Batman Forever (1995)
17th July 2001
Batman is having his work cut out battling Harvey Dent, or Two-Face, and his gang. Although some years back Batman prevented the murder of Harvey Dent at the hands of the mob, Harvey was hideously scared by the acid attack. With half of his face disfigured by the acid he became "Two-Face" and so began his psychotic crusade to kill Batman.
When Edward Nygma has a invention turned down by Wayne enterprises, Edward discovers an interesting side effect to his 3D television system - it allows him to download the thoughts of its viewers. Teaming up with Two-Face, Edward becomes "The Riddler" and with the help of Two-Face his invention becomes the fasting ever selling consumer device in Gotham.
With Edward now downloading the thoughts and memories of the whole of Gotham, his intelligence is growing at a phenomenal rate. It is only a matter of time until he discovers the true identity of Batman, and once uncovered, Two-Face will finally be able to dispatch the bat.
Where as the previous two films were very dark the picture here has plenty of bright and rich neon colours. Although the scenes retain some of their original gothic looks, the additional colours add a richness that DVD relishes. There are no signs of artifacting or outlining and the bit-rate remains above average throughout the film.
Again, the sound is as good as the picture, and if anything it is probably the best sound in the franchise so far. It really envelopes the soundstage and uses all of the available channels to their full potential with the soundtrack and ambient effects really booming out across the room. The surround channels are hardly ever idle throughout the film, with the dialogue clear and audible in the centre with the occasional LFE rattling the walls.
The lack extras is still a major disappointment. They only amount to some mediocre production notes and a static and silent menu system. For such a successful franchise you would have thought they could have managed to find some additional footage, even a theatrical trailer would have been a bonus. Perhaps there will be a "collectors edition" sometime in the future.
When Tim Burton announced that he'd had enough replacement director Joel Schumacher stepped into the frame. Unfortunately, that wonderful gothic feeling created by Burton has been replaced by a brighter and more pop-corn friendly set up preferred by action director Schumacher. However he still manages to find cast members that are perfect for their roles.
Jim Carrey produces a typically over the top performance as the Riddler whilst Drew Barrymore is still as sexy as ever. Even grumpy old Val Kilmer gives a fine performance as Batman and it is a shame that he only did one film.
Whilst the extras are still as disappointing as ever, it's the superb visuals and excellent cast that keeps this film from disappointing too much. Whilst true Batfans may be a little disappointed with the results the casual viewer will be more than happy with the results - just don't tell them about Batman and Robin.
- Production Notes