I saw all the old Batman movies when I was younger, but because of the actor swapping I never realised that they’re all one big story of the same version of Bruce Wayne. The same Alfred is used, the same Robin once he’s introduced, even parts of the old films get mentioned by characters. So, this is going to be about the sequels to the Keaton Batman movies.
Batman Forever – Batman (now Val Kilmer) goes up against Riddler and Two Face, along the way he reluctantly recruits Robin and gets close to Dr Chase Meridian who’s a pretty psychologist that’s partly there for Batman’s creature of fear development but mostly because all the old hero movies needed a good looking woman somewhere. The Riddler is the fantastic Jim Carrey playing a madman which is bound to be fun, I think The Mask might have given him practice for this role. It’s interesting to see how the Riddler develop, deciding to become a villain rather than just being one. Tommy Lee Jones does a cackling mad Two Face which doesn’t sit quite right with what should be a fairly serious character, it’s like he wanted to be Joker but didn’t get the part. I think the Mad Hatter would have been better for him. The movie a plot about how Riddler wants to steal thoughts and intelligence from people. This Batman movie doesn’t take the dark tone of Keaton’s, instead embracing the silliness that comes with the chosen actors. It’s a fun, silly film that goes back to the fun, lovable roots of the Adam West days, even referencing it at one point. This is one of the better old ones, striking the right balance between weird, dark and silly.
Batman & Robin – The campy, silly Batman (now George Clooney) that ended the 90s series with Mr Freeze, Poison Ivy and Bane as the villains. We get a lot of silliness again in a film packed with bad jokes, dreadful puns plus a lot of fun moments. Arnie’s Freeze was excellently done for the style of film and I think if he was with Carey’s Riddler it would be amazing. The early scenes are really good for drawing a viewer in but the same level of charm doesn’t hold the whole movie together well. We get another member of the bat family and some sad scenes involving Alfred. The movie has a good enough plot that done in a more serious way could be very good, a seduced Batman and Robin facing each other, the tanky Bane and Freeze hitting everything he can would be great in a darker, more grounded film. This isn’t a traditionally good or high quality movie but it had me smiling, making it enjoyable which is the most important thing for any movie. It does deserve to be called the worst Batman film so far.