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YMMV / Batman Forever

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  • Anvilicious:
    The Riddler: Caffeine will KILL YA!
    • Also, Riddler developing and selling a TV add-on that literally makes people stupider by watching it.
  • Author's Saving Throw
    • Though held to much 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.
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    • The depiction of Dick Grayson/Robin is considered to be not only one of the best things about this movie, but one of the best depictions of the character in general, and Chris O'Donnell was praised for his performance as a young man in mourning. The film also does a great job Reimagining the Artifact with his costume; the signature Robin outfit is the basis for the uniform of the Flying Graysons and Dick's Robin outfit retains the color scheme to honor them, but the colors are muted to be less gaudy and the suit is otherwise an armored ensemble not unlike the Batsuit.
  • Awesome Music: Say what you want about the film, but music from the soundtrack for Batman Forever was a big deal in 1995:
    • "Kiss From a Rose" by Seal won Song of the Year and Record of the Year at the Grammys, and hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. (#4 on the Year-End chart)
    • "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" by U2 hit #2 in the UK, and its animated music video was a hit on MTV. It was also nominated for a Golden Globe and a Grammy (though it was also nominated for a Razzie, which it "lost" to a song from Showgirls).
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    • The soundtrack was dripping with big-name talent, including The Offspring, Brandy, Method Man, Michael Hutchence of INXS, and Tracey Thorn of Everything but the Girl.
  • 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 most consider it hurt superhero movies overall. On the other hand, some people still prefer it over its predecessor for giving Batman more screentimenote  and 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, co-creator 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.
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  • Ear Worm: "Nygma Variations (Ode to Science)", especially the last part of it which utilizes One-Woman Wail.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Even people who aren't fans of the film still enjoy its version of The Riddler. It certainly helps that he's played by Jim Carrey, one of the few actors who can still be entertaining in even the lousiest of movies, and has just as much airtime as 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 and comfortable. These elements worked in its favor for being somewhat truer to the comics, but in retrospect, these elements laid the groundwork for their escalation in Batman & Robin, which suffered enormous criticism for all these things (campy humor, gratuitously grandiose action, outright Bizarrchitecture and the nipples on the batsuit) and made the superhero movie a hard sell for some time, and even made the early X-Men and Spider-Man films fight an uphill battle for respect.
  • 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 Tzipporah.
    • 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.
    • Nygma's dream was to put a green-and-black Box in every home. Six years later, Microsoft's green-and-black Xbox console debuted. Coincidence, or a sinister plot to turn gamers into brain-drained zombies? You decide!
    • 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 Batcave is shot with a HUD and close-up view of our hero, just like in Favreau's superhero film 13 years later.
    • The original idea of an African American Robin (with Marlon Wayans playing) for the film when Tim Burton was expected to direct it before Burton was demoted to producer and Wayans replaced by Chris O'Donnell would eventually happen with Duke Thomas in We Are Robin and, even before, in the The New 52: Future's End storyline.
    • Tommy Lee Jones told Jim Carrey that he doesn't approve of his buffoonery... Keep that in mind when his character ends up doing the more zany movements of the two villains.
  • 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".
  • Jerkass Woobie: Dick Grayson/ Robin may be a bit arrogant and immature, but one has to remember that he witnessed his family get killed by Two-Face, and therefore also lost his entire lifestyle as a traveling circus troupe.
  • 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.
    • Two Face threatening to blow up the circus to get Batman to reveal himself and the murder of the Flying Graysons also counts. Granted Two Face was already over the MEH to begin with but threatening to blow up a entire building, murder god knows how many people and then kill a entire innocent family for trying to stop his plan?? Clearly places him in the no going back area.
  • Narm:
    • The security guard's Captain Obvious yelling like "IT'S BOILING ACID!" "MY HEARING AID!" makes you wish he'd be boiled alive in that acid.
    • Bruce seeing a bat in Dr. Meridian's ink blot is played as a devastating stab into his psyche...except the thing is so clearly shaped like a bat and you just wonder how anyone could possibly see it as anything else.
  • 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 game, 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 that 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 may be worth taking the game for a spin, as it does experiment with some novel ideas.
    • See also Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, another maligned game with a very similar gimmick, which the AVGN also reviewed.
    • There were also 8-bit versions (Game Boy, Game Gear), as well as a PC version which 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 movie was exactly what the studio wanted, safe and marketable, and is considered disposable at worst and decent light entertainment at best. It definitely helps to think of it as 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. And let's not really get into the fact that the Burton films, which are theoretically in-continuity with this film, set up Dent as being portrayed by Billy Dee Williams (which would thus give an actor of color a huge leading role in a superhero movie), and then suddenly in Forever Dent is portrayed by the very caucasian Jones...
    • The security guard whom Batman has to save from Two-Face's acid trap at the beginning, especially for the way he manages to make unreadably silly dialogue sound even more ridiculous out loud.
    • The Batmobile being remade and the addition of neon lights is another sour spot for fans, who admired the awesome looking Batmobile from the Burton films and felt that “if wasn’t broke, don’t fix it” but by fixing it, they managed to break it in several fans minds.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The ingredients for a great story are all here: Bruce Wayne questioning his identity, revisiting his origins as Batman, and considering hanging up the cowl. Bruce taking in Dick Grayson, a young man who has gone through the same tragedy he has, and Bruce tries to turn him from going down the same self-destructive path he did. The Riddler, a villain smart enough to build a company to rival Wayne Enteprises, deduce Batman's identity, and invade his lair. Two-Face, a very tragic and complex villain whose existence torments both sides of Bruce's identity and provides a dark mirror to his duality. Unfortunately, the film's focus on action and camp humor over plot and character resulted in these elements not being utilized as good as they could have been.
  • 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 McDonald'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.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: As overly colorful this Batman film is, you'll seldom see these visuals or architecture in any other movie, leading to a unique-looking movie with a unique-looking production design.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • It never occurs to Bruce to update the Batcave's security after Dick finds his way in. Thus, the Riddler finds the entrance and enters with no difficulty.
    • The Batcave's "intruder alert" actually unveils the equipment and Batmobile rather than securing it.
    • For that matter, he enters a machine that can read his mind in front of a crowd of people who can watch it on a screen. Through this, the villains discover that he's Batman.
  • 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.
    • 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.


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