Batman Forever seemed to last forever

24 Jul

With Dark Knight Rises opening last weekend, the Burton/Schumacher Batman films played on the movie channels.  I have not seen any of them since they came out and decided I would watch each of them.  My DVR played against me however and I only got the chance to watch my favorite of the four, Batman Forever. I was about fourteen when it came out and remember enjoying it much more than Returns.  And I recall hating Batman and Robin, so I was ok with this development.

I just finished watching Forever though and am in a daze.  Like most boys of the 80s, I loved watching repeats of Adam West and Burt Ward jovially beating the daylights out of the “Clown Prince of Crime” and the like.  So I am used to Batman having his tongue inserted squarely in cheek.  But this was truly painful.  In fact, the entire movie can be summed up best by one of Riddler’s last lines.  After describing his master plan, he looks at Batman and asks, “Was that over the top?”

I remember that being my problem with Batman and Robin.  But upon rewatching this “masterpiece” I was floored at just how over the top the entire movie was.  While not as in your face as the leering view at Batman’s jockstrap in the Schumacher’s last movie, the full two to three seconds image of the Bat Butt will now be burned in my adult mind forever.  Watching Two Face cackle like Ceaser Romero on steroids, I feel I must go back and watch Dark Knight just to wash the taste out of my mouth.  And though I love seeing the aesthetic reappear in the Lego Batman games, the giant statues littering the Gotham skyline was horribly distracting.

I hate to say I really can’t think of a redeeming part of the movie now as an adult.  I want to like Kilmer as Batman but when the first line of the dark knight in a movie is “No, I will get take out,” it is difficult to view the movie with open eyes.  I hope I can sit down and watch the other three movies soon.  But as of right now, all I can think is thank goodness for Nolan.  Here’s hoping Warner can think of a way to continue this series.  Any possible return to the manic nature of the Batverse before is utterly terrifying. Much more so than hearing Prince sing of the glories of Gotham or watching Robin beat the daylights (nightlights?) out of the neon brigade of ninjas.

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