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YMMV / Batman Forever

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  • Adorkable: Bruce has a few moments of this, particularly when he's trying to nervously explain why he broke Chase's door down, as well as his smile when he learns Chase is choosing Bruce over Batman.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Batman going against his own advice to Dick and killing Two-Face. A moment of hypocrisy or a case of Shoot the Dog? Keep in mind he seems to feel partially responsible that Harvey Dent became a villain.
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  • Anvilicious: 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.
    • 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).
    • 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.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Nicole Kidman's breakout role as Dr. Chase Meridian, whose moments of brilliance are secondary to her moments of sexiness.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Dick Grayson's kung-fu laundry. Alfred had the same reaction the audience did.
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  • Broken Base: 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 was 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 an 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.
    • Apparently, the Batcave's security alarm will just activate all of the gadgets and vehicles in a dramatic fashion when it senses an intruder. It says a lot when a simple note saying "please do not steal" would be a more effective security system.
  • 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 Beat 'em Up which uses the Mortal Kombat fighter engine on loan from Midway. The Angry Video Game Nerd gives this particular game a well-earned thrashing during his two-part Batman special. (See also Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, another maligned game with a very similar gimmick, which the AVGN also reviewed.) A different game inspired by the same movie was released in arcades and ported to 32-bit systems, also by Acclaim. It was more similar to traditional sidescrolling brawlers like Final Fight. All of these versions were panned by gamers and critics alike, and Batman Forever as a property became synonymous with bad licensed games. Garbage in, garbage out.
    • 16-bit:
      1. Easily one of the most frustrating of the Batman licensed games, combining the stiffness of a fighter with the blind jumps of a platformer. (Luckily there are no bottomless pits, but it still wastes a lot of time if you fall.)
      2. Confounding controls that caused most players to become stumped on the very first screen.
      3. It also had huge loading times in the SNES/Super Famicom version.
      4. It may be worth taking the game for a spin, as it does experiment with some novel ideas. The creative use of gadgets which rewards experimentation, extending replay value by hiding the blueprints everywhere, storyboards for the Arkham levels that were taken directly from the movie (the Arkham scenes in the prologue were cut from the final edit), and the fact that every goon has their own amusing nickname.
    • Arcade: The Saturn port is ludicrously expensive, like Radiant Silvergun levels of dough. Don't fall for it:
      1. No matter which version you play, the sound is atrocious, and Batman and Boy Wonder both move like they have arthritis: the animations are slow, and your punches and kicks are too weak.
      2. Sure, there are some power-ups, and the Bonus system ensures you'll have at least one to experiment with per stage, but they sadly don't last too long. The kick has more reach, whereas the punch is useful for picking up things and starting very short combos. We use the term "combo" very loosely, though. Spamming punch or kick is the best way to clobber a boss.
      3. The stages themselves are nice (albeit pixelized) scenes of Gotham City that reflect the movie very well. However, it's too dark, so you can't really enjoy them as much as you might otherwise.
  • 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.
    • Chase engenders a lot of mixed reactions. She's an original character not originally in the comics, which is always a hard sell. Her open lust for Batman seems rather unprofessional for a therapist at worst, and makes her seem like a one-dimensional Ms. Fanservice at best (not even getting into how it relates to her dating Bruce). It also makes it rather unbelievable that Bruce would give up being Batman just to be with her, forsaking well-liked previous love interests like Vicki Vale and Selina Kyle. By the end of the film she's devolved into a Damsel Scrappy for the finale and she's never seen in the sequel, with Bruce shacking up with Julie Madison instead (who had even less dimension, only appearing in two scenes).
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The Batmobile being remade and the addition of neon lights is a 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. Unfortunately, the film's focus on action and camp humor over plot and character resulted in these elements not being utilized as well as they could have been.
    • Bruce Wayne questioning his identity, revisiting his origins as Batman, and considering hanging up the cowl. This lasts all of a few hours before the plot forces him out of retirement.
    • 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. Dick does in fact get a chance to prove that he's risen above vengeance when he saves Two-Face's life, only to end up a hostage for it.
    • The Riddler, a villain smart enough to build a company to rival Wayne Enteprises, deduce Batman's identity, and invade his lair. He mentions using his box to hack into bank accounts, yet we never see him go further than petty theft.
    • 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. He was reduced to little more that a poor man's Joker and the only hints of him having a split personality are his use of plural pronouns and his habit of Suddenly SHOUTING!.
  • 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. The stunts and action-setpieces also involve a huge amount of practical effects and sets so still look good to this day, compared to much of the badly-aged CGI found in some of the 2000s superhero fare that followed.
  • Vindicated by History: Edward Nygma becoming a rich, famous tech magnate by selling a gadget that entertains the mesmerized masses while secretly stealing their personal info and lurid secrets in the background is eerily prescient to the advent of smartphones and social media, and arguably makes the plot more biting in the 2010s than it was in 1995.
  • 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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