This film is labeled as the third installment in the “Warner Brothers Series” but it feels so distant from the first two that it almost feels like a reboot to a new series. Bruce even says at one point “I’ve never been in love before” ... so, I suppose he just forgot about Vicky Vail and Salina Kyle from the last two films. Now to be fair, there are moments in which the characters make subtle reference to Catwoman and the Joker. There's also some fun Easter Eggs, like this one scene when Bruce mentions Metropolis, the city Superman fights crime in. On that note, Gotham City looks more like it came right out of the 1920’s Sci-Fi classic “Metropolis”, with lots of technology, huge statues all throughout the city, and colors flashing everywhere, even the alleyways are filled with black lights. The Bat-mobile get’s a new makeover, it still has a classy look, but it doesn’t look quiet as dangerous as before. The night wing makes one more appearance, and the bat boat makes its first appearance sense “Batman The Movie”. There’s a new score composed by Elliot Goldenthal, and while it doesn’t come close to being as good as any of the other classic scores, it does fit the character just fine. The sound track by the way is awesome, with memorable songs like "Hold me, Thrill me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" performed by U2. The most notable song is “Kiss from a Rose” performed by Seal. It’s a great classic 90's soundtrack, and each song had a sweet music video to go along with it.
There’s also a great story arch of him becoming more excepting to having a partner, and yes that means Robin finally makes his return to the big screen. He’s played by Chris O’ Donnell who dose a decent job balancing the line between the attitudes of a playful party boy, and a tormented soul seeking revenge. He’s not as fun as Burt Ward, but the character is an improvement. There's even a scene in which Chris O’ Donnell rips off Burt Ward by saying “Holly rusted metal Batman”. The chemistry between both hero's is mostly satisfying, if a little generic at times. The death of Robins parents could have probably been done better, but it's still effective enough. I really like some of the conversations between both Robin and Batman, how they discus vengeance blackening the soul, and ultimately consume their lives. These have all been the stronger bits of the film, but lets see what else the film has to offer.
For all the films over the top action scenes and visual effects, the climax is surprisingly subtle. There really isn't a fight between the hero's and villains, instead the Riddler forces Batman to choose between saving the lives of someone that Bruce Wayne loves and someone Batman loves, raising the question of which ego will win out. While this concept will be done again in both “The Dark Knight” and the first “Spider-Man” movie, this was still a very original concept for the time and a ligament challenge for our hero to face.
Like I said in the opening, the film is essentially a big comic book on the big screen, serious at times but wild and playful for the most part. While it certainly isn't a great film, I do still enjoy watching it. This was personally the very first Batman movie I ever saw and it's the only film in the series that takes me back to my childhood. It's just a simple, sit back, relax and enjoy flick but it’s also loud and overly excessive, which can be mind numbing and chaotic, so you really have to be in the proper mind set to enjoy it. With all the really smart Batman movies out there today, it's nice to have one like this that's all for fun and even though this movie is a live action cartoon, it still has just enough smart moments to keep it from being completely dumb. Overall, I think it’s a fun flick and a great one to see at a young age. I give “Batman Forever” 3 ½ stars.