I always found it quite odd how Warner Bros. went from dark and great Tim Burton Batman films, to the weird and lighter fare starting with Batman Forever. I’ve read from many sources that the company wanted to pull in more kids and their families to experience bat-mania and sell toys, though I’m sure they were already with the previous films. The 4K HDR treatment of Batman Forever does make the movie more fun to look at and enhances its pretty cool soundtrack (Seal and U2 for the win) with Dolby HD audio, and still proves to be light-hearted fun in the bat-verse.
Director Joel Schumacher takes over the film series with this one and Val Kilmer dons the cape and cowl as Batman/Bruce Wayne this time around. When he’s not fighting off the advances of Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman) who knows there’s something batty about Bruce, he’s busy trying to put a stop to the Riddler (played to insane perfection by Jim Carrey) who’s teamed up with Two-Face (played oddly comedic by Tommy Lee Jones) for double…err…triple the villainy. Batman is going to need some help taking on all of this, and thankfully Robin (Chris O’Donnell) enters the picture to help as the dynamic duo team up to save Gotham.
While not as dark and focused as the films before it, I still had a good time with this one as Jim Carrey tended to steal the show every time he’s on screen. It also helps to view this with an open-mind and embrace the campiness of it all, as it’s clear that’s the direction it’s aiming for. And why Batman and Robin’s costumes have nipples will forever remain a mystery for the ages.
As mentioned earlier, the 4K HDR treatment here is very well done and makes the film look and sound as though it were released in theaters recently. The colors and details really pop, especially the loud colored suits of Two-Face, and the audio punches and kicks its way through your home theater setup as does the awesome soundtrack tunes.
The special features are just as batty and fun as the movie, as there’s audio commentary with director Joel Schumacher who shares some of what went into making the film and placing his spin on the characters. There’s also other extras that go behind the scenes of the making of the movie, casting both the heroes and villains, some deleted scenes and more that should keep bat-fans busy.
While it may play second fiddle to the Burton films, there’s still some light-hearted fun to be had with Batman Forever. Featuring a good cast with Jim Carrey stealing most of the thunder, and a slick 4K HDR treatment with Dolby HD audio, this is a batty good time to be had by all.