's most private information seems especially vile after the iCloud nude photo scandal of 2014.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The rejected "Captain Kill" wardrobe design from Nygma's blueprints is a dead-ringer for Colonel Stars and Stripes, Carrey's character in Kick-Ass 2. (This works on multiple levels, as Carrey disowned both.)
    • Sam Raimi lobbied to direct a movie where a Sadistic Choice basically boiled down to The Hero having to decide between his civilian Love Interest or his superhero life and getting out of it by Taking a Third Option. Sounds familiar...
    • Dick Grayson claiming he's Batman. Or maybe a reverse version since he was handed the mantle briefly in 1994 for the Progidal storyline.
    • Both Two-Face and The Dark Knight's Joker commandeer a vehicle in the same fashion.
    Two-Face: *shoves driver out of the way* We'll drive, thank you!
    Joker: *pushes lifeless mook out of the way* Excuse me! I wanna drive!
    • Even better, Two-Face's Motive Rant in the beginning, about why the flip of a coin is the only kind of justice, is similar to what the Joker would feed Harvey in The Dark Knight.
    • A few years after playing Batman here, one film after Batman Returns which featured the character's most famous love interest in Catwoman, Val Kilmer would play Moses in The Prince of Egypt, in which Michelle Pfeiffer, who played Catwoman in the previous film, played Moses's wife.
    • Although the SNES/Genesis games were infamous for their lack of quality, the game using the Mortal Kombat engine became this when Warner Bros bought the rights to Mortal Kombat after Midway shut down.
    • Apparently Beast Boy thinks Robin has a brother too, as he's one of the possible suspects of being Red X.
    • In his podcast-exclusive commentary track for this film, Kevin Smith jokes that Jon Favreau, who had a small role in the film, was taking notes for Iron Man considering Bruce Wayne's underground shuttle-pod from his office to the Cave is shot with a HUD and close-up view of our hero, just like in Favreau's superhero film 13 years later.
  • Ho Yay: Two Face and the Riddler are getting pretty affectionate towards the end of the film. They were cuddling.
    • The Riddler's last outfit change is inspired in Two Face's half suit half Elton John outfit. And he acts like a fanboy when he sees Two Face on Tv for the first time. Two Face is what inspires him to become a villain, and the first person he goes to see after his dramatic change. Fanboy much?
    • Foe Yay: The screenwriters and Jim Carrey describe Nygma's obsession with Bruce as "love" and "like a stalker".
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Most people don't have very strong views on Val Kilmer as Batman with the kindest opinion being that he was good but had bad material to work with. Despite this, Bob Kane (Batman's creator) thought he played the role best.
  • Memetic Mutation: Riddle me this, riddle me that...
  • Mis-blamed: Joel Schumacher is a big, big Batman fan and wanted to adapt Batman: Year One. It was the studio that forced him to go the Lighter and Softer route.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The film has an In-Universe example. Fred Stickley decides Edward Nygma went over by using him as a guinea pig for his brain manipulation device thing. Despite being an overall awesome and funny villain, Nygma really went over later in the same scene by pushing Stickley out the window for firing him and trying to report him to the proper authorities. He cements it when he tampers with the security log to make it look like a suicide, without caring one whistle about the repercussions it would have for Stickley's loved ones.
  • Narm Charm: This is a very silly film, but it's acted and directed well enough that you can't watch it without at least one cheesy grin.
  • Older Than They Think: Forever gets credited with the idea of Two-Face referring to himself in plural terms—despite not being the only time it's happened or even the first, as Andrew Helfer (who wrote Batman Annual #14, one of the first post-Crisis stories dealing with Two-Face's background) and Doug Moench (who helped write Knightfall and wrote the Batman Vampire trilogy) having done it, too (and said Annual and Knightfall actually predating Forever).
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: The first non-Burton directed Batman movie, and also the one where the quality clearly started to decline.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The 16-bit games, published by Acclaim, is a platformer/fighter using Mortal Kombat-style controls. It was met with mediocre reviews. It also had huge loading times in the SNES/Super Famicom version. Easily one of the most frustrating of the Batman licensed games, combining the clunkiness of a Beat 'em Up with the blind jumps of a platformer(!) and confounding controls which caused most players to become stumped on the very first screen. For this reason, The Angry Video Game Nerd gives this particular game a well-deserved ripping apart during his two-part Batman special. It might be worth taking the game for a spin, as it does experiment with some novel ideas.
    • There were also 8-bit versions (Game Boy, Game Gear) as well as a PC version that was similar to the SNES game with added CGI cutscenes. A 32X version was cancelled. A different game inspired by the same movie was released on the arcades, also by Acclaim. It was more similar to traditional sidescrolling brawlers like Final Fight. There were ports for PlayStation, Sega Saturn and PC. All these versions were panned by players and critics alike and Batman Forever as a video game became synonymous with The Problem with Licensed Games.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The film arguably works better if one embraces it as a loud, larger than life and very colorful action adventure movie for the summer blockbuster set as opposed to a straight adaptation of Batman.
  • The Scrappy: Opinions vary wildly about the cast of characters and how they were portrayed in this movie, but Tommy Lee Jones's Two-Face is consistently hated, due to taking a serious character torn between good and evil and reducing him to a cackling Joker-wannabe. Another point of sourness for the fanbase is how in this incarnation, he does do-over flips of his coin until he gets the decision he wants, which really goes against his character.
    • The security guard whom Batman has to save from Two-Face's acid trap at the beginning. Many viewers absolutely loathe the guy's dialogue.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The ingredients for a great story were all there: Batman questioning his identity and revisiting his origins. Batman discovering a child who has lost his parents much like him and trying to turn him away from the path of vengeance that consumed him. A villain smart enough to discover Batman's identity and destroy his lair. The inclusion of Two-Face, a very tragic and complex character. All of these plots combined should have made an excellent film. Sadly, too much focus was placed on camp and action and not enough on plot.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously:
    • Michael Gough as Alfred.
    • Val Kilmer makes a pretty sincere effort as Batman/Bruce Wayne despite the uneven tone of the film.
  • Trailer Joke Decay: Batman's "I'll get drive-thru," snark at the beginning of the film would be pretty funny if not for the fact that every trailer AND Mc Donald's tie-in commercial made use of the line, making it simply eye-rolling (and an obvious attempt at Product Placement) by the time anyone actually saw the film.
  • Values Resonance: The Riddler's plan to use an electronic device as a Trojan Horse to steal people's personal information has became a LOT more relevant (and plausible) in our current internet-heavy culture.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: The script clearly indicates that Dick Grayson is supposed to be pretty young (early to mid-teens, probably). They cast Chris O'Donnell, who was 25 at the time and looks it. This makes a lot of the scenes focusing on his character creepy, nonsensical, or both.
    • Especially since he's referred to as a "boy" on multiple occasions, and explicitly so in the novelization.
    • Oddly, there's a Lampshade hung on O'Donnell's age, when Bruce refers to "Dick Grayson, college student" as Dick's future "secret identity".
      • This all is essentially bad enough to create a gigantic Fridge Logic Plot Hole: Dick is obviously an adult, and no one really acts like he's not an adult (including allowing him to drive a car and/or motorcycle). So why does he get brought to Bruce Wayne's mansion and act like he has to wait for the authorities to leave before he tries to head off and catch the circus? He never should have had to leave it if he didn't want to, if he's a legal adult. Essentially, it's clear that someone involved was worried about the old child endangerment complaint regarding Batman having young sidekicks, cast an adult to alleviate them, but no one bothered to address the oddities this created in the plotline.
      • He was supposed to be playing a teenager. It's an obvious case of Dawson Casting.
    • Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face. Harvey Dent is supposed to look young and handsome and his actor wasn't aging very well when he was cast. For comparison, Billy Dee Williams was 50 when he played Harvey Dent and still looked younger than his successor.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/BatmanForever