Posted on 7/15/12 10:15 PM
We get a change in directors, where Tim Burton, who stays on as a producer, is replaced by Joel Schumacher. The movie also takes a significant change in tone. Batman and Batman Returns were both darker portrayals of the Caped Crusader (the sequel more so). After the controversy over the sequel's more violent feel, Batman Forever has been toned down to what is more a kid's movie, but is ironically given a PG-13 rating, although a light one.
Harvey Dent (Tommy Lee Jones) becomes Two-Face after acid was thrown into his face. Although Batman (Val Kilmer replacing Keaton) manages to foil his latest scheme, he escapes. Meanwhile, Edward Nygma (Jim Carrey), a Wayne Enterprises employee, has created a device that transmits ideas into peoples' minds. But Bruce Wayne rejected the idea, saying that it raised "too many questions." But when Edward's boss attempts to terminate the project and fire him, he tests it on him and kills him. He makes it look like a suicide and resigns, but leaves a riddle for Bruce.
Bruce begins to fall for psychiatrist Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman), who is smitten with Batman. They went to a charity circus event, but it goes array when Two-Face and his henchmen try to bomb it if Batman doesn't reveal his identity. Although Dick Grayson (Chris O'Donnell), an acrobat in the act, manages to get rid of it, his family was tragically killed in the chaos. He is taken in by Bruce. But when he finds out that Bruce is Batman, he insists on becoming his sidekick, but Bruce continually denies him this.
Seeing him on TV, Edward becomes the Riddler and joins Two-Face. He uses his device to gain knowledge from people who use it. Bruce, who longs for a normal life with Dr. Meridian, is contemplating over whether to give up being Batman. However, when he tries to reveal to her his dark secret, Two-Face and the Riddler invade his manor and kidnap her. Seeing as he can't take them alone, he allows Dick to become his sidekick, becoming Robin.
While many would say that this is a bad movie, I don't think so. It is more what I'd call a potentially good movie brought down by a lighter tone and some lousy acting. If the movie had been dark like Batman Returns, it could have actually been a pretty darn good movie. There was even plenty of scenes cut from the film that would have been considered too dark for the film. I think that there was enough of them to make a two and a half hour long movie. It also didn't really even deserve a PG-13 rating because of this, unless they did it because of one scene where Chase wore nothing but a bed sheet. It was more of a PG movie, and feels like a G rated film in comparison to Batman Returns.
As one critic has noted, Two-Face pretty much tries to copy the Joker even though the Riddler alreay fulfills that role. If Two-Face had actually been portrayed as a sinister character, he would have made a decent villain. He also flips his coins many times until he gets the result he wants. That takes away the purpose of it. Two Face was always of two different views, one is his good natured Harvey Dent, and the evil Two Face persona.
Although Val Kilmer made a decent Bruce Wayne/Batman, he doesn't top Micheal Keaton. Tommy Lee Jones did have potential as Two-Face, but the way his character was written brings him down. Jim Carrey makes a good Riddler. Carrey alone makes the movie worthwhile. Nicole Kidman may have been the best looking of Batman's love interests to date, but that's all she is. Not as good as Selina Kyle, but better than Vicki Vale. Chris O'Donnell is okay as Robin. Michael Gough makes a very good Alferd, though.
Not a bad movie, but could have so much more.