Sometimes, you love something, even when there is hard evidence that you shouldn’t. Sometimes, love defies all logic. And sometimes, that’s just okay.
I feel like whenever I say “My favorite movie is Batman Forever,” I have to explain that yes, I know it’s inaccurate, and yes, there’s a lot wrong with the film. Yes, I acknowledge that Batman Returns is the best live action film out there for Batman fans. Yes, Chris O’Donnell was 27 when the film came out and Dick Grayson is supposed to be a minor.
Perhaps you’ve dropped out of this conversation already. “No true Batman fan could ever like Batman Forever,” you’re saying. “You’re an imposter, a poseur, a fake. You’re just on the Batman bandwagon, a sheep to your very core. You have no taste in films.”
“Well, that’s a bit harsh,” I will respond.
So, let’s clear the air here and acknowledge all the bad in Batman Forever. It exists. I admit it.
Chris O’Donnell. Like previously mentioned, Dick Grayson is supposed to be a minor. O’Donnell isn’t the least bit passable as a minor. His performance is average, but come on here, does Bruce Wayne really need to take the kid in? He has stubble! The original Grayson was 15 when Bruce took him in. HA. I don’t know why they decided to go older with the casting. This mistake would’ve been such an easy thing to correct. Just find a different actor, okay? Nothing against O’Donnell himself, it’s just his age. The only reason I can think that they didn’t use a younger actor might be because there is always the shadow of “Is Bruce Wayne a pedophile?” Maybe they simply wanted to avoid non-comic readers having their doubts as well about Mr. Wayne’s integrity. Who really knows? If I ever meet Schumacher, this will be the main question I ask.
BATMAN HAS A LISP. This movie made me hate Val Kilmer. BATMAN SHOULD NOT HAVE A LISP. Most people say, “Really? I never heard it.” To them, I respond, “Tell me, Doctor. Do you like the circuth?” If Batman really had a lisp, I’d think more people would’ve figured out his real identity.
Cheesy script. A lot of the lines used are one-liners and cheap shots and sentences that just make you groan. “Oh noooo, boiling acid!” Puh-lease. And trust me, I could go on and on with this.
The whole “memory loss” plotline. Nope, never happened. Easily the most annoying part of the movie. Bruce Wayne never blocked out how he got the idea for Batman. I think that if they had scrapped this storyline, the movie might have more fans. This stupid blocking out the memories bit makes me gag every time it comes on.
The Batsuit has nipples. That’s gross and a little perverted.
The plotline as a whole is average. There’s nothing overly exciting about the plotline. The Riddler begins stealing information out of people’s brains after teaming up with Two-Face. Batman meets Robin, takes him under his wing, and puts a stop to them. Throw in a little Chase Meridian, and voila, Batman Forever. Not the greatest or most interesting plot. It’s no Selina Kyle falls to her death, becomes Catwoman, and kills Christopher Walken in a wig.
So, you’ve read the bad. “That seems like it’s the whole movie,” you say. “How can you say that you like, nay, LOVE this movie?” Well, if you wait a minute, I’m getting to that.
So, what made me fall in love with this movie was a number of factors, and a lot of them actually existed outside the movie.
Jim Carrey. I don’t know if I’ve talked about him on the blog before, but he is a major player in my life, since the time I was 3. I was hopelessly in love with him (still am) when this movie came out. I know his every line in the movie. I giggle like a little girl whenever we say the lines together. He is the celebrity I love enough to never meet. If he was a jerk, it’d completely just tear me in two. He would be the celebrity whose death I would mourn above all else (even Beyoncé’s). To put him in this movie as the Riddler made me fall in love with the Riddler, with Batman, with the entire movie. I can overlook all because he is in this movie.
The Villain Casting. And come on, was Jim Carrey not made to be the Riddler? And Tommy Lee Jones was a wonderful Two-Face. If they got all the other roles wrong, they got these two completely right.
Cheesy script. Yes, I said previously that the cheesy script was bad, but I was 5 years old when this movie came out. I loved how cheesy it was. Someone told me this movie was targeted towards younger audiences, and guess what? I was that younger audience. The bright colors, the cartoonish look and acting in the film; that appealed to me. It still does, maybe because I’ve watched this movie every year since then.
There wasn’t a good live-action Batman film for kids before this movie. Batman and Batman Returns were both pretty dark. Jack Nicholson is a thing of nightmares, Joker or not. And the Penguin was just too sinister for someone my age.
So yes, there are a lot of flaws, but that villain casting though…. I will argue that till I die. I’m not saying that you should love this movie, too. This movie probably will never mean as much to you as it does to me (unless it already does mean something to you). This movie is the reason I’m into comics. This movie is the reason my love for Batman didn’t fade away with puberty. This movie sometimes appears in my dreams (okay, TMI).
I’m still a Batman fan. Liking this movie shouldn’t damper that. And you know, it could be worse. It could be Batman & Robin.