Batman Forever

on June 16, 1995 by Christine James
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The third installment of the "Batman" series, based on characters created by Bob Kane and published in DC comics, is the best to date. The action-packed thriller exemplifies big-budget grandeur gone right, thanks in great part to fabulously fun, over-the-top performances by the human cartoon Jim Carrey as the Riddler and by Tommy Lee Jones, who appears to be having the time of his life as Two-Face. But the big star is the jaw-dropping visual splendor, in the form of elaborate sets, gadgetry and costumes in jarring reds, magentas, blues, purples and greens. That's no surprise, given that new director Joel Schumacher (taking over the reins from I and II helmer Tim Burton) began his Hollywood career as a designer.
The story, pervaded by the theme of coming to terms with one's own duality, is mediocre in itself, but excitement and exhilaration are jammed into the tale throughout via brilliant execution. There is plenty of opportunity left open for still another sequel, and that's a prospect that should be enthusiastically anticipated rather than dreaded, thanks to the serial's now-established track record of improving with each generation rather than deteriorating.
Let's just hope the filmmakers never find themselves at the point where they are having to dust off Vincent Price's Egghead character or Roddy McDowall's Bookworm due to a dwindling supply of villains. Starring Val Kilmer, Jim Carrey, Tommy Lee Jones, Nicole Kidman and Chris O'Donnell. Directed by Joel Schumacher. Written by Lee Batchler, Janet Scott Batchler and Akiva Goldsman. A Warner Bros. release. Action. Rated PG-13 for strong stylized action. Running time: 121 min.
Tags: Val Kilmer, Jim Carrey, Tommy Lee Jones, Nicole Kidman, Chris O'Donnell, Directed by Joel Schumacher, Written by Lee Batchler, Janet Scott Batchler, Akiva Goldsman. A Warner Bros. release, Action, jaw-dropping, dreaded, costumes, gadgetry, cartoon
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