June 20, 1995 -- Is it the third ``Batman'' movie already? My how time flies!
As sequels go ``Batman Forever'' isn't all that bad. Of course it isn't as good as the first Batman movie, but it is a lot better than the second one, which isn't saying that much. The strength of the movie is the star power. The four main characters are all fine actors, Val Kilmer (``Thunderheart'') as the title character, Tommy Lee Jones as ``Two-Face,'' Chris O'Donnell (``Circle of Friends'') as ``Robin'' and, of course, Mr. Instant Box-Office, Jim Carrey as The Riddler.
It's a curious mix, because you have Kilmer and O'Donnell playing tightly-controlled heroes, while Jones and Carrey have the fun of overacting to their heart's content. But then, the villains, with the exception of Danny DeVito in second film, always seem to be having all the fun in Batman movies.
``Batman Forever'' is obviously the lightest of the three films. The writers work in a tribute to the original TV series by putting an actual ``holy'' into the dialogue. Jim Carrey does an impression of Frank Gorshin's original Trickster at one point. Director Joel Schumacher clearly is lightening up what had become a very dark and brooding series of films. Tim Burton directed the first two and produced this one.
Like the first two films, the sets and props are dazzling here. Reportedly, Warner Brothers had a big staff of artisans in a building the size of a K-Mart busily making costumes to fit plaster casts of the actors months before filming began. Kudos to Barbara Ling for her overpowering production design.
Despite the fact that the film looks great, is funny, has plenty of action, and has fine actors, it lacks a decent story. The plot is weak, there's no character development and the film is hollow at its core. It is non-filling cotton candy for the mind. It'll pass the time, but it won't fire your imagination. It rates a C+.
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